While Stephen Curry is a top candidate to win this season’s NBA Most Valuable Player award, Damian Lillard believes that the Golden State Warriors’ record will work against Curry’s outstanding individual performance.
“I think Steph has had a great season. Obviously, there has to be a conversation about him being in the conversation,” Lillard said. “But I don’t think he wins it. At the eight seed, I just don’t see how that works. Last year, it was people like (ESPN’s) Stephen A. (Smith saying) ‘Man, I love what Dame is doing but he can’t be the MVP because they’re the eighth seed.’ You know what I’m saying? But last year, I averaged 30 points and eight assists on 46 (percent) from the field, 40 from the three-point line and 90 from free throw (it was actually 88.8). But last year, they’re like, ‘Man, we can’t consider him an MVP because they’re the eighth seed.’ And now it’s like it’s ok.
“For me, that’s the way that I’m looking at it. (Curry) is definitely in the conversation. There’s no way that you don’t have him in the conversation. But I think when you really look at it, and you see that Jokic has played in every game and he’s dominated the way he has, they’ve had injuries with so many guys out and missed games and he’s kept them rolling. He’s kept them where they are. And Embiid has missed a lot of games. And even when he got hurt, they just kept going, you know? So I would say Jokic. But yeah, I’m not going into the series worried about injuries or nothing. They’re still a great team. We’re going to have our hands full either way.”
Curry has previously won the MVP award on two occasions and has bounced back strong after an injury-plagued 2019-20 season.
This season, Curry led the league in scoring with 32.0 points per game, while also averaging 5.8 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 1.2 steals per contest.
Lillard has never been shy about offering his opinion in the past, but there’s no way of knowing if his assessment is accurate until the winner is announced.