Erik Spoelstra is the latest to vouch for Damian Lillard’s name in MVP talks
The Miami Heat bowed down to the Portland Trail Blazers, who won their league-best 10th straight game last night with a convincing 115-99 win at home.
The Heat were short-handed without starting center Hassan Whiteside and team icon Dwyane Wade, both nursing injuries from the weekend.
Yet this didn’t make Damian Lillard’s play any less stellar, dropping 32 points and 10 assists in the win — his third 30-point game in the last four outings — which drew praise from Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra.
“I don’t know if there is any other player in this league right now that is playing at a higher level than Lillard,” said Spoelstra, according to Erik Garcia Gundersen of USA TODAY Sports. You know the names in the MVP conversation, the way he’s playing right now and winning, he deserves to be in that conversation as well.”
Lillard has quickly risen into the MVP conversation along with New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis, while the likes of LeBron James have subsided with his Cleveland Cavaliers a mere 4-6 in the last 10 games.
The 6-foot-3 point guard has been on a scoring tear at the right time with a streak full of meaty wins against the Golden State Warriors (twice), the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Minnesota Timberwolves, carving a third place in a very competitive Western Conference.
Over his last 10 games, Lillard is putting up 32.5 points, 6.4 assists, and making a whopping 4.4 long distance makes per game at a torrid 42 percent efficiency — numbers that will surely have him among the candidates for the most-coveted individual award in the league.