Damian Lillard Explains Why Lakers' LeBron James Should Be 2019-20 NBA MVP

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2020

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 31: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers talk after the game on January 31, 2020 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

It's unlikely LeBron James will add a fifth MVP to his mantle this season, with Giannis Antetokounmpo widely expected to take home his second straight award.

If Damian Lillard had a vote, though, it would go to LeBron.

"This season, I think it's LeBron. They're the No. 1 team in the West. They've been consistent all year long. For him to be at the age he's at, with the amount of miles that he has on his body, how often he's talked about, the pressure they put on him every little thing that he does, and the level he's performing at, in my opinion, I think he's the MVP," Lillard said Wednesday on Jalen & Jacoby. 

Aside from giving LeBron artificial credit for his age and consistency, there is no merit-based argument for him to win the award over Giannis. A quick side-by-side breakdown shows Antetokounmpo is the clear choice from every conceivable angle.

Giannis

Team Record: 53-12
PPG: 29.6 (34.5 per 36)
RPG: 13.7 (16.0 per 36)
APG: 5.8 (6.7 per 36)
TS%: 60.8
Win Shares: 10.4
BPM: 11.5
VORP: 6.0
On/Off Net: +11.8

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LeBron 

Team Record: 49-14
PPG: 
25.7 (26.5 per 36)
RPG:
 7.9 (8.1 per 36)
APG:
 10.6 (10.9 per 36)
TS%: 58.2
Win Shares: 9.5
BPM: 8.7
VORP: 5.7
On/Off Net: +10.8

Two things are clear here: LeBron and Giannis are both having incredible seasons, and Giannis' season is demonstrably better.

Though both teams have a win in their pair of regular-season meetings, Giannis still wins the head-to-head comparison. That said, there have been several seasons where LeBron has been clearly the game's best player and watched the MVP trophy be handed to someone less deserving.

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