Blazers’ Damian Lillard Named Unanimous NBA Bubble MVP for Seeding Games

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Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard (0) dribbles during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)

Kevin C. Cox/Associated Press

Giannis Antetokounmpo or LeBron James can have the regular-season MVP. Damian Lillard just earned something that may never be given out again in NBA history.

The Portland Trail Blazers star was unanimously voted MVP of the league’s seeding games at Walt Disney World Resort on Saturday after thriving in the campus-like environment that was set up to resume the season after it was suspended in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press shared all of the NBA bubble award winners:

Each team played eight seeding games with playoff positioning and spots on the line, and Lillard was one of a number of players who stood out in the unusual circumstances.

There really didn’t seem to be a much competition for the MVP award. The Blazers entered the season restart with a 29-37 record, 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. 

Lillard averaged 37.6 points and 9.6 assists during the eight seeding games, shot 43.6 percent from three-point range and led the Blazers to a 6-2 record.

Portland, which moved into the No. 8 seed, will play Memphis in the play-in-series starting on Saturday. If the Blazers win on either Saturday or Sunday, they will advance to the postseason to take on the Los Angeles Lakers

Few individuals captured the attention of the nation quite like Indiana Pacers forward T.J. Warren, who has largely been a role player or someone who didn’t get much national recognition playing on Phoenix Suns teams that underperformed throughout his career.

The Pacers traded for him this offseason, and he led the team in scoring during the season with Victor Oladipo bouncing in and out of the lineup. He took that scoring to another level in the bubble, exploding for 53 points in a win over the Philadelphia 76ers and more than 30 three other times.

Warren gives Indiana another scoring threat who can take