When the Milwaukee Bucks traded for Damian Lillard this summer, there were questions about whether or not Giannis Antetokounmpo would be able to sustain the same level of production now that he was going to be paired with a point guard of Dame’s caliber. Some even asked if Giannis would still be able to win an MVP title alongside Lillard.
At this point, however, it appears that the tables have turned — at least for the NBA In-Season Tournament.
Milwaukee Bucks Star Damian Lillard is Frontrunner for In-Season Tournament MVP
According to NBACentral on Twitter, it’s now Lillard — and not Giannis — who has been pegged as the favorite to bring home the In-Season Tournament’s inaugural MVP title. Heading into Wednesday’s semifinal showdown against the Indiana Pacers, Lillard has been given +375 odds to bag the individual award:
Damian Lillard is the favorite to win the in-season tournament MVP, per @BovadaOfficial
Damian Lillard +375
Brandon Ingram +425
Giannis Antetokounmpo +425
LeBron James +425
Tyrese Haliburton +425
Anthony Davis +750
Zion Williamson +1400
CJ McCollum +6000
Herb Jones +6600
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) December 7, 2023
To be fair, Giannis isn’t too far behind at +425 odds. The two-time regular-season and 2020-21 Finals MVP is tied with New Orleans Pelicans star Brandon Ingram and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers for the second spot behind Dame.
Depending on how things go during Thursday’s semifinal games, the odds can quickly shift in another direction.
Either way, you can be sure that it’s the title that will be the higher priority for Lillard. He may not have gotten a chance to get his hands on an MVP trophy in the past, but you can be sure that he’d trade that in for a championship (be it an IST title) any day of the way.
It’s probably safe to assume that the same can be said for Giannis, LeBron, Brandon Ingram, and everyone else on the list.
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