Sports | August 16, 2020 11:14 am

Portland’s Damian Lillard and Suns Coach Monty Williams Win NBA Bubble Awards

Lillard was joined by Suns coach Monty Williams as the winners of the top bubble awards

Lillard NBA MVP
Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers sets up the play against the Memphis Grizzlies during the first quarter in the Western Conference play-in game one on August 15, 2020.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Shortly after the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Memphis Grizzlies in the play-in game to clinch the eighth seed in the Western Conference, Blazers star Damian Lillard won again. The NBA announced after the game that Lillard had won the bubble MVP, the top individual honor for players participating in the seeding games that took place in Orlando.

During the eight seeding games, Lillard led Portland to a 6-2 record, averaging 37.6 points per game while popping off for 154 points over Portland’s last three regular season games, adding 31 in the play-in game against the Grizzlies to clinch the honor.

Also winning a bubble award was Suns head coach Monty Williams, who helped lead Phoenix to an undefeated record in the seeding games, though the team barely missed out on qualifying to the play-in game. For that accomplishment, Williams earned the top coaching award, while his star player, Devin Booker, finished second to Lillard in the MVP voting.

The NBA also handed out first and second team honors from the seeding games. Lillard and Booker both earned first team honors, joined by Dallas Mavericks do-it-all guard Luka Doncic, Indiana Pacers wing T.J. Warren, and Houston Rockets star James Harden. The second team consisted of Milwaukee Bucks leader Giannis Antetokounmpo, LA Clippers star Kawhi Leonard, Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis, Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert, and Denver Nuggets rookie Michael Porter Jr.

The NBA will still hand out their regular awards during this bizarre season, but those awards will not take seeding games into account. They will be announced throughout the playoffs, with voting finishing up before the seeding games even began.

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Read the full story at ESPN