Steve Kerr didn’t get to be maddeningly successful everywhere he goes by being predictable (except from the free throw line). No, Kerr sees things before others do. The Golden State Warriors coach who begins the season with two recent NBA MVPs on his roster — Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant — surprised again this week when he predicted the Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard would win this year’s NBA MVP.
Last year Lillard led his Portland team — expected to need some rebuilding time after losing LaMarcus Aldridge — to a strong season and into the playoffs. On opening night 2016-17, Lillard made Steve Kerr look like the quiet genius he is by scoring 39 points in the Blazers’ 113-104 victory over the highly touted Utah Jazz. Lillard — for Kerr’s benefit, no doubt — added nine rebounds and six assists to his effort as he and backcourt partner C.J. McCollum (25 points) dominated the game.