For years, it seems like Damian Lillard hasn't gotten the praise and recognition he deserves. He's playing for a small market team and constantly leading them to the playoffs - regardless of his supporting cast - yet he's never a part of the MVP conversation.

Well, that's finally starting to change this season. Lillard put the world on notice with an absurd run in the NBA bubble in Orlando and he's now known as one of the league's most unstoppable scorers.

And, considering how amazing he's been in the clutch throughout the year - and over his career - and the way he's willing the Blazers into playoff contention despite all their injuries, it's time to talk about him as an MVP candidate.

Shaquille O'Neal Says Damian Lillard Should Be The MVP This Season

Lillard torched the New Orleans Pelicans for 50 points and 10 assists, fueling an epic comeback for the Blazers. So, when asked if he belonged in the MVP conversation, Shaquille O'Neal didn't have to think twice:

"Hell Yes. He's been carrying them. He's the most feared man in the last couple of seconds. You say Steph Curry is having a great year but Dame D.O.L.L.A is the most feared man in the final three seconds of the game," Shaq said.

Shaq has a valid point there. Lillard is averaging a whopping 30.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 8.0 assists, 1.0 steals, and 4.4 three-pointers per game, leading the Blazers to the 5th spot in the Western Conference.

So, now that the Lakers are struggling, the Nuggets have been inconsistent, and the Sixers don't have Embiid, it seems like he could finally climb the ladder and finish on top of the MVP debate once and for all.