Damian Lillard has a real chance to win MVP.
With injuries to Joel Embiid and LeBron James, the award has become Nikola Jokic's to lose but as the season enters the stretch run, Lillard's right on his tail having undergone more adversity for nearly the same record as Denver.
If Portland can finish ahead of Denver on the final Western Conference standings, Lillard could become just the second Trail Blazer to be voted MVP by the media.
But, if it was up to Derek Carr, Lillard would win the award.
The Las Vegas Raiders quarterback tweeted Lillard deserves to win the MVP award and the Blazers franchise guard (and noted Raiders fan) appreciated the love.
On top of the narrative after injuries to CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, Lillard has the stats to back up an MVP campaign: 29.8 points per game (2nd in the NBA) 7.8 assists per game (9th in the NBA), 29.04 PER (6th in the NBA) on 62.3% true shooting (26th in the NBA). He's not only putting up insane box score stats, but he is doing it on a winning team in an efficient manner.
Among point guards, Lillard is 95th percentile in usage and 98th percentile in points per shot per Cleaning the Glass.
Can Lillard close the season strong and capture the accolade? Only time will tell.
But he's the MVP in the minds of Rip City and Derek Carr alike.