Over the years, James Harden has been putting up incredible stats and producing at a high level. One of the most under-appreciated players of our generation, it seems like Harden never gets the recognition he deserves. Since his days on the Oklahoma City Thunder, Harden has been a phenomenal player and despite of coming off the bench, he contributed greatly to the teams success, which even led him to win the Sixth Man of the Year award in 2012. And since joining the Rockets in 2012, Harden has been outstanding every single season.
When talking MVP, LeBron James should never been left out of the conversation, who has been putting up insane numbers, especially for a guy who is playing in his fifteenth season. But the Cavs has already lost too many games against below average teams and had too many close games against some really bad teams, whom they should have been blowing out. The Cavs simply won’t win as many games as Rockets this year, as LeBron is more focused on the playoffs. The only other player who has been putting astonishing numbers similar to LeBron and Harden is Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has been showing incredible potential this season. But the Bucks being too inconsistent with their young core and going through some ups and downs, it seem like they might fall short of winning 50 games this season. Giannis, who definitely will be a multiple MVP in the future, might have to wait his turn for now.
Talking about Harden, In 48 games played this season, he has been averaging 31.3 in PTS and 8.9 in AST while simultaneously averaging the lowest amount of playing time in his Rockets career and is the only player to score over 35 points 15 times this season. Harden is the first player to reach 1000 and 1500 Points this season and is leading the league in PTS since the beginning of the season, talk about consistency at its finest. And even though Harden gets heavily criticized for his lack of defense at times, it still don’t make him any less worthy of the MVP title. Stephen Curry, who has always been average defense, won two back to back MVPs in 2015 & 2016 owing to the stats he put up on the board and because of how well the Warriors had performed that year. Rockets are currently the 2nd seed in the Western conference and with a Harden and Chris Paul magnetic duo, the team could give the Warriors a run for their money.
Harden could have been the MVP in 2015 if not for Stephen Curry and the Warriors historic season. He could have been the MVP last season if not for Russell Westbrook’s rampage. But now with Kevin Durant on the Warriors and Paul George and Carmelo Anthony joining the Thunder, Hardens path to the MVP Crown seems to have cleared up a bit, and he’s leaving no stone unturned to get there. After his historic 60 PTS triple-double against the Orlando Magic recently, Harden has made it clear how hungry is he for the title.