The end of the NBA season is upon us. And with the playoffs just around the corner, the most frequently asked question is upon us……. Who is the MVP? This year, we have witnessed two top 5 players go back and forth all year. One with amazing numbers on a team that didn’t even make the playoffs last year. And one who has broken the single season record for triple doubles, and became only the second player ever to average a triple double. Here’s the case for each player and why they should be MVP.
James Harden has played by far his best year of his career. The Beard has played his team into the third seed in the Western Conference, with the help of Coach of the Year candidate Mike D’antoni. Averaging 29.1 PPG along with 11.2 assists, he had the most double doubles in the NBA ahead of only (of course), Russell Westbrook. For a guy that was mostly recognized as a prolific shooter, Harden has become one of the best play makers in the game today.
Most importantly, Harden has started to play defense. While the stat sheet may not show it, Harden has started to switch off screens, pick up the open man, and contest shots. From 6th man of the year to one of the best players in the game today, James Harden will win an MVP before the end of his career, and it may just be this years.
Russell freakin Westbrook. While being left by his his former MVP teammate Kevin Durant, Brodie came out this year with nothing but fire. From the very beginning of the season, Russ has been playing at a level that we have only seen one time before. While CARRYING his team to the 6th seed in the Western Conference, he has broken the record for the most triple doubles in a single NBA season, a feat no one thought possible.
And the six time All Star has done it with next to no help. Victor Oladipo isn’t a second scoring option on any team in the NBA, and the Thunder roster is void of shooters. He has two glass cleaners in Enes Kanter and Steven Adams, but no logical second or third option for that matter.
But here’s the best part.
The Playoffs are here. And it just so happens that we get to see a battle of the two MVP candidates. Houston will take on Oklahoma City in the first round, and we get to see a compelling and hopefully competitive series. With the MVP not being announced until June 26th, the world will concede that this series will play a factor in the voting.
For the first time, we may get to see a Co-MVP. Or we will see Russell Westbrook / James Harden win their first respective MVP award. And when we find out who gets to lift that trophy above their head, you can bet every dollar that there will be controversy.