Every year, the term MVP is debated on whether it means the best player in the leauge or the player that is most essential to his respective team. This year, James Harden and Russell Westbrook lead the MVP race with Lebron James trailing in behind. Triple-Doubles have been the name of the game this season.
Russell Westbrook has been on a mission to prove his greatness in his first season without ex-teammate Kevin Durant. Statistically, he’s had one of the best seasons in NBA history. With 35 triple-doubles on the season, he’s averaging 31.2 ppg, 10.4 rpg, and 10.5 apg. Westbrook’s current 35 triple-doubles is second most in a single season only behind NBA legend Oscar Robertson who holds the record with 41. With 11 games left in the season, Westbrook is looking to break another historic record. Despite record numbers, the Thunder are 41-30 sitting at sixth place in the Western Conference. This would-be voters only hesitation to put Harden over Westbrook. Previous MVPs have led their teams to some of the best records in the league during their time. Obviously, it isn’t Westbrook’s fault that he’s been surrounded by a lackluster team. Looking at his stats, it’s clear that no other player could get as much out of his team as Westbrook does. His incredible production with the amount of attention he receives makes him the clear option for MVP this season.
Not only is he an MVP candidate, he’s also been one of the most improved players this season. Head coach Mike D’Antoni has been able to transform Harden’s game from a pure scorer last season to one of the best distributers in the league. Harden’s gotten more of his teammates involved this season by increasing his assists per game average by 4 from last season to this year. Not to mention, he’s put up 19 triple doubles on the season. This is all being done after losing big man Dwight Howard. It’s clear that what Harden has done this season has been nothing short of spectacular. If Westbrook wasn’t having such a historic year, Harden would be viewed as an easy MVP pick.
Not mentioning the King in the MVP race would just be disrespectful. The reason Lebron doesn’t receive as much attention as Westbrook and Harden is because he’s got two all-stars playing alongside him. In his 13th season, Lebron has been efficient as ever shooting over fifty-four percent from the field and averaging 7 rpg and 7 apg. Without a doubt, his experience makes him one of the most valuable players in the leauge. The man has been to six straight NBA finals. SIX. And I don’t see why he couldn’t make it seven this year.