Opinion: James Harden for MVP


Solomon Moffett, Sports Team leader

James Harden is MVP this season. He is doing something only a handful of players have ever done.

This season he broke Kobe Bryant’s record of most 30-plus point games in a row. He is also carrying the injury-riddled Rockets team as Chris Paul and Clint Capela have been out for a good portion of the season already.

His competition for the award is Giannis Antetokounmpo. Antetokounmpo is averaging 27.2 points per game, 12.7 rebounds per game, six assists, 1.4 steals per game, 1.4 blocks per game, on 58 percent field goal shooting. The Bucks are doing better than the Rockets, but they have had all their pieces for most of the season and the Rockets haven’t.  

As of Feb. 20, Harden is averaging 36.6 points per game, 7.7 assists per game, 6.7 rebounds per game, on 44 percent field goal shooting, and he is also shooting 37 percent from the three point line as well.

Without Harden, the Rockets would have been far out of the playoff race by now, but Harden is carrying the team. Harden is playing like the 2005-06 Bryant, but better. Compare the stats. Harden has more points per game, more assists per game, more rebounds per game, more steals per game, better 3-point percentage, better free throw percentage, and more points per game on less shot attempts. Harden has a better player efficiency rating as well.  

Going back to the career-defining season Bryant had in 2005-06, Bryant was second in MVP voting that year behind Steve Nash. In most NBA fans opinion, Bryant was robbed, but the Lakers finished seventh in the Western Conference, going 45-37. The Suns were second in the Western Conference, going 54-28. Despite the Suns have a slight decline in record Nash still lead the team with help from Shawn Marion during the season to help carry the load while Amar’e Stoudemire was injured for a big portion of the season.

Harden and the Rockets are 33-24. If Harden continues to keep a top seeding in the West, he will win the MVP Award back to back years.