After a collision against the Spurs, the MVP candidate for the Rockets is experiencing some knee pain.
James Harden is enjoying himself yet another MVP-caliber season. He is doing it all for the Rockets, from carrying them early on to nearly leading the league in scoring and assisting.
However, there’s been a slight bump in the road.
A couple nights ago against the San Antonio Spurs, James Harden hurt his knee on a breakaway foul by Brandon Paul. He was down for a minute but played through it the rest of the night. Last night, he was a game-time decision against the Bucks. He decided to play through it and will continue to do so.
Is this the right decision for the Beard? Let’s look at it from both perspectives:
Why James Harden should play
The Beard is an athlete that has been gifted with durability (don’t worry, I knocked on wood). He has shown time and time again the ability to play through minor injury with little to no effect on his performance.
That showed last night when he still dropped 31 points, 6 rebounds & 5 assists against the Bucks. He didn’t shoot particularly well overall but still managed to go 4 for 10 from deep.
As you can see in the interview down below, the doctor told James that he will be able to play through it, it’ll just hurt a ton.
— SportsTalk 790 (@SportsTalk790) December 17, 2017
The way Harden plays through injury and the non-severity of the injury are a couple of reasons why it should be fine for him to keep going.
Another interesting reason would be for MVP purposes. James Harden has arguably been robbed of the Most Valuable Player award 2 out of the last 3 years. This season, he is playing more than well enough to get the award, finally. He is possibly wanting to play through injury as to not have the blemish of missed games on his record for the voters.
Why James Harden should sit
James Harden is the most important player on the team. That is why he should rest a few games and make sure his knee is 100%. A healthy Harden is more significant to the team as a whole than him winning an MVP.
If Harden rests a few games, they would be in good hands. Chris Paul is still more than capable of leading this Rockets team to victory on the nights he is out.
Like with Chris Paul earlier this season, you never know the severity of a knee injury. The doctor says this particular knee problem won’t get worse, but what if it opens up the possibility for further injuries there? That is not a risk that is worth taking.