After a great month by another candidate, some media members are starting to overlook the great season from the true MVP.
James Harden has been the best player in the NBA this year. After finishing runner-up to MVP in two of the last three years, it is looking like this season is his.
Unfortunately, it may not be that easy. Anthony Davis has played his way into the conversation and many think he should win the award. The media, sadly, has caught on to his candidacy as well. As you know from the years Harden lost, the media can play a pretty big role.
But is Anthony Davis even in the conversation? Sure, he’s played incredibly well this season, especially since DaMarcus Cousins went down with an injury. But James Harden has been on a completely different level this year. He’s played the best basketball of his career game in and game out with great efficiency.
Give Davis the Player of the Month, not the MVP
Anthony Davis has certainly had an incredible month of February. After Harden won the first two Player of the Week awards for the month, I thought he was a lock for the Player of the Month.
But then Davis came out of nowhere and is averaging 36 points and 12.8 rebounds with 2.5 steals and 2.4 blocks per game for February. Those numbers are hard to argue against, he likely deserves the Player of the Month.
For the season as a whole, James Harden has still won two Player of the Months and an incredible five Player of the Weeks. That shows how complete his season has been so far. Anthony Davis on the other hand? One Player of the Week.
Sure, Davis has been playing with Cousins, but that’s part of the point. James Harden has found a way to dominate and put up MVP-numbers while playing with a star partner next to him. While Davis and Cousins have certainly co-existed quite well, as both were All-Star starters, the true MVP-like numbers from AD have come since DMC went down.
James Harden has the advantage in numbers and wins
In the MVP race, two things are important (normally): stats and wins. Thankfully for James Harden, he has both.
James Harden’s season numbers are all-around better than those of Anthony Davis:
James Harden: 31.4 PPG, 9 APG, 5.2 RPG, 1.8 SPG
Anthony Davis: 28.2 PPG, 11 RPG, 1.4 SPG, 2.2 BPG
Also, the Rockets are doing significantly better than the Pelicans. Houston currently has the No. 1 seed in the West with a record of 47-13. The Pelicans have been great as of late, but have a 34-26 record and the No. 5 seed in the West. With the Western Conference being so close after the Rockets and Warriors, the Pelicans are also just 2 games ahead of being out of the playoffs completely.
James Harden has led the best team in the league and one of the best offenses of all time while having a career-high Usage %. It shouldn’t be a question who the MVP is.
Is Anthony Davis an MVP candidate? Yes. Will he win it? Under current circumstances, no.
That doesn’t mean it can’t happen, though. As we saw with Westbrook last season, the media and voters love someone who carries a team to the playoffs and has a good story. If they will look a little closer, they can see that James Harden is doing that as well.