Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant both agree that this is James Harden‘s year to finally take home the MVP Award.
Earlier in the year, Kyrie Irving and Giannis Antetokounmpo emerged as possible MVP favorites. LeBron James and Damian Lillard have made their case for the MVP in the second half of the season. But James Harden has been the most consistent MVP candidate for the entire season.
At this point, Harden and LeBron are leading the pack in the MVP race. LeBron has put up some impressive numbers, but the award is still Harden’s to lose. At least Golden State’s two superstars seem to think so.
Stephen Curry told CBS Sports’ Bill Reiter that Harden is the leader in the clubhouse.
“Every year there are storylines that you can kinda gravitate towards in the MVP race and whatnot. And obviously this year you got James [Harden} who’s been leading the charge all year, you got that Houston team playing at a high level, and he’s taken his game to another level, so it’s been fun I guess to watch the teams play against him. I think he’s the leader in the clubhouse when it comes to the vote.”
Curry is spot on. Harden’s numbers are closely aligned to what they were last year, despite the addition of Chris Paul. Furthermore, Harden’s player efficiency rating is much higher this season and he’s averaging 1.4 turnovers less.
Kevin Durant kept his case for Harden simple, via The Athletic’s Anthony Slater.
“It’s his turn. Just give it to him. It’s his time to win it.”
Harden has already finished second in MVP voting twice in his career. He was the runner-up to Curry in 2015 and Russell Westbrook in 2017, despite the fact that Harden led his team to a better record last season than Westbrook’s Thunder..
Back in 2012, the Rockets acquired Harden in a deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Durant, Westbrook and Harden had just led OKC to the Finals where they lost to the Heat in five games.
In 2014, Kevin Durant won his first MVP. In 2017, Russell Westbrook won his first MVP. As KD said, it is James Harden’s turn to win his first MVP this season. He more than deserves it.