Unfortunately, the star of the Houston Rockets will likely not be repeating as the Most Valuable Player in the league. We’ll know for sure tomorrow, but it isn’t looking great for him.
The Most Valuable Player award is a very narrative-driven one, and that is the case for this season as much as any. The superstar of the Houston Rockets, James Harden, is up for it once again, but he will likely see another second-place finish this year.
Most of the time, with the occasional exception (see Russell Westbrook), the MVP is given to the best player on the best team, as long as they had an exceptional season. When the Beard won it last season, he had incredible numbers on a 65-win team which gave him a pretty comfortable victory.
This season, Giannis Antetokumnpo propelled his team to 60 wins and had some pretty insane numbers. It’s pretty well-accepted that he will be the one hoisting the trophy tomorrow, and many of the public votes confirm that as well.
Harden deserves the MVP
That doesn’t mean that Harden isn’t getting robbed once again, though. Giannis is certainly deserving, but what James Harden did this season was absolutely incredible and needs more recognition.
He carried the Rockets out of an 11-14 hole and averaged over 40 points a game for a month. His streak of 30+ points was something that will be remembered for ages and it was truly historical. Giannis had an amazing season, Harden had a record-breaking one.
Unfortunately, the last week of the season likely had some deciding factor in it. The Rockets struggled and lost their chance for the No. 2 seed, which eventually hurt them in the playoffs as well as in Harden’s MVP odds. They ended as the No. 4 seed, which is tough to overcome unless, once again, you’re Russell Westbrook in 2017.
We’ll see if Harden is even in town for the award show tomorrow night on TNT, as he was just in China yesterday for an event. If he somehow pulls off the upset to everyone’s surprise, though, he would be well-deserving of the back-to-back MVPs.