Rockets News

Houston Rockets: Why Ric Flair is Right About James Harden’s MVP Snub

Anthony Duckett
Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks is defended by James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks is defended by James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
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Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors is guarded by James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets
Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors is guarded by James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /

How Each Player Fared Against NBA’s Best Teams

Another good gauge/measure is how each player fared against each of the teams in the NBA, starting with both NBA Finals teams, the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors. Harden played in 2 games against the Warriors posting averages of 36.5 points, 12.5 assists, 6.5 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 block. The Rockets split 1-1 with the Warriors. Giannis averaged 23 points, 12 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks while leading the Bucks to a 1-1 record also. Harden led the Rockets to the same win percentage as Giannis but averaged over 13 points more and only 5.5 rebounds less than Giannis.

Against the Raptors, Giannis went 2-1, posting averages of 27 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block and 1.6 steals in the 3 games they faced off. Harden averaged 35 points, 5 assists, 1.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and .5 blocks against Toronto, leading the Rockets to wins in both games, which is the most important part.

Against the Western Conference playoff teams, Giannis led the Bucks to an 8-7 record, compared to going 15-3 against the Eastern Conference playoff teams. Against the Western Conference Playoff Teams, Harden led the Rockets to a 14-12 record, while leading Houston to a 10-5 record against Eastern Conference playoff teams. In essence, the Rockets had nearly as many wins against Western conference playoff teams as games played in by the Bucks. But most importantly, Harden went undefeated against the eventual champion Raptors, while Giannis can’t say the same.

Next: PER/Usage Rate

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