Houston Rockets: Where does James Harden stand in the MVP Race?

Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Cato Cataldo/NBAE via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Cato Cataldo/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

With the level of competition, winning another MVP will be an uphill battle for Houston Rockets guard James Harden, but where does he rank in the race?

As we reach the second half of the 2019-2020 NBA season, it seems that there is a clear-cut favorite for MVP. Having an even better year than last season, Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks is likely to repeat. In the short list of others to also consider for the award, however, Houston Rockets‘ guard James Harden is near the top.

As of February 21st, Sekou Smith of NBA.com has James Harden ranked fifth on the MVP Ladder behind Giannis, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and Luka Doncic. This raises the question: Should the Beard be ranked that low when it comes to the MVP race?

It certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Greek Freak win MVP for the second year in a row. Given the dominant season he and the Bucks are having, it’s almost a given at this point.

Antetokounmpo currently averages 29.7 points, 13.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. He’s also leading the association in PER with 32.34. How can the rest of the field compete with this?

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Although Harden is having another great season, The Beard is nowhere near Giannis in the discussion for the award. Imagine leading the league in scoring with 35.3 points per game, as well as averaging 6.4 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game, and not being an MVP favorite.

That goes to show just how good of a year Giannis is having. The actual race is to finish as runner up, which in this case, Harden is unfortunately used to. Another player in contention is none other than LeBron.

Next: LeBron's Case