2017 – James Harden
When James Harden was traded to the Houston Rockets in 2012, no one could have seen this level of success coming. Several MVP top 3 finishes, multiple All NBA First Team selections and a regular season MVP are just some of the accolades the Beard has racked up so far.
Harden finished the 2017 season averaging 30.4 points, 8.8 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game. In the 2018 playoffs, Harden scored over 30 points on eight separate occasions.
Even though the season ended with the historic “27 missed 3-pointers in a row” Game 7, Harden still had one of the best seasons in franchise history.
1995 – Clyde Drexler
Clyde Drexler came to the Rockets at exactly the right time. On Valentine’s Day of 1995, Drexler was traded to Houston after spending 12 years with the Portland Trail Blazers. While the Rockets would still play average basketball after Drexler’s arrival, the playoffs are where he truly shined.
The back-to-back elimination games against the Utah Jazz were his two best games in the playoffs, as he scored 41 points in Game 4 and 31 points in Game 5 to close out Karl Malone and the Jazz. Drexler, along with Hakeem Olajuwon, would go on to help the Rockets capture their second championship in as many years.
The Rockets would not have won the title in 1995 if it wasn’t for Drexler, but Harden had a historic season in 2017 and was the best player on the team. Harden’s MVP season is enough to propel him above Clyde the Glide when it comes to this matchup.
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