Before his arrival, Houston had failed to make the playoffs four consecutive seasons. Harden turned everything around though and has had spectacular seasons as the main option in H-Town. In 2015, Harden finished runner up for MVP to Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.
The 2015 season ended in disappointment, as Harden and the Rockets made it to the Western Conference Finals but fell to the Warriors in five games.
James Harden again finished runner up in 2017 to Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who earned the award by averaging a triple-double for the season. That season was a memorable one for James, as he averaged 29 points, eight rebounds and a league-leading 11 assists per game after getting run at the point guard position.
After falling short in the MVP race twice, Harden finally won the award in the 2018 season, after he averaged 30.4 points, 8.8 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game. He led the team to the league’s best record of 65-17. That team was one game away from reaching the NBA Finals before the unfortunate Chris Paul injury changed the course of the Western Conference Finals.
Last year, Harden had a season for the ages. Harden had a streak of 34 straight games with 30 or more points and is the only player in NBA history to score 30 or more against every team in the league throughout one season. He also scored 50 or more in nine games that season. Harden found himself in the MVP race again but ended up losing to Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Next: So, is Harden already HOF-worthy?