Sports Monks

Does James Harden deserve the MVP trophy again?

James Harden of the Houston Rockets is having the best career games this season. Last season, he won his first MVP award. Believe it or not, he is playing better than last season. His stats for this season are through the roof. He is trending on every social media platform right now. Odds for him winning a back-to-back MVP have suddenly turned in his favor. He is really deserving of winning it again. Or is he?

Let me preface the rest of the article by saying that James Harden is one of the best players I have seen. He is completely unguardable. When he gets the 3-ball going, there is almost nothing you can do as an opponent to stop him. That being said, lets objectively see the surrounding factors.

MVP award is given to a player based on his value to the team. This award only considers the regular season. In my opinion, this is the most useless award the league gives. First of all, if a team is really bad and has just one good player but he cannot carry the team to the championship, his stats are going to be padded up. If he cannot carry his team on the platform that matters the most, there is no point in recognizing him. The MVP was given to the best player of the best team till the early 2000s. After that, any player who has an amazing regular season (stats wise) can get the MVP.

What are James Harden’s memorable playoff moments? The loss to Lebron’s Heat, the loss to Spurs, the loss to the Warriors a couple of years ago? Or the 3-2 lead they blew in the Western Conference Finals to the Warriors last year when they had home court advantage. Harden just had to win 1 out of the last two games to advance to the NBA Finals. The last one was at home. If you are the Most Valuable Player, you should be able to win at least 1 match. Rockets were leading by double-digit points in both matches at halftime. He couldn’t close a single game after taking a 3-2 lead.
Chris Paul seems to be the Rocket’s MVP. He helped Harden throughout the regular season and then, unfortunately, got hurt in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. Harden could not win a single game without Chris Paul on the floor. Would the outcome be different if CP3 had played? Who knows but I will say this – They had a better chance with CP3 on the floor.

Russell Westbrook and James Harden are the winners of the last 2 MVPs. Neither of them has come up big in the postseason. Both players are more focused on the stats and the records. Both players are not reliable when it comes to the playoffs. After you retire, nobody remembers how many MVPs you had won. They just remember how many championships you won.
I don’t know who the media and the league will select as the MVP. But is James Harden still your MVP? Think about that.

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