The MVP race for this season is probably as close as its ever been due to the amazing play from several superstars. With that said, there are two front runners who have been in the conversation since the beginning of the year; and that’s James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Its basically like choosing between the red pill and the blue pill at this point. Both players are having record breaking seasons, so no matter who wins it would be understandable.
If there was someone who had an edge it would probably be Russell Westbrook because he’s averaging a Triple-Double for the entire year, a feat that hasn’t been done since Oscar Robertson did it in 1962. Not only is he averaging a triple-double but he’s set the record for most triple-doubles in a single season, with 42, and possibly a few more before the season’s end. Westbrook also leads the league in points per game with 31.7, and probably the most important factor of Westbrook’s season is that this is all following the departure of his long time teammate Kevin Durant, who left at the end of last season to play for the Golden State Warriors.
Westbrook’s season has been one for the record books, but don’t sleep on Harden’s season. He may not be averaging a triple double, but he sure is pretty close. Harden is currently averaging 29.2 points per game (2nd in the league), 8.1 Rebounds a game, and 11.2 assists per game (1st in the NBA). His assists numbers are not something to be overlooked because with a league that is dominated by elite point guards; the league’s assist leader is a shooting guard, that’s impressive. Harden is also playing for the most successful team, with his team sitting in 3rd place in the Western Conference with a 53-26 record while Westbrook’s Thunder are in 6th place with a 45-34 record. This makes things even more interesting, because if these standings stay the same by playoff time that means we’ll see a first round matchup where these two teams will play each other.
The winner of the MVP this year will ultimately come down to what the voters value more important. If they care for record breaking and stats alone, then Westbrook will probably be winning, which would be a pretty safe bet. But if they decide that they’re going to reward winning and take into consideration that Harden is doing almost everything that Westbrook is with just a few less rebounds a game, then Harden will be the MVP. Brodie vs The Beard, the former teammates to be the league’s premier player, the story writes itself.