Harden's triple-double helps Rockets over Wolves 123-118

14 April, 2017, 10:49 | Author: Nora May

Much will still be taken into account before the MVP panelists are asked to cast their vote in another two months, including the players' success in the Playoffs. Leonard won't win MVP or Defensive Player of the Year, but he'll finish in the top three for both awards. In end-of-game situations, Golden State's heartbeat has thwarted some of the best and often played center in a small-ball lineup.

Russell WestbrookThe Oklahoma City Thunder star has the co-sign of no other than the man whom he shares history with, the great Oscar Robertson. He probably has the ideal wardrobe selection if he actually gets the writers' vote, and there's little doubt he'll throw shade West if he gets the chance.

His production on the court has gone from impressive to historic, similar to Russell Westbrook's 42 triple-doubles this season. Kris Dunn had 10 points with 16 assists. Houston is 30 to 1.

With little certainty as to whom the panel is leaning towards amongst the two candidates, the race is entirely up for grabs. Between Chris Paul, Gordon Hayward, Blake Griffin, Rudy Gobert and DeAndre Jordan, there will be plenty of talent on the floor, and both of these teams have closed out their seasons on fire.

Harden said it best: "I thought winning was what this is about". No other player in the National Basketball Association can affect the success of a team more than James can.

We need to understand Westbrook's season in a clearer context.

The MVP contender became the first player in National Basketball Association history to finish the regular season with at least 2,000 points (2,356), 900 assists (907) and 600 rebounds (659).

D'Antoni took an underachieving and somewhat dysfunctional Rockets team of a year ago and turned them into an offensively dominant squad that finished third in the Western Conference.

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Westbrook earned his 42nd triple-double during the Thunder's buzzer-beating 106-105 win over the Denver Nuggets last Sunday.

Thibodeau on Harden: "Obviously the individual part of it is unbelievable, but it is also what he has done for the team". The only reason I even have the Thunder pushing this series that far is because I have that much respect for Westbrook and his ability to singlehandedly pull out victories from his you know what. Could James Harden's 2016-2017 season really be better offensively than Wilt Chamberlain's 50 ppg season?

Murray hit a big reverse layup and a free throw for a 3-point play, then slammed home a dunk. He nearly passed Tiny Archibald as the the most points scored and assisted on per game, a record that has stood for 44 years. That LeBron has done this at the age of 32 is remarkable, considering that only four other active players have logged more minutes than him. Just win the lottery this year, right.

The best evidence of that claim would be Kawhi Leonard's place in the MVP conversation. The East openers are Boston against Chicago, and No. 4 Washington against fifth-seeded Atlanta. It's not entirely on LeBron, but some of the moves that he (allegedly) pushed for made an already top-heavy roster a bit weaker as the season progressed.

If the Rockets surpass the Thunder, they could face the Spurs or Clippers. He's truly been a different player this year. If someone wanted to argue that Harden didn't just complete the great offensive season ever, it'd be tough to get around the fact that he put more points on the board than anyone else in history.

That San Antonio had been able to effectively reload the roster at the end of and after the Tim Duncan era doesn't provide the digestible narratives like the other candidates. "It's unbelievable to see somebody top a record like that's been standing for so long".

Add to it all that Leonard is the team's only All-Star (and the only player who'll make an All-NBA or All-Defensive Team) and you have a sort of vacuum of recognition - a silence that hints at the gestalt-like greatness of this Spurs machine.

Jason Clinkscales is the senior editor and media analyst for The Sports Fan Journal, editor for Yardbarker, and a masochistic New York Knicks fan.

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