James Harden is the Western Conference Player of the Month for January 2015 after leading the Rockets to an 11-6 record and posting 25.8 points, 6.7 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game while shooting 47.6 percent from the floor and 42.2 percent from distance.
Harden was the NBA's Western Conference Player of the Month in December, too. Stephen Curry won in the month of November. Another check mark in the Beard's favor in the MVP race.
A quick note about the Eastern Conference winner, a 5-way tie among Al Horford, Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver, DeMarre Carroll and Jeff Teague: it's weird but I love it. The Hawks went 17-0 in January -- the most wins ever in one month -- and giving it to someone on another team, like Kyrie Irving, would have been dumb. The Hawks won the games as a team, so it's nice that they won an award as a team.
Back to Harden: he's going to need to put in another POTM-worthy month in February to keep the Rockets afloat without Dwight Howard. I wrote about how the Rockets will be fine without Dwight, but didn't mention enough the biggest reason why: Harden. He's been superhuman in the Rockets' wins when Howard's been out. If the Rockets want to keep that perch in the top half of the West come April, he's going to have to do more of the season.
But for now, let's all congratulate Harden on a mostly dumb but still cool award. There should be more hardware to come later.