Each had their own case, Harden averaged career highs in points (29.1), rebounds (8.1), and assists (11.2). Westbrook set the single-season record for triple-doubles with 42. Leonard was by far the best player on a 61-21 Spurs team.
But the triple-double record was too much for the MVP voters to overlook, Westbrook was named the 2016-17 NBA MVP.
Westbrook, 28, averaged 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.4 assists in 81 games this past season. But Westbrook’s season ended in the first round against the Houston Rockets. Houston finished the Thunder in five games.
The selection of Westbrook confirms the reporting of TDS senior writer Max Croes, who collected all of the public MVP votes back at the start of May — creating a clear picture of James Harden finishing second for the award.