James Harden was named the NBA’s Player Month yesterday for the third time this season. Harden previously won it in December and in January and now takes home the March/April award.
The Rockets had the best winning percentage in the NBA over the award span, with a 16-4 record since March 4, and he also led the NBA with a +241 plus/minus during that time frame, according to NBA.com.
Another award puts a cherry on top of an individual regular season performance for the ages from The Beard. He finished the year averaging a career-high 36.1 points per game to go along with 6.6 rebounds, 7.5 assists, and 2 steals per game.
He was a nightly supernova in which he scored 30-plus points in 32 consecutive games, a feat not accomplished since the days of Wilt Chamberlain. He also averaged over 40 points per game during a 40-game span from December to March and carried an immense usage burden of over 40 percent due to multiple injuries to key teammates, including Chris Paul, Eric Gordon, and Clint Capela.
The Beard also improved his defense to the point where he was among the league leaders in steals, deflections, and post defense, squashing any legitimate questions as to whether he could get it done on both ends of the court.
He’s sure to finish either first or second in the MVP voting (it’ll likely be second, in this editor’s opinion, even though I would obviously have him first), and his main competition for the award, Giannis Antetokounmpo took home the Eastern Conference Player of the Month award for March/April as well.
That’s actually the fourth time Giannis has won POTM. In fact, Joel Embiid is the only other player from the east to even win the award this year. The voters sure do love them some Giannis.