Another year, another NBA MVP candidate nod for James Harden.
For the fourth straight year and the fifth time in the past six years, James Harden will finish a top possibility for MVP. He will join LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo in the fourth installment of the NBA Awards for a shot at the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award.
Since the inception of the award show, Harden has been a candidate each year.
Harden has built an excellent resume for himself this year, as he cruises on by for his third straight scoring title. In 65 games so far, Harden has averaged 34.4 points, 7.5 assists, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.8 steals on 44% shooting from the field and 35.3% from three. Harden is currently on steal behind Ben Simmons in most total steals at 118, and he currently has the second-most blocks by a guard (57), trailing only Derrick White (58).
It wouldn’t be a Harden MVP-type season if he doesn’t have an inhuman run of games. From Nov. 30 until Jan. 3, Harden went on the most efficient run of his career. For 16 games, Harden averaged 39.1 points, 7.3 assists, and 5.8 rebounds on 49.6% shooting from the field and an astounding 44% shooting from three while attempting 12.9 threes a game.
With four more games left in the NBA season, Harden already has 20 40+-point games, including four 50-point games, and one 60-point game. In the NBA bubble, he has already put up a 49- and 39- point game in just four games.
Behind his leadership, the Houston Rockets are currently in the fourth seed with a 43-25 record, just 1.5 games back of the third seed.
This race might be his most difficult to win yet. He has to go up against the NBA media darling of Giannis Antetokounmpo and the face of the NBA in LeBron James — both of whom come bearing the top seed in their conference. As always, TDS will be tracking votes by media members, so please be on the lookout for that once the time comes.