It’s 12:20am at the Perry Castañeda Library (better known as the PCL) on the University of Texas campus. As I am going over physics material for my test in the morning, my mind begins to wander. I have been at the library since 8:00pm. I decide it is time for a 5-minute break on espn.com and then I will get back to work.
Unfortunately, that did not go as planned because here I am writing about the 2017-2018 NBA MVP race.
So, you might ask, who do I think will win the NBA MVP?
It will come down to either LeBron James or James Harden.
Both players have had extraordinary years. Just look at their numbers. Harden averages 30.7 points per game; LeBron is just short at 27.4 PPG. Although LeBron trails Harden in points per game, LeBron is a more effective shooter at 54.8% from the field while Harden shoots just 44.8%. LeBron has Harden beat in two categories: assists per game and rebounds per game. LeBron dishes out 9.1 APG and grabs 8.6 RPG; Harden is not far off at 8.7 APG but is down at 5.4 RPG.
The KIA Race to the MVP Ladder has had James Harden sitting as the MVP for most of the season, which makes it almost impossible for LeBron to overtake the spot.
What’s the point of me even writing this if the MVP has practically been decided? Well, that is the reason.
Here’s the deal. LeBron has won the MVP on four separate occasions. Harden, on the other hand, has won ZERO finishing runner-up twice
My belief is they will award James Harden the MVP. Harden needs an MVP. Not only will it be a
testament to the incredible season Houston has had, it will only boost to his Hall of Fame resume.
However, I think the way the season has unfolded, LeBron should be the MVP.
And MVP stands for Most Valuable Player. Last season, Russell Westbrook was the MVP. Why? He carried the Oklahoma City Thunder almost single-handedly to the NBA Playoffs.
Oh, that’s right, he also averaged a triple-double. That might have increased his chances.
All jokes aside, Westbrook was the MVP because he was the best player. He lost his two compadres, Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors and Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic. That all happened prior to the start of season.
Unlike Westbrook, LeBron had to adapt his play as the season went on. He has seen players come and go constantly this season. For example, Cleveland brought in Isaiah Thomas, Dwayne
Wade and Derrick Rose at the beginning of the year. None of these players are on the Cavs roster today.
Meanwhile, James Harden has been set up quite nicely. The Rockets signed Chris Paul in the offseason and the rest is history. The combination of Harden and Paul has teams dreading to face them come playoff time.
To make matters interesting, Harden has played in only 66 games this season. If he plays the rest of the regular season games, he will have played in a total of 72 games. LeBron has already played 75 games. That is all of the games so far for the Cavaliers. He has not missed one yet. The last 7 MVP’s average playing in 79.28 games. Derrick Rose even played in 81 games when he won back in the 2010-2011 season. A player has to be a factor in almost every single game in order to be casted on the MVP ballot.
In this case, it’s not for me to decide. Therefore, as much as I think LeBron deserves it, James Harden is a lock to win MVP.