Based on the attitudes surrounding the All-Star Weekend, there’s a decent chance that the race for the Most Valued Player might transform into a basketball culture war. Everyone, especially the players that are surveyed on the matter, agrees that James Harden from the Houston Rockets and Giannis Antetokounmpo from the Milwaukee Bucks have incredible seasons. Many nods also go towards Paul George, who has managed to take an unexpected leap during his second year with the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, there’s a culture war breaking out, and it seems to revolve around Harden’s accomplishments
James Harden as Potential MVP
The media seems quite fascinated with the incredible scoring binge of James Harden. Detailing his phenomenal 30 point matches and generating a pursuit of what would have looked like an unattainable Wilt Chamberlain record only a couple of months ago. It’s for this very reason why Harden was the Vegas favourite to repeat as Most Valued Player just last week. However, most sports betting sites have them both at -110 to claim MVP.
While some acknowledge the mastery of Harden, others are put off due to his style. Both in the way, Harden utilises the rules to his advantage and the way the Houston Rockets play. The freedom of movement, along with the relaxation of travel calls on Harden’s step-back. Having helped supercharge his season in such a way that it could irritate other players.
“Most people will say he gets away with travels when it comes to the step-back or that he flings his entire body into players to obtain fouls, but in all honesty, there are loads of us that get away with it,” stated a player that wants to remain anonymous as he doesn’t want to create controversy.
“Harden rarely plays basketball as a team sport. If you take a look at Giannis and how he plays, that is definitely how I was brought up in the game. However, that’s just my opinion on the matter,” he stated.
When you look at the statistics, most would agree with this statement. Earlier on in the season, Harden managed to score a total of 304 successive points that were all unassisted. This incredible streak was tracked with awe by both the media and fans. However, for some players, it developed eye-rolling because it represented the complete opposite of team play.
The counterpoint for Harden is simple. While the Rockets were in trouble and missing Chris Paul as co-creator for weeks on end, Harden took it upon himself to keep the team afloat in the Western Conference.
James Harden’s Record
Harden is currently boasting with 31 successive matches along with at least 30 points per game, tying him with Chamberlain for the longest streak in the history of the sport. During the game against the Golden State Warriors, he managed to finish with 44 points, ten rebounds, and 15 assists which is precisely the performance of an MVP.