James Harden is in position to join an exclusive club of players who have won back to back league MVPs. Harden has recently been on an offensive tear, leaving defenders helpless in his wake. If he is able to win the MVP he will join Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Tim Duncan, Kareem Abdul- Jabbar, LeBron James, and Steph Curry just to name a few that accomplished this feat. Harden's current statistics are almost identical to last years MVP season.
Harden is currently averaging 32 PTS. 5.5 TRB 8.3 AST he is leading the league in scoring and is fifth in ASTS. The only difference is last season he averaged 30 PTS, but the rest of his stats are basically the same. Harden is shooting 44% from the field, 40% from 3 point range, And 88% from the foul line. He currently leads the league in free throw attempts at 13.5 per game.
Harden who was already shouldering a heavy load and his workload got heavier since Chris Paul went out with a hamstring injury. He is currently second in the league in minutes played averaging 38 minutes per game. In the Rockets last 8 games Harden has been destroying his opponents. He is averaging 40 PTS 6.1 TRB 8.8 AST. During this stretch, he notched his fourth 50 PT triple-double of his career. He is the only player in NBA history to accomplish this. He also has recorded a three 40 PT games during this hot streak.
Harden has led the Rockets to an 8-2 record over the last 10 games. They are currently 19-15 overall which has them sitting in the 7th in the playoff hunt. In a tightly contested Western Conference, they are only one game out of the fourth seed. The number one question is can James Harden keep this up? I would say at this high level no he is going to taper off. If he is able to get the Rockets to the fourth seed in a loaded western conference he should win the MVP hands down.
The Rockets are about to enter another tough 6 game stretch on their schedule. Four out of the six games are teams that are currently in the playoffs. They have back to back home games with each respective conference leaders, the Denver Nuggets and the Milwaukee Bucks. Initial reports stated that Chris Paul was not expected to be out an extended period of time with the hamstring injury.
Paul is posting career lows in all major statistical categories across the board, which means the Rockets success this season rest squarely on the shoulders of James Harden. If the Rockets are able to survive this stretch and Harden is playing at an elite level he will be in the driver's seat to win this seasons MVP. Let’s sit back an enjoy the show because we are witnessing one of the best scorers in NBA history.