One-on-One: Who’s the NBA MVP so far?

James Harden

BY COLE BREDAHL

James Harden is the clear choice for NBA MVP halfway through the season. Harden is driving a young and inexperienced team to the top of the Western Conference while having the best season of his career.

Harden leads the thriving Houston Rockets in points, rebounds and assists per game. Harden is averaging 29.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and a league-best 11.3 assists per game, which shows he’s an unstoppable force. Harden has also recorded 15 triple-doubles this season and has been incredibly consistent for the Rockets.

Prior to the season, many experts expected the Rockets to be battling for the eighth seed in the West, but Harden has the Rockets sitting comfortably in third place in the conference. Despite a young and inexperienced squad, Harden has found a way to keep Houston near the top of the conference.

Alex is right; Lebron is great. He is the best player in the NBA, maybe even of all-time, but the award goes to the most valuable player. Lebron’s 7-8 record in January with other players injured and bench players struggling shows he can’t find wins without help. Lebron even took it upon himself to ask for more playmakers despite having one of the most stacked NBA rosters. Harden, on the other hand, doesn’t need help – he just puts the team on his back.

 

LeBron James

BY ALEX KRYAH

There’s an argument in the NBA that goes something like this – LeBron James should have been voted the league’s MVP every year for the last eight years. LeBron’s dominance over the past decade is unparalleled, and because his dominance has continued through into this year, LeBron should be the MVP again.

LeBron is the ringleader of the best team in his conference, and he’ll likely go to the NBA Finals for a seventh straight year. He has managed to be one of the best all-around players in the league despite playing more minutes than anyone else over the last seven years.

Further, his greatness comes from the intangibles he brings to the table. LeBron’s natural leadership and penchant for winning makes him more valuable than anyone else in the league.

Sure Cole, LeBron’s stats don’t match up with Harden’s. James is averaging 25 points, 8.8 assists and 7.7 rebounds per game compared to Harden’s 29, 11.3 and 8.3 per game. Even Harden’s Player Efficiency Rating (PER) is higher than LeBron’s this year, meaning Harden is objectively more efficient.

Numbers aren’t what matter, though. LeBron is the best player on arguably the best team in the league. Without James, the Cavaliers are worthless. That makes him the most valuable.