Harden's triple-double helps Rockets over Wolves 123-118

Before Russell Westbrook put the competition to bed over the weekend, when his buzzer-beating game-winner capped off a performance in which he scored 50 points and got his record-breaking 42nd triple-double of the season, some National Basketball Association fans and media were calling the 2016-17 season the deepest Most Valuable Player race in recent history. Westbrook might be an incrementally better offensive player than Leonard but he's not almost as efficient, while the Spurs star is miles ahead of Russell defensively.

With the National Basketball Association regular season over, one of the great Most Valuable Player award chases in league history is in the books, leaving a breath-taking season to look back over before filling out ballots. Patrick Beverley draws the unenviable task of trying to slow down Westbrook, but he's as capable a defender as you'll find at the point guard position. He had a solid first half of the game with 23 points 12 rebounds and six assists. How tightly things are called in this series will be a definite factor, as Oklahoma City, with its size and physicality advantage inside (the best rebounding team in the league), would seem to prefer a more loosely called game. Knocked off by the Cavs last season, they would get Cleveland one round sooner this time if both advance. James hasn't played in a Game 6 in a first-round series since 2008. All three may have been worthy MVP winners this season had Durant not hurt his knee in late February.

Blake Griffin, who tweeted that Westbrook should win MVP on Sunday, explained to HoopsHype's Alex Kennedy that, just as important as stats, the way Westbrook played and how other players view that should make him MVP. Those two have been so much fun this season, and figure to put on quite a show. Most of Westbrook's passes are specifically to players who are about to shoot, or more likely, dunk. Andre Roberson is a brilliant defensive player who will shadow James Harden the entire series.

Westbrook did the unexpected.

The dude averaged a triple-double.

Harden did the unexpected.

Harden is having an unbelievable season for Mike Dantoni and the Rockets, but when that offense is clicking, the point guard should put up wonderful stats.

LeBron James did the unexpected. Harden has been no slouch himself, averaging 29 points, 8 rebounds and 11 assists while leading one of the league's top offenses.

South Africa's new finance minister notes 'mutual suspicion'
South Africa's new ministers and deputy ministers will be sworn in at 1600 GMT on Friday, President Jacob Zuma's office said . Pravin Gordhan first served as finance minister between 2009 and 2014.

Even Isaiah Thomas, a long-shot MVP candidate, did the unexpected.

The Rockets finished the regular season as the third seed in the West with a record of 55-27.

Kawhi Leonard is awesome, and so are Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, but this series just does not scream excitement.

Leonard has had a spectacular season.

As a team, the Spurs are really good this season. There is no animosity between the two of them, just a desire to win at all costs. That's a pretty good case for the best offensive season ever.

Houston and Utah have both improved from previous year; Houston was an 8, and Utah, at 9, didn't qualify for postseason play.

Timberwolves: Andrew Wiggins finished with 21 points. Now we're going to evaluate Harden's in relation to Westbrook. Harden's teammates have higher player efficiency rating (PER) for the most part than Westbrook's teammates, and Harden has sixty-four more assists than Westbrook this season. In fact, he did not even come in second place.

Before that happens, however, let's take a look at all eight first-round matchups, ranking them from an entertainment/competitiveness standpoint. Depending on the players' performances in the post-season, the MVP trophy may still be far from won. Harden's push for MVP begins with a better team record. He is as deserving as the rest of the top candidates.


Popular
  • Canada Introduces Legislation to Legalize Marijuana

    Canada Introduces Legislation to Legalize Marijuana

    The House amendment passed Thursday effectively removes club regulations, and the remaining bits of the bill are relatively minor. In 2015, use among youth aged 15 to 19 was 21 per cent, while use among young adults aged 20 to 24 was 30 per cent.

    Russell Westbrook is the MVP, even by your best Harden logic

    But those players didn't create as many points through their assists because far more of Harden's dimes went for an extra point. When he averaged a triple-double for the 1961-62 NBA season, that was only good enough for third place in the NBA MVP voting.

    4 things to know about Equal Pay Day

    The first daughter is now a White House advisor with her own West Wing office, and has fully embraced women's empowerment. This is to attempt to demonstrate what they refer to as the wage gap between men and women.
  • Russia Vetoes UN Draft Resolution on Alleged Gas Attack in Syria's Idlib

    Russia Vetoes UN Draft Resolution on Alleged Gas Attack in Syria's Idlib

    The pair told a news conference in Moscow that they had tried to seek common ground on a range of issues in a "frank" discussion. But he said Wednesday the US doesn't have "firm information" to show that Russian forces were involved in the gas attack.

    Weekend Reading: Microsoft Weekly 56 (Apr 3 - April 9)

    Feature updates, like the Creators Update and Anniversary Update, generally contain major new functionality and capabilities. And then if you want to use it as a laptop it clicks in, has a built in kickstand so suddenly it feels like a laptop.

    Johnson tipped to don Masters green jacket

    Still, 16 of the past 17 have been gone to players in the top 30, and eight of the past 10 have been won by players in the top 12. Instead, Sarazen ripped it with a four-wood on his second shot to achieve a double eagle/albatross to tie Wood on one stroke.
  • Easter Sunday: Day of resurrection - why it is important to Christians?

    The long holidays also afford people who live away from their families the chance to travel back to catch up with affairs at home. There seems to be a lack of good news: leastways, if we took note of what is presented to us over and over, we might think so.

    Shambolic Gunners Pile Pressure On Wenger

    Wenger, who has yet to sign the two-year deal that is on the table for him, said: "I wouldn't say that the players downed tools". But Wenger, who has repeatedly refused to say what he intends to do, was in no mood to discuss his own future after the defeat.
    Crist Praises US Airstrike on Syrian Air Base

    Crist Praises US Airstrike on Syrian Air Base

    Mike Lee of Utah, told the AP authorization from Congress should be sought before increasing the use of military force in Syria. Does our secretary of state have a plan he can reveal? The term runs like a greased pig through political discourse these days.
  • Garcia, Rose share Masters lead

    Garcia, Rose share Masters lead

    Spieth said he needs some time to regroup. "There's nothing that says I'm going to play bad or that I should play bad". Other holes at Augusta National are more famous and adorn artwork but few are more hard than the par-4 first hole.

    Ghost in the Shell Steelbook info, Gallery & 'Major Action' clip released

    Scarlett Johansson plays Major, who used to be a person but is now robot with a human brain or a human brain with a robot body. In one fleeting shot, a main character is riding in the back of a auto with an assistant, who is typing away on a laptop.

    Trump aide urges defeat of Michigan member of Freedom Caucus

    House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a CNN interview in March that Congress would pass a debt ceiling increase and avoid default. Meadows said the "hope" is that a vote could occur before the recess, but they're not setting any artificial deadlines.

CONNECT