Explaining why James Harden is this year's NBA MVP

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We have had quite a season haven't we? LeBron James returned home to Cleveland to join forces with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Kevin Durant, last year's MVP, has missed most of the season with injuries and now won't be back until next year. Steve Kerr has vaulted the Golden-State Warriors to an unparalleled level. The Atlanta Hawks have become the beast in the East without the need of a superstar and now we have one of the tightest MVP battles in recent memory. 

To most people, there are four prime candidates with the chance to walk away with this year's honours; Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and James Harden. Each has had a spectacular season worthy of MVP consideration. Curry has lead the Warriors to the top seed in the NBA with his unbelievable shooting and ball-handling abilities.

Russell Westbrook has just decided to not give a damn about what opposing defences throw at him keeping OKC in the playoff race. LeBron James is LeBron James and has been an MVP candidate since he was 20. With his usual otherworldly play the Cavs are the 2nd seed in the East and are in true title contention. But James Harden has played on another level this season.

His Houston Rockets are the 2nd seed in the far superior Western Conference, he is second in the league in scoring at 27.2 points per game, he actually leads the league in points scored with nearly 300 more than second place, he is averaging a career high 7 assists a game and a career high 5.7 rebounds a game and he has done all this with All-Star Dwight Howard missing a large amount of the season with a knee injury. Remember when Harden was mercilessly mocked for his atrocious defense last year? Well now he's drastically improved that to the fact that he's 8th in league in defensive win shares which estimates how many wins a player has got for his team based on his defense.

The Beard has somehow kept the Rockets in contention with his all-round stellar play and without much help. Nobody else on the Rockets is anything more than a key role player. They have a few important players such as Trevor Ariza, Josh Smith and Terrence Jones, but none of them are stars.

Every other player in contention for MVP and the title this year has All-Stars on their team. Curry has his fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson and LeBron has Kyrie Irving. (Westbrook and OKC aren't in title contention this year only being the 8th seed.) Harden's incredible solo effort is exemplified by the fact that he leads the league in win shares. Nobody has contributed more to his team's success which is what the MVP is for.

James Harden isn't the best player in the league, that honour still belongs to the King LeBron James, but many people are wondering how long till James Harden is the true king of the NBA


James Harden
Houston Rockets
Southwest Division
Western Conference

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