"THROW THE DAMN TOWEL."
For LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, or any other player in the NBA, that's the reality right now.
The MVP race is over. James Harden is your winner. And he damn well deserves it.
Against a red-hot Trail Blazers team, in a stadium notoriously hard to win in on the road, James Harden secured his first MVP award, going off for 42/7/6 while ending the Blazers 13-game winning streak.
Really, Harden won the MVP award a long time ago, probably when he obliterated Wesley Johnson's ankles at the end of February, but this ended the debate.
Anthony Davis may have gone on a nice run to keep the Pelicans afloat. LeBron James may be having his best season at the advanced age of 33 (Seriously, why does everyone act like LeBron is 100? I know he's been in the league 15 years, but 33 is pretty young). And Russell Westbrook is once again going off for triple doubles at an alarming rate.
But James Harden is the best player in the league, leading the best team in the league and, after two straight years finishing as the MVP runner up, Harden deserves the MVP award.
If there's any debate, check out these stats.
James Harden’s NBA ranks:— LebronJamesHarden™ (@lbjamesharden) March 19, 2018
Points - 1st
PPG - 1st
Threes - 1st
Free Throws - 1st
Assists - 3rd
APG - 3rd
PER - 1st
Offensive win shares - 1st
Win shares - 1st
WS / 48 - 1st
Offensive BPM - 1st
BPM - 1st
VORP - 1st
Wins - 1st
Of course the one stat left out of the stats above is the clutch meter, and that honestly may be the most impressive part of Harden's season. No one in the league today, not Steph, Durant, LeBron, Westbrook, or Davis, has made more clutch shots throughout a season than Harden.
Curry came close three years ago, but the Warriors were blowing most teams out then, so while he made a lot of big shots, he was never asked to do everything Harden has been demanded to handle this year. And somehow Harden keeps answering the call.
With one clutch stepback after another, James Harden is putting the finishing touches on the Rockets’ run to the No. 1 and his first MVP. “That’s the best offensive player I’ve ever seen,” Mike D’Antoni says. https://t.co/ZQwWZMkPtY— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) March 21, 2018
Of course this will all be a moot point if Harden can't keep it going in the playoffs. But you know he's got a chip on his shoulder after being overshadowed by all the guys mentioned above, and after seeing his former teammate Kevin Durant win a title last year, there can be no doubt of his motivation.
Will James Harden and the Rockets win the title? That remains to be seen. What isn't in question anymore is your NBA MVP. That trophy belongs to Harden, and there's no denying it anymore.