At this point early in the season, Houston Rockets superstar James Harden is already making a strong case to reclaim his MVP title. Right now, the 30-year-old is producing at a mind-boggling rate, averaging a league-best 39.3 points (on 44.8 percent shooting), 5.9 rebounds, 7.5 assists, and 2.0 steals while also connecting on 5.0 3-pointers per game on a 36.1 percent clip.

Harden is so good right now that Rockets general manager Daryl Morey strugg

“This year, he is better again,” general manager Daryl Morey told Mark Medina of USA TODAY Sports. “It’s unprecedented in NBA history for a guy to get better like this.”

Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni echoed Morey's thoughts, saying he also firmly believes that Harden has improved significantly:

“He’s getting better every year and even more efficient,” D’Antoni told USA TODAY Sports. “We can put him on the hardest player on the other team. He still plays his 40 minutes and doesn’t get tired. I think he’s a lot better this year than last year.”

For Morey, he thinks it's all about Harden's unmatched basketball IQ:

“James is the smartest basketball player I have been around,” Morey said. “So he’s having fun solving the puzzle.”

Looking at James Harden's numbers alone, it's hard to argue against Morey and D'Antoni here. It is worth noting, however, that at this point in the season, Harden is still far from being the runaway MVP winner. Such is the elite level of competition that even a guy averaging close to 40 points a game is not considered to be a shoo-in as the league's best player.