Rockets’ Eric Gordon thinks James Harden ‘locked up’ the MVP award with 61-point outing
If there was ever any doubt of who the likely 2018-19 NBA Most Valuable Player is, James Harden put the debate to rest with his 61 point explosion over the San Antonio Spurs. His Houston Rockets teammate Eric Gordon certainly thinks so, too.
Eric Gordon on Harden's night: "That tops them all. MVP's locked up after today. The level of concentration he had throughout the whole game, it's just special."
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) March 23, 2019
Back-to-back MVP wins, while not exactly rare, is often hounded by controversy (unless you’re LeBron James) – but Harden’s spectacular season eliminates any possibility of dispute. The 6-foot-5 guard’s season has been a gold mine of statistical accolades and broken records (most of which from ultra-rare analytics bites culled by stat gurus and introduced in just the last season or two) that spell a compelling story for an MVP.
The only argument against Harden is team success with his Rockets 46-27 record a good eight games behind the best team (record-wise) that is the Milwaukee Bucks led by his closest competition to the award, Giannis Antetokounmpo – who was team captain of an All-Star team earlier in the year. Another contender (albeit a distant one) is the Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid who is a game ahead of the Rockets who is putting up monstrous averages of 27.5 points, 13.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.9 blocks per game. We also can’t discount the top Western Conference team down in the Bay Area with Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors also having a wonderful year although he’s obviously handicapped by having a roster that could play on an annual February weekend event.
However, the Rockets’ slate is slightly tainted by their slow start to the season as a result of a myriad of injuries most of which sidelined their key players including point guard Chris Paul and Harden himself. This proved to be a minor speed bump and they were back to business soon after, and we could very likely see The Beard hoist his second Maurice Podoloff trophy.