James Harden believes he should be in the MVP conversation
Houston Rockets guard James Harden made yet another case for his MVP candidacy in a nationally-televised win over the Boston Celtics on Thursday night, pouring in 45 points in an offensive masterpiece to once again put up his name among the worthy to walk away with the award.
The Beard’s latest scoring barrage created added separation with the likes of Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Anthony Davis — elevating his scoring average to a ridiculous 32.7 points per game on the season — a number that will keep on rising after Chris Paul’s absence puts that much more of the offensive load on his broad shoulders.
Asked if he should belong in the MVP conversation, despite the Rockets being merely in seventh place in the West, Harden scoffed at the question, plenty sure of his worth.
“I mean, yeah. Of course I should be in that conversation,” James Harden responded, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, who noted some media vets’ eyes lit up, knowing he wasn’t done yet.
“I mean, I receive a lot of hate, but it won’t stop me from going out there and killing every single night, being that dog that I am,” Harden added, snarling when he used the word killing. “You can name a few other people that should be in the conversation. But realistically? It’s coming back.”
Harden won the Most Valuable Player award last season after losing to Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors for two straight years and to former teammate Russell Westbrook at the verge of a historic year.
This time around, Harden’s biggest obstacle is managing to lead his team to the playoffs — a task that could prove tough enough in a ruthlessly-narrow Western Conference.