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Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni says James Harden is playing at MVP level again

Mike D'Antoni, James Harden, Rockets

Houston Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni has been brimming with pride, as his team has managed to slowly climb out of the bottom of the Western Conference on the shoulder of superstar guard James Harden. The Beard put up a game-high 47 points in a win over the Utah Jazz on Monday, one of many high-octane performances.

While the scoring was expected, Harden added six rebounds, five assists and five steals in a hard-fought 102-97 win over the Jazz, which catapulted the Rockets above the .500 mark at 15-14.

“There’s just a determination, he’s not going to let us lose,” D’Antoni said of Harden, according to Maurice Bobb of Bleacher Report. “He cares. Every big shot, every big play — this is at least an MVP level. He’s the Western Conference Player of the Week for a reason.”

While the Rockets have struggled to start out the season as dominantly as they did in the last campaign, Harden is putting forward his best effort in hopes to navigate this team into playoff contention.

“We’re in a hole,” he said. “I keep saying the same thing, but you look at the standings, and it’s like, ‘this sucks.’ Just to look and see that you’re not where you’re supposed to be. We just need to continue to work and build our way up there.”

The West is tougher than it has been in the past two decades, boasting three teams with a winning record currently outside of the playoff picture — none other than the Texas Triangle of Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.