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Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni thinks James Harden is the MVP ‘by far’

Mike D'Antoni

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni seems to think that reigning NBA MVP James Harden is the clear frontrunner thus far for the 2018-19 NBA MVP award.

D’Antoni made these comments after Harden earned his fourth straight 40-point game on Monday night, as Houston grabbed a 113-101 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. The final box score for the Rockets star saw him posting an eye-popping statline of 43 points, 13 assists, and 10 rebounds.

His elite performance — the latest in a 10-game stretch that’s seen him averaging 40.8 points per game — helped his team pick up their fifth straight win and their 10th in the past 11 games, which has Houston back on track after an underwhelming 11-14 start on the season.

Harden is now averaging 33.3 points, 8.4 assists, and 5.8 rebounds per game this season, which are certainly numbers worthy of being in the MVP race.

However, it’s what he’s been able to do recently that has given him the biggest case to be named NBA MVP in a field full of other candidates around the league, as he has simply been spectacular in his ability to lead the Rockets to numerous victories.

It’s no surprise that Harden would be able to put together this type of stretch, and at this point, he’s pretty much unguardable in certain situations.

He’ll look to keep his 40-point streak going on Thursday night when the Rockets hit the road for a Western Conference Finals rematch with the Golden State Warriors.

Houston won the previous meeting between the two teams this season, with Harden and company earning a 107-86 win back on Nov. 15.

After the showdown with the Warriors, the Rockets will hit the road for a matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.