Not surprisingly, Houston Rockets star James Harden has been named the Western Conference Player of the Month. On the other side of the country, Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid nabbed the honor for the Eastern Conference:
The NBA has announced that Philadelphia #76ers center Joel Embiid and Houston #Rockets guard James Harden have been name the East and West Players of the Month for January. #Sixers
— Tomer Azarly (@TomerAzarly) February 1, 2019
Did you expect anyone other than Harden to win the award for the West?
The 28-year-old had a historic month of January, averaging 43.6 points, 8.7 rebounds, 7.6 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.2 blocks over 38.8 minutes per game while shooting 43 percent from the floor, 33.5 percent from three-point range and 90.6 percent from the free-throw line.
Dating back to the middle of December, Harden currently owns a streak of 24 straight 30-point games, most recently dropping a modest 37 points in a loss against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Through January, Harden racked up eight 40-point performances, also logging a pair of 50-point outings and a 61-point outburst in a win over the New York Knicks on Jan. 23.
In 10 of the 14 games Harden played in January, he recorded double-digit free throw outings in 10 of them, topping out at 25 free-throw attempts during his performance against the Knicks.
On the season overall, the reigning MVP is registering 36.3 points, 8.1 assists and 6.7 boards across 37.4 minutes a night while making 43.8 percent of his field-goal attempts, 36.7 percent of his long-distance tries and 86.9 percent of his foul shots.
Embiid had a terrific month himself, posting 29.2 points, 13.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and two blocks through 32.2 minutes per game, connecting on 48.8 percent of his shots, 34.6 percent of his triples and 80.4 percent of his free throws.
He tallied 11 double-doubles in January, most recently racking up 26 points and 20 boards in a win over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night.
For the season, the center is averaging 27.2 points, 13.4 boards, 3.6 dimes and 1.9 blocks over 33.4 minutes a night while making 48.5 percent of his shots, 30.2 percent of his treys and 80.2 percent of his foul shots.