Chasing MVP: Giannis Deserves MVP over James Harden’s Fluffed Up Stat Line

Over the past weekend James Harden bolstered a 50 point triple double. All the media outlets were loving it, he was getting all the praise and everyone dubbed him MVP after the performance. I get it, he’s been putting up these monster stat lines over the course of this season, but have they REALLY warranted the MVP status THIS year?! I don’t think so. That title belongs to the Greek Freak.

First off, in a strange year where the west isn’t nearly as good as it usually is and the East is better than it usually is, Giannis has had his team sitting or flirting with the #1 seed all season long, it wasn’t until Chris Paul and Clint Capela got back that Harden could even break the top 5 in the West and for a good chunk of the season they were sitting on the outside looking in. No matter what, the MVP should be able to bring his team to at least the 4th seed by himself, aka with good role players around him and being the only superstar.

Secondly, Harden had a streak of 298 straight points in isolation. If you watched that streak, it may have been some of the worst basketball to watch. Harden would run the clock down to about 4 seconds left and then either draw a foul or launch a three. In a Mike D’Antoni styled offense and the current NBA of ticky-tack fouls, OF COURSE he’s gonna put up monster numbers when he doesn’t have another player to defer to.

Giannis also edges Harden out as of this moment in player efficiency, as the most efficient player in the league this year, pretty valuable to have the most efficient guy in the league.

But the biggest thing of all when you have two players playing THIS WELL in a single season is the eye test. Watching Harden this year get away with so many blatant travels and soft calls is what is hard to give him the most prestigious regular season award. If refs let Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, or Giannis walk as much as they let Harden, all of them would put up Harden numbers. Harden stans will say he’s unguardable, but when you can push off and take 4 steps, any player with his skill level would be.

End of the day, for me, Giannis has led his team to greener pastures this season and has played with a shorter deck than Harden has and for that, he is my MVP. But I don’t get a vote so it doesn’t really matter.


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