The MVP race the last few years has been mostly a race between two players or even a lock for a single player, but this season has been a rollercoaster of players that are in the run.
It started with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kawhi Leonard being favorites. Then we had the standard LeBron James, and even Paul George jumped into the mix with a fantastic season. And now James Harden is statistically dominating the NBA, as he is currently the frontrunner to win it again. But there is one more name in the mix.
ESPN’s analyst Max Kellerman joined NBA Countdown with a few retired NBA players like Paul Pierce, Jalen Rose, and Chauncey Billups. He strongly shared his opinion that Stephen Curry is the MVP so far.
Stephen Curry is averaging 29.3 PPG, 5.4 APG, and 5.1 RPG, which are great stats, especially playing with a bunch of stars alongside him in Golden State. On the other side James Harden is averaging 36.3 PPG, 8.2 APG, and 6.6 RPG, which are way better stats, but then again he has the ropes of the Rockets, as they are hit with numerous injuries. But still, a lot of people are on Harden’s side, as he is making history.
Kellerman is basing his argument on efficiency, or to be more specific the True Shooting Percentage in which Curry is leading the league. Harden is not too shabby in that category, as he is 4th, but still behind Steph.
The second fact he brought out is that Harden gets more stats because he is playing alone on the offense without a dominating scorer along him. Per 36 minutes, when Durant and Thompson are on the bench, Curry is averaging identical stats as Harden, with the only difference being his usage rate is slightly lower. So Curry is also having a historic season like Harden, just on the low.
It is a fascinating argument that is very hard to side on. Both players are having incredible seasons, and you can’t take away from either one of them. That’s why the MVP award is so complicated. Because what does most valuable mean? You can be valuable on a lot of different areas on the court, not just based on who scores the most. That’s why maybe the NBA should take a page out NFL’s book, which has a variety of most valuable awards, including the offensive MVP, defensive MVP, and regular MVP. It would ease the selection.
Never the less, there is a lot of season left to be played, so there is time for both of those players to make their case stronger or another name to jump into the conversation.