The Players have Spoken

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The Players have Spoken

NBA Players Anonymously Pick Harden Over Giannis for MVP

A small segment of NBA players are not the only ones that choose who the MVP is, but if they were, this year’s MVP would be James Harden for a second consecutive year.

Of 122 NBA players, 44.3 percent voted for Harden. Giannis was right behind him with 38.9 percent and Paul George rounded out the top three with 12.7 percent. Joel Embiid, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard and Kawhi Leonard were the only others to receive votes.

According to Player Efficiency Rating (PER), Giannis is having the 12thbest season of all time, while Harden’s is 18thon that list. Giannis is averaging 27.7 points, 5.9 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.3 steals per game. He is on pace to become the first player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to average 27 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists per game, something only Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor have accomplished.  Not to mention, he’s led the Milwaukee Bucks to the best record in the NBA and is a serious contender for the Defensive Player of the Year award.

Harden, on the other hand is averaging an absurd 36.1 points per game – which if the season ended today – would be the 7thhighest average in NBA history.  The only other players to average more than 36 points per game in a single season are Michael Jordan, who average 37.1 in 1986-87, and Wilt Chamberlain, who did it five times from 1959-64. Harden has had a harder load to carry this season, with Chris Paul and Clint Capela missing significant parts of the season and the Rockets will finish with a top 5 record in the NBA.

Who the actual MVP will be, is of course still a toss-up. Both players have built up exceptionally strong cases, making this one of the most competitive MVP races of all time and bringing up the distinct possibility of having Co-MVP’s this year.

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