Russell Westbrook isn’t the only guy reaching triple-doubles this season. James Harden has been doing the same in the Rockets 8-game winning streak. While one may say Westbrook is deserving of the MVP title, Harden is proving to be a very close second in the race.
The Rockets have been winning big under new head coach Mike D’Antoni and are looking like one of the teams to beat in the Western Conference. After being bounced out of the playoffs after looking like serious contenders the past two seasons, the Rockets are shaping up to be a major, if not the biggest surprise in the NBA. Not to mention that Harden is on an historic run in a season where they can be serious title contenders.
James Harden’s 40-point triple-double last night put him with elite company. pic.twitter.com/Y9fQr1wWcZ
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 9, 2017
James Harden is a unique one. He has led the league in turnovers in 3 of his 4 seasons as a Rocket and can very well so do this again this season. Despite this, he has been a scoring machine for Houston. If turnovers were a positive stat, Harden would be recording quadruple-doubles like it’s nothing.
Although Harden has 2 triple doubles with 40 points, he became the first player to score a triple double with 40 points and 10+ turnovers since turnovers became a recorded stat in the 1977-1978 season. Needless to say, Harden has skillfully mastered the best and worst sides of the ball. Take it how you want it.
With a win over the Hornets, the Rockets look to move only a half game back on the second seed and game and a half back of the Warriors.
If the Rockets continue their winning streak and finish with a better record than the Oklahoma City Thunder, it could very well be that Harden wins the MVP title. However, it’s not out of the picture of Westbrook winning the title. It would be interesting to see who ends up taking the cake when the time comes.
The Rockets host the Warriors January 20th and this game will be a huge one. The Warriors are not as dominate as they were a season ago, lacking the chemistry that the Rockets seem to have developed. By seasons end, with the Spurs being the other obstacle, the Rockets can be the top seed in the playoffs, and Mike D’Antoni should be in the running for coach of the year.