James Harden setting himself up for another postseason failure? for vanguard sports , The Beard is on a mission.
With each passing game, the Houston Rockets are climbing out of the abyss and into respectability, headed toward contention in the Western Conference.
And James Harden, last season’s wire-to-wire Most Valuable Player, is openly stating his case for a repeat, bending the will of defenses with relentless 3-point attempts that stretch beyond today’s cultural norms, while sprinkling pinpoint passes for layups and dunks that keep defenses honest.
“I need it [another MVP]. I need it for sure. And I’m going to get it,” “He comes in and does extra work,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He knew he had to take his body to one more level up. He had to get into a better rhythm.”
It seems like he’s either getting to the free-throw line by inducing defenders to hack him or launching from 30 feet simply because he feels like it.
The numbers are staggering: He’s averaging 40.2 points in the last month with 9.6 assists and 6.8 rebounds.
He’s launching nearly 15 triples a game and looks no worse for wear. A second MVP will elevate him historically likely into one of the top five shooting guards in history and he’s not yet 30.
The Rockets have needed every last one of Harden’s scoring barrages, and Harden has been more than happy to oblige. But as he makes it his goal to re-insert his name into a conversation that seemed like a long shot several weeks ago, it begs the question: Will a run at a second straight MVP come at a cost for the Rockets?
Harden’s regular seasons have been filled with great stats, ankle-breaking moves and hilarious moments that have been turned into GIFs, and there’s something to be said about a player who takes 82 games so seriously.