In an interview with Sports Illustrated James Harden had the balls to call himself the NBA MVP with almost three-quarters of the regular season left and damn it I have to agree with him so far. With all the buzz around former teammate Russel Westbrook and the super team in Golden State I think the bearded one is deserving. His play has been phenomenal and if he keeps this up Harden will be well on his way to achieving his first ever Most valuable player of the year award.
Last year was an off-year for Harden as with as much talent he possesses he was not named to either of the All NBA teams. However he has had a resurgence playing in the right offense with the perfect head coach. You also have to give credit to Harden for getting in incredible shape this offseason and taking his game to the next level. More importantly James Harden may be the first athlete in history to successfully be cured of the Kardashian curse which is unprecedented.
Initially I did not think that the way the Houston Rockets are currently constructed was capable of making the playoffs. I didn’t like the offseason acquisitions of Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson as I saw them repeatedly not be able to make it to the playoffs playing for my home state Pelicans. I did not agree with James Harden moving to the point guard position as he led the league in overall turnovers last season and found it quizzical why he would be named the teams primary ball handler and decision maker.
However I forgot one important and critical fact. That Mike D’antoni is basketball! He knows what he is doing and the reason why his last couple of stops as a head coach did not work out was because he did not have the type of regime capable of executing his genius strategy. I was devastated when he decided to walk away from my Lakers. He is also personally responsible for revolutionizing the game of basketball in the early millennium. Steve Nash was the perfect point guard for the D’antoni seven second or less offense which helped Steve Nash garner two most valuable player awards. Now D’antoni has another crafty left-handed who wears number 13 in James Harden that is even younger faster and more athletic.
The one flaw in the D’antoni philosophy is that although they are able to win many games with a high-octane offense the lack of defense has yet to get one of his teams a NBA finals appearance. Even if the Rockets can’t stop anyone on defense they may just have enough firepower to just out score their opponents by a tremendous amount. The Rockets are one of the only few teams to hold a victory over the Golden State Warriors which also suffer from a similar problem. In any event even if Houston is not a championship contender at least Harden will have an outstanding statistical season worthy of a lot of MVP votes.