Group of NBA players pick Rockets’ James Harden over Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo for MVP
Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher polled more than a dozen players in the NBA, and most of them have Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden winning the MVP award over Milwaukee Bucks swingman Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Antetokounmpo has guided the Bucks to the best record in the NBA and is putting up a stat line which hasn’t been done since the legendary Oscar Robertson.
However, Harden has been on a scoring tear this season which we haven’t seen since the legendary Wilt Chamberlain was playing.
Because of Harden’s scoring prowess and ability to take over games in the fourth quarter, players around the league are giving him the edge over Giannis in the MVP race:
“Late game, Giannis doesn’t have the ball in his hands to win,” Magic guard Evan Fournier said. “For an MVP, that’s kind of hard.”
Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari was quick to give the nod to Harden. Again, it was Harden’s ability to get a basket whenever needed that mattered most.
“They’re different players,” Gallinari said. “James is an amazing scorer. He can score in every way imaginable. He doesn’t have weaknesses. To have the Rockets doing so well in the West, I would vote for him.”
Detroit Pistons big man Jon Leuer didn’t see a tiebreaker as necessary, either. Harden’s heroics, surrounded by a roster churned both by the acquisition and then release of 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony as well as a slew of injuries, was enough.
“To me, it’s Harden,” Leuer said. “People say his numbers are inflated because of D’Antoni’s system, and he dribbles the air out of the ball, but carrying his team every night no matter who is out there, you can’t go against that. The team thing does factor in, which is why Giannis has to be considered. But the knock was the Rockets were a lower seed, and now they’re one of the top four in the West. I just don’t see how it’s not James.”
Both James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo are putting up unbelievable numbers this season.
We’ll have to wait until the NBA awards in June to find out who will be crowned the 2019 MVP.
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