Mike D’Antoni says James Harden is playing as well as he has ever played
After putting up a historic season last year, Houston Rockets superstar James Harden is deservedly the reigning Most Valuable Player of the league. According to his head coach, Mike D’Antoni, the 29-year-old has not lost a step this season, and has been able to sustain his MVP form from last term.
Speaking after his team’s Harden-led 102-97 victory against the Utah Jazz, coach D’Antoni was singing the praises of his cornerstone stud, claiming that Harden is currently playing the best basketball of his life.
D’Antoni on Harden tonight: “He’s playing at a level… I know he’s been MVP and everything, but this level is really high. As good as he’s ever played.”
— ClutchFans (@clutchfans) December 18, 2018
There were a handful of worthy contenders to the MVP award last season, but Harden’s amazing year absolutely stood out. The general assumption was that it would be very difficult for Harden to outdo himself this season, but in the mind of his coach, he is doing just that.
Looking at the numbers, it would be hard to argue against D’Antoni. In 26 appearances this season, Harden has averaged a career-best and league-leading 31.5 points (on 45.4 percent shooting), 4.1 three-pointers (also a career-best), 5.8 rebounds, 8.2 assists, 2.2 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 5.6 turnovers (ouch) in 36.3 minutes per action. Those are certainly some eye-popping numbers worthy of another MVP trophy.
However, Harden’s outstanding play has not translated to a similarly remarkable record for his team. The Rockets’ struggles this season have been well-documented, and with a 15-14 record, they are currently a half game outside the Playoffs picture at 10th place in the Western Conference.
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