Rockets’ Chris Paul says head-to-head matchups shouldn’t matter in MVP debate
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo may have gotten a leg up over Houston Rockets guard James Harden in the MVP race after leading his team to a 108-94 victory. However, point guard Chris Paul feels their head-to-head should not be a factor in the voting. Antetokounmpo made quite a statement by leading the Bucks to a solid win over the Rockets on Tuesday night. According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Paul does not think this loss should negate Harden’s candidacy for MVP:
“Obviously I’m biased about the MVP and whoever or whatnot, but those of you that decide it on head-to-head games with a few games left in the season, good luck with that,” Paul said. “Happened to me in ’08.”
Paul is likely referring to when he was in the midst of an MVP duel with Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant. Although their race had been close, Bryant’s stellar performance against Paul’s New Orleans Hornets may have helped him solidify his bid.
While Paul would likely deny it, head-to-head matchups have seldom been a determining factor for which player should win MVP. It also helps that Antetokounmpo did not have the best game compared to his usual standards. Paul is hoping that will prevent any recency bias in the voting.
Now that the MVP race has boiled down to these two players, their performances down the final stretch of the season will undoubtedly be under a microscope. While Harden has perhaps had the better individual season, the Bucks’ overall success combined with his mind-boggling numbers could potentially give him the edge he needs.
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