There were a lot of MVP worthy candidates in this year’s NBA season. From the likes of James Harden, Lebron James, Anthony Davis, etc. There can only be one player that takes home the trophy.
Before analyzing who the MVP should be, let’s take a look into what MVP means. Most Valuable Player. So who is the most valuable player? The most valuable to a team? Or to the league? A lot of controversy is thrown into this because it is never too clear.
If Russell Westbrook averaged a triple double on a losing team last year, would he have been named MVP? He might have been the best player in the league but he wouldn’t have been valuable into his team winning.
Jimmy Butler was very valuable to the Timberwolves this season. I don’t think they would have made the playoffs if it weren’t for his arrival to Minnesota. Yet he will get little to no MVP talk.
It is all confusing really. To me the most valuable player needs to be valuable to a good team that wouldn’t be good without them. This player also needs to be one of the best players in the game that season. The value comes from needing this player to win and that this player would be highly valuable to any other team.
Two players come into my mind this season that embody this definition. James Harden and Lebron James.
James Harden was phenomenal as always this season. He led the league in scoring and put up some absurd numbers during games. The difference this year that has given him the top of the MVP discussions is that he led the Rockets to the one seed throughout the playoffs.
He was highly valuable to his team and he is the reason the Rockets were the best team in the NBA. He would have also been highly valuable to other teams since he is such a dynamic scorer and can power his team to victory.
On the other hand, we don’t see Lebron James go into the playoffs holding the fourth seed too often. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t valuable though.
With the absence of Kyrie and a whole new looks Cavs team twice this season, Lebron had a lot to do with his team’s high seeding. He played through the all diversity while keeping an excellent stat line and pushing his team to wins. He played all 82 games and had arguably one of the greatest seasons of his career.
So who should take home the MVP award?
James Harden had a monster season but his team would have most likely made the playoffs without him since Chris Paul came to Houston during the offseason. Lebron James had to carry practically two different teams throughout the season and squeezed them into the four seed.
The Cavaliers would have not made the playoffs without Lebron. He also played more games than Harden which shows his value in playing hard through every game, especially since every game counted for the Cavaliers.
Personally, I would have to give the award to Lebron. He was the most valuable to his team and would be so throughout the entire league.
Although I don’t believe the actual voters will agree with my decision and take James Harden anyways, we won’t know for certain for a little while longer.