The best player on the best team: James Harden will be NBA MVP for 2017-18

With their upcoming awards show tonight airing on TNT, the NBA would like you to believe that the MVP race is up for grabs. Unless you live in Houston, you might even fall for that.

It seems like the last time we saw James Harden was months ago. The biggest impression many of us have is LeBron James dominating the playoffs; willing a ragtag group of Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA Finals. Not only that, this off-season has brought nothing but talk about LeBron and where he’ll end up. You might even be thinking more about Kevin Durant, the newly-minted repeat NBA FInals MVP.  And though Anthony Davis og the New Orleans Pelicans had a fantastic finish to the season, there’s no doubt that when we look at the MVP award from that lens, it’s no competition.

Don’t get it twisted. Don’t let the deluge of “Where is LeBron going?” news sway you. Don’t waste your money with how to bet online or whom to bet for this year’s NBA MVP.  There’s no doubt. The 2018 winner of the NBA MVP will be James Harden. Full stop.

The Regular Season was a Long Time Ago

January seems like ages ago, but that’s when MVP award was really determined before the midway point of the season. Flashback to when Harden shouldered the burden for the Rockets and returned from a hamstring strain to lead Houston to the NBA’s best record.

As we wrote about a month ago, the biggest factor when it comes to the NBA’s MVP historically — looking at the past 60+ MVPS — has been winning. For the 2017-18 season, Houston had the best record in the league by a handful of games and it wasn’t even close. They won 65 games — six more than the team with the second most wins, the Toronto Raptors.

So we can talk all day about LeBron being the NBA’s best player and how important Davis was in the playoffs (which included that shocking sweep of the Portland Trailablazer). Yes, LeBron is better than Harden, but the combination of the Rockets having the best record in the league and Harden leading the charge, he covers both popular arguments that go into deciding the MVP. Simply put, Harden was the best player on the best team in the league.

Not to mention  that the bearded lefty has been the runner-up for this award two of the last three years, so he’s put in his time, didn’t complain (too loudly) about not getting the award. There’s no doubt that it’s Harden turn as the MVP this year.

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