James Harden was an absolute beast last season – 27.4 points, seven rebounds, more than five assists per night. As seemingly every other Rocket player of note went down injured for at least some stretch of time, Harden stepped up and made plays. Behind him, the Rockets won the Southwest Division, were the No. 2 seed in the playoffs, and reached the Western Conference Finals?
Can Harden and the Rockets both take the next step — can he win the MVP and the Rockets win a title? That’s the question on the table in this latest PBT Extra with Jenna Corrado.
I would argue the way for the Rockets to win the title is to take some of the weight off Harden’s shoulders. If Ty Lawson is healthy and is a quality second playmaker, if Dwight Howard is a defensive anchor and putting up offensive numbers, if the role players step up the Rockets can win a title. But if all that happens, Harden may slip in the MVP race. He’d make that trade, by the way.