James Harden played like an MVP Friday night, scoring 44 points and grabbing 14 boards, making key plays down the stretch, and lifting the Nets to a 113-111 win over a feisty Pistons team.
Harden has had a lot of games like this since coming to Brooklyn, and was asked after this game if he thinks he is in the MVP mix this season.
"I feel like I am the MVP" – James Harden pic.twitter.com/7zTAFGxcQ3
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) March 27, 2021
“I feel like I am the MVP. It’s just that simple.”
When asked to bolster his MVP case, Harden said:
“Numbers are showing it for itself, and we’re winning. That’s all I can say.”
Of course, Harden feels like this pretty much every year, but this season he certainly is part of the conversation — especially in the most wide-open MVP race in memory. Since coming to Brooklyn he has averaged 25.4 points with an amazing 61.7 true shooting percentage, plus 8.7 rebounds and a league-best 11.5 assists a game. He has taken on the facilitator role in Brooklyn, and has had to carry a heavy load with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving both missing time.
The knock on Harden’s MVP case is the entire season counts, including the part where he showed up to Houston’s training camp late and out of shape, demanded a trade, yelled at teammates, and torpedoed that franchise’s season. Some voters will hold that against him.
But since putting on a Nets uniform, Harden has looked every bit the MVP. He has every right to feel he deserves it.