Houston Rockets: James Harden Has MVP-Like Numbers in All But One Category

By Ryan Heckman


Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets are proving me wrong so far this year. I did not think that the addition of Dwight Howard would make such an enormous difference, but it’s Howard that’s proved me wrong the most and has made the most of his fresh start. Still, the Rockets have a ways to go if they are to compete for a championship. But, the addition of Howard compiled with an MVP-like start to the season by James Harden has this franchise full of promise.

Harden has been downright incredible in almost every aspect of his game. Shooting nearly 45 percent, Harden has averaged 24.3 points per game. Not only that, but he’s been good for at least two triples per night. The guy can score from anywhere on the court. He’s gotten to the free throw line about nine times per game and is shooting over 86 percent from the charity stripe.

Harden is also averaging 5.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.9 steals.

With such a wide array of impressive statistics thus far, Harden is playing his way toward the top of the MVP discussion with guys like LeBron James, Chris Paul, Paul George and Kevin Durant. But, there is one area that Harden is lacking in, and that is hurting his overall efficiency.

Harden’s PER at the moment sits at 21.24 which is a very solid rating, but what’s dragging him down from being upwards of 25-30? The fact that he’s not been able to keep his turnovers under control is the answer. Harden is averaging 4.6 turnovers per game, by far the highest on the team.

If Harden can get his abnormal turnovers under control, he’d be able to offer even more to the Rockets and to his MVP case. For his career, he’s only put up just over two turnovers per game — thus the fact that this 4.6 per game is a bit astounding. Harden is a smart player for the most part, so I don’t anticipate this continuing for very much longer. We’ll see what happens to his overall MVP case and PER once the turnovers are toned down a bit.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for RantSports.comFollow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.



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