Houston Rockets guard James Harden is playing the best basketball of his career, yet it seems as though he is being overlooked.
Through the second half of the season, everyone has been talking about Kevin Durant and LeBron James as the two clear-cut front-runners for the MVP award. They are the two best players in the NBA and are on two of the best teams in the league. Carmelo Anthony and Blake Griffin are among other players to have received significant attention for their play over the last few months.
However, Harden is going through the best stretch of his basketball career and does not seem to be getting as much attention. Since Feb. 1, Harden is averaging 28 points, 4.5 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 2.1 steals per game through 15 games. His shooting has been lights out as well. He is averaging 3.0 made three-pointers per contest while shooting 49.1 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from three-point range.
The Rockets won 13 out of those 15 contests. Houston has beaten the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers in their last five games, among other teams. Now the team sits in the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference with a record of 44-19. They are just 2.5 games back of the San Antonio Spurs for the top seed in the conference.
It’s understandable that teammates Dwight Howard and Chandler Parsons could also be taking away some of the attention from their star teammate. They, too, are playing terrific basketball. Parsons told the Houston Chronicle:
“He is ridiculous right now.”
He has also been named the Western Conference’s Player of the Week for two consecutive weeks.
The fact of the matter is, though, that Harden is the Rockets’ best player. He is also their most important player. He is attacking the rim relentlessly and creating his own shots while also setting up his teammates.
He is going through arguably the best stretch of his career. With him playing at this current level, Houston will be difficult to beat and it will be hard to overlook him for long.