2016-17 NBA Awards Predictions: Will Russell Westbrook Win The MVP?

Harden gets 21st triple-double leads Rockets past Kings

The most in a season by a player besides these two is from Artis Gilmore in 1978, an era of huge Afros and tiny shorts. He also broke the 55-year record by the "Big O" for the most triple-doubles in a season with 42. Westbrook tied the Big O's mark with 12 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists in a 110-79 win over Milwaukee last April 4. "He's super talented. One of the best in the league".

It's true; Leonard didn't average a triple double or assist on 2500 points this season.

Harden says there's no animosity toward Westbrook, his former teammate for several seasons at Oklahoma City.

Beasley should get a similar amount of run Wednesday against the Thunder.

It will be a nice series to watch and it will gauge who will be the real MVP - between James Harden and Russell Westbrook - long after the votes have been tallied.

What I do know is that their supporters - though that might be too light of a word - have been hellbent in politicking for their candidates over the last few months, and there's been an unmistakable trend among those camps.

Rose, Garcia tied for lead at Masters in prelude to finale
He was five shots behind until a tee shot to the left pin on No 12 landed 5 feet from the cup, starting his run of birdies. The two are trying to chase down the four co-leaders in Sergio Garcia, Charley Hoffman, Thomas Pieters and Rickie Fowler.

I agreed with Beverley that night in March, and I still agree with him: Harden should be the MVP, but my opinion doesn't matter, and neither does Beverley's. The team stumbles if Westbrook falters, but no one can shut him down.

In any other year, Westbrook's case wouldn't even be up for discussion, but because this campaign has seen several players have career seasons and perform at such high levels, we're somehow left deliberating whether a man averaging 31.9 points, 10.4 assists and 10.7 rebounds has been the best player.

Let us now take a closer look at each of this week's games to whet your appetite for them. Gregg Popovich didn't have to come back for his twenty-first season coaching the Spurs (he could've run for president!), but he did, largely because with Leonard, the team would still contend for the National Basketball Association championship. Combo-guard sharpshooter Eric Gordon should win Sixth Man of the Year. Houston thrives in offense and it's D'Antoni's formula to go far in the playoffs. Your name is James Harden and your Houston Rockets are 54-26, third place in the brutally tough Western Conference. They were all watching Westbrook, he is the story.

One of these arguments will win out amongst MVP voters, whose ballots are due at the end of the week, and it could irrevocably change how we discuss the National Basketball Association. He's also averaging more than 25 points per game, so he's certainly no slouch in the statistics department. Post players who can get rebounds, blocks, points, field goal percentage AND free throw percentage have an opportunity for high fantasy value. Either way, though, a great case could be made for either of them to win MVP. The Rockets fell 114-109 against the Detroit Pistons on Friday at home, their fourth loss in the last six games. Harden left for Houston after OKC lost to Miami in the NBA Finals in 2011-12. The Cavs are No. 1 in the East with a 51-28 record and will play Chicago, Indiana or Miami in the first round of the playoffs. The "system" has also allowed Westbrook to attempt 420 more shots than Harden has this season.

Curry, 29, is the league's back-to-back MVP. He shot 75% from the three point line and finished with 21 points.

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