James Harden is on a mission, and the NBA is starting to take notice. The Houston Rockets shooting guard averaged nearly 35 points over the past 7 days, and leads the NBA in scoring over the past 10. Over the past week, Harden shot 56% from the field and attempted 20 field goals per game. On the season, he’s averaging 43% from the field while attempting 19 shots a game: the star shooting guard is taking and making more shots, and as a result, Houston is flying. The Rockets went 2-1 this past week, defeating Portland and Memphis, two teams currently above them in the West, before losing by only four at San Antonio. Harden is right in the thick of the NBA’s MVP race, and his team is thriving as a result.
Harden currently has a comfortable lead atop the NBA’s scoring chart- 2.2 points per game more than Cleveland’s LeBron James, who currently sits in second. He’s averaging 7.0 assist and 6.1 rebounds a game, both career highs. Harden has stepped up his game of late, and continues to propel Houston towards home court in the playoffs. While other top teams in the West, such as Golden State, Memphis, and Portland, all have great players, Harden’s pedigree and playoff experience can rival all of them. With the addition of Josh Smith, Houston have the look of true title contenders, and it’s going to be Harden who leads them there.
James Harden is a front runner for NBA MVP, and it’s James Harden who wins our third annual Athlete of the Week.