Dallas Mavericks: Where does Luka Doncic stand in the MVP race?
4. James Harden- Houston Rockets
James Harden is leading the league in scoring again. He is averaging 34.4 points per game. Bradley Beal is the only other player even north of 30. Harden is on pace to be the first player since Michael Jordan in 1987 through 1993 to average over 30 points a night for at least three straight seasons.
Harden has slipped in the MVP race as the Rockets have fallen in the standings, though. Since the calendar flipped to 2020, he is shooting just 40.0 percent from the field and 31.0 percent on his 3-pointers. The counting numbers are still outstanding as he averages 29.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game.
The Rockets are underperforming expectations too. They are currently sixth in the Western Conference after many predicted them to be one of the top teams this season. The success angle plays into the MVP conservation. If it were just about counting numbers, Bradley Beal would be in the top five on the back of scoring over 30 a game. The Wizards only have 24 wins, though. That matters to voters.
When the season resumes, Harden has upward mobility. The top four are tightly packed in the race. The potential final stretch could sway plenty of voters.
Next: No. 3