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Two dynamic scorers. Two of the leagues best players. Two of the best guards in today’s game. Two Most Valuable Player candidates. Two former teammates. Russell Westbrook and James Harden rarely disappoint the fans when they have the ball in their hands. In the race for the leagues best player (at least for this season), these two players might be tilting the scales in either direction every time they play.
Neck and Neck: The last time the NBA witnessed a player finishing a season averaging a triple-double was Oscar Robertson’s 1961-62 campaign (30.8 ppg,12.5 rpg, 11.4 apg). Westbrook leads the league in triple-doubles with 27, Harden is second with 15. The player with the most double-doubles in the league is Harden with 45 and Westbrook is right behind him with 43. There’s not a stat in the league where one player is leading and the other player is far off.
Let’s just not stop there, Westbrook ranks first in point per game averaging 30.8 while Harden ranks third with 29.2. Harden, now the point guard for the Houston Rockets leads the league in assists with an 11.3 average and Westbrook is peeking around the corner at 10.1, good for third place. Every time you look at one, the other is right there. They rank one and two in rebounds amongst guards and both players have recorded triple-doubles with 50 points or more this season. It’s really hard to find the separation between the two. It almost seems like they are trying to “one up” each other everytime they step on the court.
The race for MVP is a marathon and these stats will go a long way towards determining the winner. I’m not sure how far apart these two players are but they’re definitely ahead of the rest of the league. The final vote for the MVP will come down to Harden vs. Westbrook, everybody else is playing for third place.