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

By John Davidson
on Apr 11, 2017 10:53 AM EDT
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The NBA regular season is about to end in a couple of days but the Most Valuable Player Award is down to two players - Russell Westbrook and James Harden. In the first installment of our NBA Awards Predictions for the 2016-17 NBA season, will Westbrook win the MVP Award over Harden?

According to the latest KIA MVP Ladder, Russell Westbrook has the edge over James Harden because of his historic season. "Brodie" became the first player since Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double in a season. He also broke the 55-year record by the "Big O" for the most triple-doubles in a season with 42. The 28-year-old superstar is averaging 31.9 points, 10.7 rebounds, 10.4 assists and 1.7 steals with two games remaining in the season.

Russell Westbrook has taken over the Thunder since Kevin Durant left to join the Golden State Warriors. He has put up historical numbers across the board while leading OKC to the sixth seed in the Western Conference. They will face James Harden and the Houston Rockets in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

On the other hand, Harden is having a historic season too as he transitioned from being a scorer to a playmaker under Mike D'Antoni. He is leading the league in assists with 11.2 per game to go along 29.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.5 steals.

The advantage "The Beard" has over Russell Westbrook is the Rockets have a better record than the Thunder. The Rockets are the third-best team in the Western Conference and Harden believes that it's the most important part in winning the MVP Award.

"I thought winning is what this is about - period. I'm not going to get in-depth with all that, but I thought winning was the most important thing. If you set your team up in a position to have a chance, at the ultimate goal, that's the most important thing," Harden said, per ESPN.

Both Russell Westbrook and James Harden deserve to win the MVP Award but only one is going to take it home. The best bet is Westbrook because he broke a record that was deemed unbreakable. Other players that could receive votes include LeBron James, Isaiah Thomas and Kawhi Leonard.

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