The most prestigious award of the night goes to James Harden of the Houston Rockets
By Klyde Manansala | Photo from Instagram
James Harden finally won his first Most Valuable Player of the Year award after a stellar performance with the Houston Rockets in the 2017-18 NBA season.
The prolific scorer averaged 30.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game while leading the Rockets to a franchise-record of 65 regular season wins.
According to ESPN, the Beard is only the fourth player in the league history to average at least 30 points a game while leading a team to 65 regular season wins. The other three players who achieved this were Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Stephen Curry.
The Rockets were able to make the Western Conference finals last season where they put on a superb performance against the defending champions Golden State Warriors, and nearly pushed them at the brink of elimination after putting the Warriors’ legacy at stake in game seven. In their do-or-die match-up, Harden came out with a 32-point performance but the Warriors’ firepower was just too much for the Rockets who lives and dies by the three-point line.
Among the candidates whom Harden defeated was LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers who also had a masterful 15th season in the NBA, averaging 27.5 points, career-high 9.1 assists, and 8.6 rebounds while not missing any game in the entire season. With the absence of DeMarcus Cousins due to an injury, New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis also stood out in all aspects by averaging 30.9 points, 11.9 rebounds, 3.2 blocks, and 2.0 steals.