Rockets vs. Thunder: MVP Shootout

Is James Harden or Russell Westbrook the better player?

While the NBA Playoffs won’t start until April 15th, the match-ups for the Round 1 games are already set. One of the highly anticipated games is the #3 Houston Rockets facing off against the #6 Oklahoma City Thunder. But the most talked about factor of this game isn’t necessarily which team will win but which star will play better, James Harden or Russell Westbrook. All season there have been talks of these two each being in contention for the MVP spot and all of the debating could come to an end after this game.

4 reasons James Harden is the MVP pick

  1. He is the first ever NBA player to both score and assist on 2,000 points in a single season.
  2. His team is ranked higher in the Western conference
  3. Most games in NBA history with 30-plus points and 15-plus assists
  4. Leads the league in assists per game

CBS Sports says of Harden:

“The Rockets are special this season, and that is first and foremost because of the play of Harden.”

4 reasons Russell Westbrook is the MVP pick

  1. 42 triple-doubles in a season, NBA record
  2. Has a higher average points per game than Harden
  3. Second player in league history to average a triple-double
  4. Many believe Westbrook carried the Thunder to their playoff spot

The New York Post says of Westbrook:

“Russell Westbrook doesn’t take ‘rest games.'”

Below is a side-by-side breakdown of some of Harden and Westbrook’s stats. No matter which player is your pick, you have to admit that they’ve both showed up this season.



Author: sportswille

Reformed ad agency guy. Sac Kings, PGA Tour, Pebble Beach, Aspen yielded fascination with sports business. Now teach at my alma mater, University of Texas Austin: Integrated Marketing, Social Media, Business and Law and Sports Audiences. 40 year streak of single digit handicap under severe pressure.

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