Sports: James Harden On Insane Tear
by Nnamdi Chugbo
Over the month of January, Houston Rockets guard and reigning NBA MVP James Harden has been on an insane run of elite scoring.
Harden is averaging a whopping 43.6 points per game and has led the Rockets to an 8-6 record, even though their roster was torn apart by multiple injuries. Scoring numbers similar to this haven’t been seen since March of 1963, when legendary big man Wilt Chamberlain averaged 45.8 points per game.
The Rockets guard did not go a single game in January without scoring over 30 points. Harden is currently on a 24-game streak of 30+ scoring numbers, which began back in early December. Again, the only player who has ever touched records above these is Wilt Chamberlain, who scored 30 or more points for 25 games straight, 31 games straight, and 65 games straight. Currently, Harden is doing what nobody thought was possible in the modern NBA by going at records that have only been touched by Chamberlain.
The recent surge of scoring averages for James Harden may be due to the absence of his fellow star guard, Chris Paul, who had sat out 17 games which lasted for almost the whole of January due to a strained left hamstring.
Harden stepped up his scoring averages to carry his team to maintain a positive winning record during the month. Paul’s return to the hardwood may average out Harden’s numbers and spread the wealth throughout the team. In his first game back – on January 27th – Paul scored 12 points in 25 minutes, but his scoring numbers are due to rise as he gets back into the motions of the game.
James Harden is the NBA’s reigning Most Valuable Player and is surely the leading candidate to win this year’s award again. He is making a strong campaign towards this with the way he is leading the Rockets in scoring while also making some important plays on the defensive end, even though he is often criticized and painted to be terrible defender.
His main competitor for the title is currently Paul George, who arguably is a better two-way player than Harden. However, it is clear to see that Harden is currently the only player on the Rockets who has consistent playmaking abilities and can create opportunities not just for himself, but for his teammates too.
The winner of the 2018-19 NBA MVP will be settled depending on if Harden can continue to keep scoring and leading his team, alone, at this elite level.