In the chase for Kia MVP this season, Houston Rockets star James Harden is considered by many — including our own Race to the MVP expert, Sekou Smith — to be the odds-on favorite. A season of leading your team to the top spot in the NBA standings (as well as fending off the defending champions for the No. 1 overall seed) can do that for a player.
Yet as Harden’s Houston Rockets continue to roll and seek a 17th straight win tonight in Toronto (7:30 ET, NBA League Pass), another team and player in the Western Conference is making a late MVP surge. Anthony Davis has powered the New Orleans Pelicans to 10 straight wins and, in the process, bolstered his own MVP case.
Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors has never been one to shy away from giving his opinion on league matters and topics. When asked who had the edge in the MVP chase, Green could envision a scenario in which Davis surges past Harden for the hardware. reports Chris Haynes of ESPN.com:
James Harden appears to be the front-runner to snag his first MVP award, but Draymond Green warns that Anthony Davis could be the individual who prevents the Houston Rockets guard from securing the hardware, an award that he was runner-up for in two of the past three years.
“Houston is having a good [season], but I’m most impressed with New Orleans,” Green said after shootaround on Thursday. “With some of the games they won, with some of the numbers that AD has put up, has been incredible and they’re doing that without DeMarcus. I think there was kind of a consensus around the world that once DeMarcus went out, that they’d struggle, and yet, AD is putting them boys on his back …That’s impressive.”
“If [New Orleans] keeps winning at the rate they’re winning and he keeps playing at the rate he’s playing, who knows what happens,” Green said. “What I will say is, James has been second two times. And both of those years, he’s lost to like historic seasons. The season of Steph’s year, Steph was just off the chart. And then Russ had like 57 triple-doubles last year. The two years that he’s come in second, he’s lost two in like these historical years.
“You knew it wouldn’t be long before he actually does pull through and win one, and then I know if you’re him, you’re sitting there like, ‘Man, now here come AD putting up different historical stat lines every night.’ But James has had a great year. Their team is performing great. So, I don’t know what happens, but he’s put himself in the best position he possibly can, that’s for sure.”
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