Stephen Curry STILL over James Harden for MVP


Let’s be real here, Stephen Curry is the league MVP. About a week or so ago, I showed you that Curry’s impact on the court was greater per minute than any of his contenders for the MVP crown. However James Harden is not convinced.

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Jenny Dial Creech reported on her Twitter feed that Harden claimed he had “done enough” to win the award. Maybe Harden has done enough to win an MVP award, but he has not done enough this year to win this one.

Fortunately Harden has his own rationale on why he should be the MVP. Here are statements made to this week.


“I feel as though I am the MVP…I think the MVP is the most valuable player to your team. Obviously you have to be winning and be one of the top teams in this league and we are.”

First blush says that the very same could be said about Stephen Curry. He just broke his own three pointer record and the Golden State Warriors are the best team in the League right now. So this can’t be all of Harden’s feelings.

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  • Second:

    “I’m not taking credit away from anybody else in the league. But I’ve been consistent all year. I’ve just been doing the right things to put my team in situations to win, considering all of the different circumstances we’ve had to deal with.”

    Curry has also been consistent all year, doing the right things to help his team win, and had to deal with different circumstances. Those different circumstances that Harden is referring is code for ‘Dwight Howard hurt’ and possibly ‘adding Josh Smith’ which is something Curry did not have to deal with.

    Harden has not really made the case here though with these two items other than suggesting he has had a tougher road to travel than Curry. That sort of suggests Curry is riding on his team’s laurels rather than empowering them. That seems to be a hard thing to prove.

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    “I’m looking at all those things put together…Like I said, not taking away from Steph or that team. It’s an unbelievable season that they’re having. But we’re having a pretty good season as well with all the injuries and all that we’ve been going through this season.”

    Harden pretty much negates his argument with his final statement. Looking at all those things put together doesn’t give him a better case for the MVP. In his case, his argument relies on the adversity in the Rockets’ season. Pick Harden because Harden dealt with more stuff and kept his team winning.

    Except that should have given Harden a statistical edge. More minutes means more points, rebounds, and assists. Shouldn’t the numbers scream for Harden?

    By playing about three hundred more minutes than Curry, Harden has about three hundred more points. He has also given the ball away sixty more times. He has sixty fewer assists than Curry. So once again we’re looking at the problem of assessing value.

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  • This brings us back to the Impact Formula. Let’s update to today:

    The Impact Formula is Points + 2(Assists + DReb + Blocks + Steals) – 2(Turnovers)

    Harden = 2126 + 2 (532 + 367 + 56 + 148) – 2(305)
    Harden = 3722 (Total Impact)
    Curry = 1841 + 2 (597 + 276 + 16 + 153) – 2(241)
    Curry = 3443 (Total Impact)

    So this is where Harden would stake his claim. Over the course of the season, he has the higher cumulative totals. Of course he has also played three hundred more minutes than Curry. Do we assess that as Harden being an iron man?

    The best way to determine who the best player in the League is to see who impacts the game more on a per minute basis. So let’s divide impact by minutes played and see which player offers better output while he is on the court.

    Harden = 3722/2803 = 1.328
    Curry = 3443/2490 = 1.383

    If you had an NBA team and you wanted the most impact on the floor that you could get per minute played, you would choose Curry. Hopefully the MVP vote will as well.