Westbrook Frontrunner for MVP

By on March 31, 2017

 

(Jennifer Stewart / USA TODAY Sports)

With the regular season coming to an end, it’s almost time to name this year’s MVP.

This season’s candidates are all elite players battling it out to join the company of legends such as Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The competition is tough this year, but most voters would say that Russell Westbrook and James Harden are currently leading the race.

Both guards are having incredible seasons.

Westbrook is close to having a historic season, averaging a triple double. Harden is currently leading the league in assists, averaging 11.4 per game. Harden and Westbrook have stuffed the stats sheets and proven their roles as leaders.

However, there can only be one winner, and my vote is for Russell Westbrook.

Russell Westbrook is a walking highlight reel. He plays with a combination of passion and athleticism that makes him unstoppable.  After losing former teammate Kevin Durant in free agency to the Golden State Warriors, he has stepped up to fill the void, leading the Thunder to a 43-31 record and a sixth seed in the Western Conference.

To do this, Russell Westbrook had to become both a better leader and a more dynamic playmaker. He now accounts for a majority of the points scored by the Thunder, whether it’s a basket or an assist.

Westbrook is every defender’s worst nightmare. He can create shots and open his teammates up by drawing the double team. If he can’t get past the defense, Westbrook does a great job at drawing a foul. He averages 10.6 free throws per game. When Westbrook is off the court the offense doesn’t run as efficiently, as he is one of the two players that have a positive plus/minus rating per 100 possessions, and his 15 beats Steven Adams’ +0.6.

Wednesday night in the Amway Center Russell Westbrook made his case for MVP by putting together an outrageous comeback win against the Orlando Magic. In the 4th quarter, Westbrook scored 19 points to overcome a 21 point Magic lead and drained a corner three to send the game to overtime. Westbrook ended the night with 57 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists getting his 38th triple-double of the season. He also made history, setting the new record for most points scored in a triple-double. James Harden and Wilt Chamberlain were tied with 53 points. In overtime, Russell Westbrook had the whole crowd at Amway Center chanting MVP when he stepped to the free throw line.

More impressively, Russell Westbrook already has had 38 triple-doubles this season and there are still 8 games left. If he can average 5.8 rebounds and 6.9 assists in his remaining games he will average a triple-double on the season. Russell Westbrook is a 6-time All-Star and 2-time All-Star MVP that is respected by his teammates, other clubs in the league, and NBA fans. The perfect way to end Westbrook’s historic season is winning MVP.

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