If what you do for your team is most responsible for it being the best, you should be the most valuable player.
That is the argument for James Harden. There are other reasons, which we’ll get to, and not a few. Many. A ton. A plethora. But that’s the best one I can create. The Rockets are better with James Harden on the floor doing what he does offensively than any other candidate’s team is when they’re on the floor.
Harden’s growth this season is phenomenal. I don’t think year over year, for a player or team, should matter in this conversation, but it needs to be recognized. Harden returned from a dismal 2016 masked by good numbers with renewed focus. He brought leadership, a better work ethic, and a willingness to adapt to a system that other superstars had failed to take advantage of. In doing so, he at once maximized what he’s been doing since arriving in Houston, and reinvented himself as the maestro of the most amazing offensive symphony in the league.