2016 Best NBA Player: A Coin Toss Between James Harden And Russell Westbrook?By Aldous Calubad, UniversityHerald Reporter
The 2016 best NBA player is between two players: James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Harden has led his team to a 22-9 start despite losing center Dwight Howard in the offseason. Westbrook is currently averaging a triple-double and is unexpectedly leading his team to a playoff berth despite the departure of Kevin Durant during the offseason.
According to ESPN, James Harden is currently averaging 27.4 PPG, 11.9 APG and 7.9 RPG and that earns him big consideration for the 2016 best NBA player. Known for being a ball hog, he has excelled in the run and gun system of new coach Mike D' Antoni. His new coach made him the starting point guard of the team and it surprisingly worked wonders as he was able to silence critics with his playmaking ability.
Russell Westbrook, according to NBA.com, is currently averaging a triple-double to the tune of 31.8 PPG, 10.5 RPG and 10.8 APG and that earns him a mention in the 2016 best NBA player conversation. He is trying to become the first NBA player since Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double for an entire season. Everybody thought the Thunder were going to be a lottery team when Durant left them for the Golden State Warriors but Westbrook has proved everybody wrong.
Another player who deserves to be mentioned in the 2016 best NBA player conversation is none other than LeBron James. The King has not lost a step after giving the Cleveland Cavaliers its first NBA title and the city of Cleveland its first since 1964. He is currently averaging his usual MVP stats: 25.5 PPG, 8.6 APG and 7.9 RPG. The Cavaliers are expected to give him a rest in the second game of back-to-backs because they are expected to defend their NBA title against a much stronger Golden State Warriors in June.
Check out this video showing highlights of Russell Westbrook scoring 45 points, dishing out 11 assists and grabbing 11 boards against the Celtics: