The reigning NBA MVP is on track to win the award again this season, without Chris Paul (injured), and Trevor Ariza (Free Agency).
The Rockets, whom many considered to finish second in the West started the season sluggish, finished November 10-11. Many started doubting the Rockets chances to be a contender with Harden also struggling, but the narrative quickly shifted.
December became the Rockets’ and more importantly, Harden’s month; going 11-4 and Harden averaging 36 PPG.
Harden had at least 40 points in 6 of his 15 games, and finished with 50 against the Lakers.
This historic run has continued into January. The Beard has averaged 44 PPG in January while scoring 57 and 58 in consecutive games. This rate of scoring is something many people in the NBA haven’t seen since the days of Wilt Chamberlain.
This scoring outburst hasn’t been without controversy; many have ridiculed Harden for the way he scores, averaging 11 free throw attempts a game by manipulating the rules in his favour while driving to the rim.
Harden is entering unprecedented territory in the modern era of basketball. Now, 40 points is an underwhelming number for him.
Kobe Bryant finished the 2005-2006 season averaging 35.4 PPG. Since then, no player has surpassed that number.
Right now Harden is at 35.7. And the way he’s playing, it looks like we might finally see an NBA superstar do it.