by CHANISE RAY//Staff Writer

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Russell Westbrook is one of many obvious picks for the 2017 MVP award in the National Basketball Association.

However, Westbrook, the star guard of the Oklahoma Thunder, has people thinking what will happen if he doesn’t win. Russell Westbrook has had an amazing season so far, which is the reason he is even in the running for MVP. A rival player on the Houston Rockets, guard James Harden, has shown he is not someone to mess with as well. Although there is already talk of Westbrook taking the MVP home, Harden hasn’t shown a hint of dismay and continues to show his dominance early in the playoffs.

Westbrook has continued to amaze me as he breaks records and shows his versatility. He recently broke Oscar Robertson’s NBA record with his 42nd triple-double. However, that may not secure his chances of winning the MVP. I recently saw a stat that the Thunder have won just 55 percent of their games, and no player since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976 has won the MVP award on a team that had a winning percentage less than .561. Reading this made my opinion change about who should be the MVP.

Typically, the MVP is, of course, the most valuable player. But he should be the most valuable for the winning team.

Harden is currently another obvious pick for the MVP this year. Some say he is having one of the best offensive seasons in NBA history, scoring more than 2,000 points, grabbing 600 rebounds, and contributing 900 assists. The Rockets superstar is giving Westbrook a run for his money in the race to the 2017 MVP.

Although the race still seems pretty neck and neck to me, Westbrook’s triple-double feat shouldn’t be taken lightly. Regardless, I do believe that if either one of the amazing athletes that I have mentioned do win the MVP, they will be very well deserving of it. Both Westbrook and Harden have shown incredible strength during this season while playing similar roles for their teams. With the OKC Thunder recently losing their star player, Kevin Durant, to Golden State, you can tell they have suffered from that loss. Pushing forward, Westbrook continues to carry his team on his back.

Harden, on the other hand, has always been the go-to player for the Rockets. His size and structure remind me of a shooting guard. However, the way he handles the basketball is graceful and effective. He uses his speed to attack the basket. Also, he is seen as a threat behind the 3-point line.

Westbrook’s game is quite similar. He also uses his speed to create shots for himself. However, Westbrook seems to be a well-rounded player, being one of the first players to almost average a triple-double.

Amazing enough as that sounds, I wonder who will receive the 2017 MVP. It will truly be a surprise, whoever wins.

Posted by Plainsman Press Staff

The student newspaper of South Plains College.

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