Thunder: Robertson to attend Thunder regular-season finale

Apr 14, 2017, 10:49

Lebron is, in terms of the literal definition of the word, the most valuable player in the National Basketball Association. In Harden's view, wins and playing the entire season should matter in the vote. A shoot-first dynamo. But what about his other stats that fill out that triple-double state line?

After Russell Westbrook broke his 55-year-old triple-double record, Oscar Robertson wanted to congratulate the Oklahoma City Thunder guard in person.

Last season, Houston slinked into the postseason as the No. 8 seed and was summarily dismissed by the Golden State Warriors. He probably has the flawless wardrobe selection if he actually gets the writers' vote, and there's little doubt he'll throw shade West if he gets the chance.

Russell Westbrook has had a phenomenal season, granted, but he does not deserve the NBA MVP award for the 2016-2017 season. It's hard to not marvel at what he has done: lead the National Basketball Association in scoring and total field goals, one of just three players with over 800 total assists, and the only guard to rank in the top 10 in defensive and total rebounds. I'll still be watching, but I'm not jumping for joy about the fact these two teams will be going at it for a second straight season.

The greatest knock against Westbrook is that he couldn't pull the Thunder into a higher seed. I thought winning is what this is about - period, " Harden said when asked what the criteria should be for MVP, and while it was seen as a way of separating himself from Westbrook, it was a curious way to make an argument considering that Leonard's Spurs have the second-best record, with 61 wins.

As for James Harden, some will wonder whether his numbers are inflated because of the system he plays in.

Instead this piece will demonstrate why the affinity for Westbrook's potential MVP season and Durant leaving are not mutually exclusive occurrences. Sure, you can number-crunch all you want for James Harden to find ways to bolster his case, but recording a record high in triple-doubles, averaging a triple-double and still leading the league in scoring is undeniable, and the last time I checked, no other player has done that this season.

"It was good to now get it over with", Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said.

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Thibodeau on Harden: "Obviously the individual part of it is unbelievable, but it is also what he has done for the team".

"I've done enough", said Harden, whose only bad stat was his 10 turnovers.

LeBron JamesThere's a staunch belief by some that the widely accepted best player in the league should take home the MVP award every season.

Michael Jordan in 1987-88. The last player to average 30 points and 10 rebounds was Karl Malone in 1989-90.

Minnesota pushed that lead to 49-40 on a dazzling three-point play by Towns with 7:20 remaining in the first half, an effort that included Towns pump faking a corner 3-pointer before converting a reverse layup through contact. That LeBron has done this at the age of 32 is remarkable, considering that only four other active players have logged more minutes than him. Now multiply that tenfold if two superstars leave within a span of two years. It's not entirely on LeBron, but some of the moves that he (allegedly) pushed for made an already top-heavy roster a bit weaker as the season progressed. They are battling with the Utah Jazz for home court in that series, so LA should be playing their stars on Wednesday evening. The Spurs as a team were once more steady in their excellence, though still unable to supplant the Warriors at the very top of the Western Conference. Tim Duncan, second all-time in Defensive Win Shares, never won a Defensive Player of the Year trophy.

He was on pace for another triple-double at halftime with eight assists, five points and five rebounds in 18 minutes before coach Billy Donovan made a decision to rest him for the second half. He recorded his 21st triple-double of the season in a 135-128 victory over the Sacramento Kings. If Roberson was designated as a shooting guard (which he often defends) his 2.51 would rank No. 1 ahead of San Antonio's Danny Green (2.02). "It's unbelievable to see somebody top a record like that's been standing for so long".

Jason Clinkscales is the senior editor and media analyst for The Sports Fan Journal, editor for Yardbarker, and a masochistic New York Knicks fan.

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