James Harden landed in Brooklyn back in January and ever since that, the Beard has been playing great basketball. Just like the rest of the Nets' Big 3, he has suffered some setbacks after joining the team being sidelined due to neck and hamstring injuries.
Harden is playing at a great level right now and proof of that is the fact that he's one of the favorite players to win the 2021 NBA MVP award alongside Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets. Kevin Durant recently made the case for the former Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets star, explaining that the factors change every week but Harden has been consistent and should be considered a big candidate to take the award home.
During a recent interview with Rachel Nichols of ESPN, Durant said (2:19 mark):
“The criteria change every day. It’s become an award that 7-10 guys can win it in a year. Can you sell his story outside of his play? There’s a lot of stuff that factors into it. But he’s playing at that level. And that’s really all that matters (that) he stays at that elite level.”
Harden keeps getting more and more attention to win the coveted award. After both Joel Embiid and LeBron James went down with injuries, the 2018 NBA MVP and Nikola Jokic became the frontrunners to win the prize. He will be re-evaluated in 10 days and if he's not out for too long, he can come back and keep showing why he's a candidate to win the biggest award in the NBA.
The guard is averaging 25.2 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 10.9 assists per game in 42 matches with the Nets. He has found his place in the world and can't be happier to be where he is right now. The Nets are favorites to win it all this season and Harden has done a terrific job taking this team to the 1st position in the East with the absences of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.