Russell Westbrook still isn’t my MVP. But after putting a DAGGER in Dallas a few nights ago chasing down the Mavs, Russ did it again — coming back from 21 down in the second half to get an OT win against Orlando and ANOTHER triple double — 57-13 and 11 for his 38th Triple Double of the year.
That’s another game closer to Oscar Robertson’s single-season record of 41. And that’s another game closer — with just 8 to go — to Russ locking in the TRIPLE DOUBLE SEASON, the first time that’s happened since the Big O did it 55 years ago.
It’s incredible. It’s spectacular. It really is a freak show. It’s literally everything we hoped for when we knew Russ was going to set out on his revenge tour — a one-man-army… hell-bent on wrecking fools. The league’s elite athlete — at the height of his powers — playing absolute HERO BALL because his team needs him to do it every night to win.
But this changes nothing for me. In a league for freaks, this cat is the freakiest of all. I’ve never seen anything like it. But freakiest, still doesn’t equal most valuable. Because Russ’s season is one that defines individual brilliance. That’s not an MVP. When you take 40 shots — 6 more than the rest of the starting lineup COMBINED — you’re not playing a team game. You’re not making anyone around you better. And you’re not making your team a title contender. When you take 40 and the rest of the team takes 62 — that’s a stacked deck.
Now don’t get this twisted. None of this is Russ’s fault. He’s doing what it takes for the Thunder to win — and that’s hoist shot after shot.
This is as much about the Thunder surrounding Russ with NOTHING after they lost KD in the offseason and it’s the perfect storm of brilliant individual player and mediocre supporting cast.
And yes, this guy is singlehandedly keeping them in it. But while he may be singlehandedly keeping them in this, the Thunder are still sixth overall in the west. I know, I know, where would they be without this guy? I’d ask you where are they with him? In sixth in the West.
James Harden, on the other hand is having a monster season and he has taken a team that was .500 last year and turned it into a 3 seed.
Fact is, the MVP isn’t about individual performance. Never has been. It’s about how your team does. And the Thunder, even with Westbrook going legend every time he takes the floor, hasn’t done enough.
Harden is the MVP. He’s having a stupid season, and his team is having a better year. Don’t sell this guy short. Yes, Westbrook is having a ridiculous year. But so is Harden. He’s the first player in NBA history to score 2,000 points and assist on 2,000 points in a single season. Point is, Harden is having a season that is nearly as ridiculous as Westbrook’s and he’s doing it on a team that is 8 games better in the standings.