Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
We call that back to back!
It’s already looking like another banner year for The Beard. After averaging a ridiculous 44.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game on 45.8 percent shooting from the field and 40 percent from beyond the arc last week, Harden was named as the Western Conference Player of the Week. He also led the Houston Rockets to a perfect 4-0 record that included wins over the Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana Pacers, and Minnesota Timberwolves, all squads with winning records.
James Harden named Western Conference Player of the Week for a second-consecutive week. Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic the choice in the Eastern Conference. Harden averaged 44.8 points on 45.8 % shooting, 40 percent 3-point % with 5.8 rpg, 6.8 apg and 2.3 spg as Rockets went 4-0.
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) November 18, 2019
This is the second consecutive win of the award for Harden, who also led Houston to a perfect record the week before, and he now has won 50 percent of the POTW awards so far this season.
He’s really turned up the heat of late after an ice-cold start to the year, and The Beard is currently averaging a career-high 39.5 points per game and has the Rockets just a half-game out of the top spot out West behind the Los Angeles Lakers.
That’s MVP-type stuff, but we all know it’s very early in the season, and he’ll have to likely be even more special to overcome the LeBron and Greek Freak hype trains. There’s still so much inexplicable hate going on for Harden, even after amazing performances like this week, that it’s essentially title or bust if he ever wants the credit he deserves. Even then, he’s likely to be derided by some.
We’re going to do our best to stay out of a lot of those arguments this season, because we’ve been fighting them for half a decade to no avail, so let’s just sit back and simply watch the greatness unfold.
Harden could legit average a 40-piece this season, and the last (and only) person to do that was Wilt Chamberlain, who averaged 50.3 in 1962 and 44.8 in 1963. That’s the rarefied air we’d be in if The Beard continues on his current trajectory.