Westbrook clear MVP heading into All-Star Break
With three fourths of the NBA season hitting the books, Russell Westbrook has put up legendary numbers that has put him in the discussion for NBA’s most valuable player. If there even should be a discussion.
Through 56 games, Westbrook is averaging a triple-double with 30.9 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 10.1 assists per game. Numbers that we haven’t seen since Oscar Robinson averaged a triple-double in the 1961–62 season. I believe Westbrook will average a triple-double for the entire season, matching him as the only player besides the “The Big O” to do so. However, his numbers are not the only reason he will be getting the MVP.
After the Oklahoma City Thunder watched Kevin Durant join the Golden State Warriors last year in free agency, a lot of people believed the Thunder would be a below .500 team. Losing a former MVP of the league and two-time scoring champion is simply hard to recover from, however Westbrook has responded to that criticism. His team is 6 games above .500 (31–25) and currently the 7th seed in the Western Conference. He plays with a certain energy that no one in the league can match, and most of the time is unguardable.
If Westbrook can lead his team to the playoffs, I don’t think there is any question that he should be the MVP of the league. After losing one of the top players in the world, Westbrook has shown that he is capable of leading on his own, even if the roster has no other All-Star’s in the lineup. Lets be clear, James Harden has had an incredible season, an MVP season. As a point guard, he has improved his passing and is running Mike D’antoni’s offence like a gem. But look at the pieces around him. He has much more talent than Westbrook has, and has a backup (Eric Gordon) that could easily fit in a starting role.
In order for the Thunder to be successful, Westbrook knows he has to put up big numbers. But if you were to ask him about him averaging a triple-double throughout the season, or his sky-rocketing dunk over defenders that puts the crowd in awe, he would disregard the question. He is all about winning, and has shown he can win with the team he has. It is the reason why in my eyes, he’s the anonymous MVP.