Russell Westbrook may have won the MVP on Wednesday night with another insane statistical game. Westbrook put up a 57-point triple-double in an overtime comeback win over the Orlando Magic. That’s right – Russell Westbrook wrapped up the MVP by beating the team with the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference in late March. Obviously.
Don’t get me wrong, players have to compile numbers against good and bad teams in order to have great statistical seasons. Westbrook certainly did that last night, making 21 of 40 field goals, grabbing 13 rebounds and handing out 11 assists in the overtime win.
It should be noted that he got an extra 5-minute period to get the triple-double as he finished regulation with a much less impressive 9 assists. You don’t have to be Daryl Morey to know that isn’t a round number. Still, Westbrook only played 42 total minutes so I say we let the triple-double stand.
And by “the triple-double” I mean the 4th 50-point triple-double in NBA history. Before this season, those didn’t exist. Now they do, which is neat. Thanks Westbrook and James Harden. You guys are the best. That’s why you should probably share the MVP. Is that cool?
The statistical differences between Westbrook and Harden are minimal. Westbrook has more points and rebounds and plays fewer minutes. Harden has had a better season shooting and has about 1 more assist per game. Both guys have played the entire season. Teammates love one. Puppies love the other.
If Harden wins it’s because his team is 8 games up in the standings. If Westbrook wins it’s because of the way our imperfect human minds perceive perfectly rounded numbers as benchmarks of success. Triple-doubles are the most important things ever and Westbrook has just about all of them. So Westbrook will probably win the MVP and Harden will probably win a first round playoff series.
Both guys are incredibly deserving candidates so really, there is no wrong answer. Except for whoever actually wins because that will definitely be the wrong choice. Just ask anyone rooting for the other guy.