Is Harden or Giannis the NBA’s Most Valuable Player?

February 25, 2019 | CBN

The Beard, the Greek, and the Great Debate.

Giannis or Harden? Who's going to be this year's MVP.

The Houston Rockets' James Harden and Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo are in a fiery race to the MVP finish line, and it’s still unclear about who’s taking the lead.

First off, there’s the unstoppable Harden who’s been making headlines with his personal Chamberlain-tying 30-for-30 streak, averaging 41.5, and hitting a 33-24 record with the Rockets.

But many players have expressed an opposition to the 29-year-old’s independent playing style – especially after scoring 304 consecutive points (unassisted) earlier this season.

"Guys can say he gets away with travels on the step-back or he flings his body into people to get fouls, but honestly, a lot of us get away with stuff like that," said an All-Star who asked to remain anonymous to avoid stirring up any controversy. "Just speaking for myself, and I don't know how others feel, but what he does isn't always team basketball. If you look at how Giannis plays, that's more the way I was raised in the game. Just my opinion," he said. (ESPN)

But who can really be mad at Harden, who’s doing everything he can for the Rockets in the face of Chris Paul’s unfortunate and lengthy stretch of absence?

"We played the same exact way last year and we almost made it to the Finals," said Harden in defense of his team. "I don't even care about the points, I'm just trying to win.” (ESPN)

Defensive prodigy Giannis, on the other hand, arguably has no problem employing a classic team mentality. He’s averaged 27.2 points, 12.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game, with an added 1.4 steals and 1.4 blocks, and a 58 per cent shooting rate.

Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer shared his thoughts on why he believes Giannis should make MVP.

"What is the most valuable player? He sets the tone for our entire organization, our work ethic, our approach to every day," he said. "You can talk about stats and Wilt Chamberlain and Shaquille O'Neal and things. But when you've changed an entire organization, changed the way people come to work every day and set a tone, that's value to me.

"I feel like he's the most valuable player in our league. He's changed things in Milwaukee. He's changed them for the better. We're one of the best teams because of Giannis." (ESPN)

There’s no doubt that this year’s MVP race is hotter than ever – with two completely different playing styles and a variety of contentious opinions in the mix.

So… are you #TeamHarden or #TeamGiannis? Tweet us @CBN_Bball and let us know!

 

Follow @CBN_News on Instagram