KEY POINTS

  • James Harden leads the Brooklyn Nets in assists, rebounds, and steals
  • Harden is also leading the NBA in assists at over 11 per game
  • Kevin Durant is averaging 29.0 points per game and is in the MVP conversation

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant has been nothing but spectacular this season. 

In his first season back from injury, Durant has 29 points (team-best), 7.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game to help lead the Nets to the No. 2-seed in the East and a league-best offense. 

Durant’s stellar play has landed him in the conversation for MVP this season, where many have him in the Top 5 of the race. 

While Durant has definitely been the go-to guy for the Nets this season, one of his co-stars has been doing a lot of heavy lifting as well.

Since joining the Nets earlier this season, James Harden has been phenomenal, posting per-game averages of 24.9 points, a league-best 11.4 assists, and 7.6 rebounds per game. 

The former MVP is, in fact, is leading the team in assists, rebounds, and steals. 

This begs the question: is Harden the Brooklyn Nets’ real MVP? 

StatMuse recently highlighted the fact that apart from the points, Harden is averaging more than Durant. Aside from that, he stands at a 6-3 Nets record without his aforementioned teammate by his side.

Meanwhile, Durant has gone 5-5 in games without Harden. 

The Nets are currently on a six-game winning streak, including a five-game undefeated road trip that saw them defeat the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, and Los Angeles Clippers.

Leading the way during that stretch was Harden, who earned Player of the Week honors--his second time this season as a Net--after averaging 31.8 points, 10.8 assists, and 9 rebounds in four wins. 

The highlight of that impressive road trip was the Nets--who were without Durant and Kyrie Irving--coming back from 24 points down to defeat the Suns behind Harden’s 38 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds. 

James Harden Kevin Durant James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets and teammate Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors and Team LeBron watch on from the bench during the NBA All-Star game as part of the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend at Spectrum Center on February 17, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

This isn’t to say that Harden can lead the Nets to a title on his own. Obviously, if the franchise wants to bring a championship home to Brooklyn, they will need to be at full power--with each one of their big three healthy and on the court. 

But if Harden does continue to play at this level until the end of the season, it would be a crime if he wasn’t in the conversation for MVP.