Why LeBron James is the 2017 MVP no matter what – FOXSports.com
LeBron’s 2016-17 season has been comprehensively dominant.
Consider Harden, who is shooting nearly 10 full percentage points worse from the field than LeBron — 44.3 percent to James’ 53.8 percent. LeBron is also shooting a better percentage from the 3-point line — 39.8 percent to Harden’s 36 percent. (Also know that LeBron is shooting better from three than Kevin Durant and dead even with Steph Curry).
Then there are the turnovers.
Harden is on pace to obliterate the NBA record for turnovers in a season, which he already owns from 2015-16 (374). With three-quarters of the season gone, Harden already has 370 and is on pace for more than 450 turnovers. He’d even shatter the ABA record of 422 turnovers held by George McGinnis.
On the other side of the ball, LeBron is also a far better player than Harden. When LeBron is off the court, the Cavs allow 109.9 points per 100 possessions, 3.7 points more than when he’s on the court.
The Rockets defense improves by 4.4 points per 100 possessions while Harden is resting. How big is a 4.4-point difference? It’s currently the same difference between the league’s second-best defense, Golden State, and the league’s 17th best defense, Toronto.