MVP Race: James Harden's shooting struggles create opening for others

MVP Race: James Harden's shooting struggles create opening for others

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MVP Race: James Harden's shooting struggles create opening for others

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3. Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder

STATS: 28.6 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 4.3 APG, 3.9 3PTS, 2.3 SPG

For much of the season, it seemed this would end up being a two-man MVP race. James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo were the front-runners and there was a significant gap between those two and everybody else. Then, Paul George changed that with the way he’s played over the last two months.

Over George’s last 30 games, he’s averaging 32.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 4.4 threes and 2.4 steals, while shooting 45.3 percent from the field and 41.4 percent from three. George is dominating on both ends of the court and his productivity has translated into wins, as the Thunder are now 38-22 (which is the third-best mark in the West).

He’s had several signature games that helped his MVP candidacy. Recently, he had the following jaw-dropping performances in a four-game span:

  • Feb. 9: 45 points, 11 boards, 6 threes in W vs. HOU
  • Feb. 11: 47 points, 12 boards, 10 assists, 8 threes in W vs. POR
  • Feb. 22: 45 points, 9 boards, 7 assists, 0 TOs in W vs. UTA

George is now a legitimate MVP candidate with a realistic shot of the winning the award if he finishes the season strong.

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