One. That’s the variety of MVP titles Russell Westbrook has to his title.
The explosive 6-foot-Three level guard bagged the award throughout his historic 2016-17 marketing campaign. Did he deserve that award? Completely. Wouldn’t it have been a whole travesty if he really didn’t win the trophy that 12 months? In all probability not. That is what we’re going to get into right here in the present day.
We’re additionally going to debate why Westbrook, regardless of averaging insane numbers for at the very least two different seasons was by no means actually in critical rivalry for the MVP title on these particular seasons. On the finish of all this, we hope to persuade you that the variety of MVPs Russell Westbrook ought to have proper now could be simply what it’s: one.
2016-17 Season (MVP: Russell Westbrook)
Solely two individuals in league historical past have ever averaged a triple-double for a complete season. The good Oscar Robertson was the primary to attain this astounding statistical feat in the course of the 1961-62 season, and 55 years later, Russell Westbrook turned solely the second participant to do the identical.
Westbrook had an amazingly robust begin to his marketing campaign, logging triple-doubles left and proper. Nonetheless, only a few, if any, believed that he was capable of maintain such an insane tempo for a complete season. Nonetheless, Westbrook did simply that, ending the marketing campaign with a mean of 31.6 factors, 10.7 rebounds, 10.Four assists, and 1.6 steals. Oh, and if that wasn’t sufficient, he additionally bagged the scoring title that season — his second in three years. That in itself was the very bedrock of Westbrook’s MVP win.
However, a man named James Harden was additionally doing wonderful issues for the Houston Rockets that very same season. He didn’t common a triple-double (although he put up 29-8-11), however he was undeniably the participant who introduced probably the most worth for his staff that season. Dwight Howard had simply parted methods with the Rockets the earlier 12 months, and this was earlier than Chris Paul was within the image. Harden led Houston to 55 wins taking part in alongside the likes of Ryan Anderson, Clint Capella, Eric Gordon, and Lou Williams. No different famous person on there, clearly.
In the long run, Westbrook gained the MVP race by a landslide. He acquired 69 first-place votes, with Harden ending as a distant second with simply 22 first-place votes.
Westbrook undoubtedly deserved the award that season. There’s simply no denying that. Nonetheless, for those who take the triple-double common out of the image (which you clearly can’t), it might be argued that Harden would have had a stronger case than he really did. Wouldn’t it have been sufficient to topple Westbrook for the crown, although? In all probability not.
2017-18 Season (MVP: James Harden)
With Harden barely lacking out on the title within the earlier season, the Rockets famous person lastly bagged the win the next season. Whereas he didn’t common a triple-double, Harden was capable of lead the league in scoring (30.Four factors) for the primary time in his profession. Extra importantly, he led Houston to a really spectacular 65-win season — probably the most single-season wins in franchise historical past. Not even the Hakeem Olajuwon-led Rockets achieved this feat.
As for Westbrook, the Thunder star averaged 25.Four factors, 10.1 rebounds, a league-best 10.Three assists, and 1.Eight steals. By averaging a triple-double for the second 12 months working, he was capable of higher Robertson’s report, who himself was capable of obtain the identical for only one season.
OKC completed with 48 wins for fourth within the Western Convention, and whereas Westbrook had one other nice 12 months, he had no likelihood to win back-to-back MVP trophies. He finally completed fifth within the voting, behind Harden, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Damian Lillard.
2018-19 Season (MVP: Giannis Antetokounmpo)
Reality be informed, Russell Westbrook wasn’t even near coming into the dialog this 12 months. The one motive why we’re placing this on right here is due to the truth that for his half, Westbrook averaged a triple-double for the third 12 months working. It could have turn out to be mundane at that time, however there’s no denying that it was nonetheless an awe-inspiring feat.
That 12 months, Westbrook put up 22.9 factors, 11.1 rebounds, 10.7 assists (he gained the assists title for the second consecutive season), and 1.9 steals per ballgame. He noticed a major dip in his scoring due primarily due to the truth that he made the admirable choice to take a step again and let Paul George turn out to be the staff’s primary possibility on offense (George’s scoring elevated from 21.9 factors the earlier 12 months to 28.zero in 2018-19).
For causes unknown, Westbrook forgot easy methods to shoot free-throws this season. His effectivity from the road dropped considerably, as he shot a career-low 65.6 p.c from the road that 12 months (he was a profession 81.4-percent shooter from the stripe previous to that season). This undoubtedly had a major impact on his already minute case for the MVP title.
Oh, and the truth that Giannis Antetokounmpo had an insane 12 months for the Milwaukee Bucks most likely had quite a bit to do with that. In the long run, Westbrook fished 10th within the MVP voting.
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