This season has been a whirlwind for the Wine and Gold. It’s been a completely different feel compared to last season. There weren’t as many injuries last year at this point and the Cavs have had their troubles adapting to the differences. The Cavaliers are currently starting their third string point guard while the other two are out with injuries. The same goes for playing without Tristan Thompson, who has missed his first extended period of time in his career.
With the pieces missing on the team and the uncertainty of the roster, many figured Cleveland would have trouble gaining steam while Isaiah Thomas is still out. But November has benefited Cleveland immensely after having a horrid month of October. The Cavs have turned their season around with a record of 10-3 during this month and that can be attributed to their current nine game winning streak.
It can be argued that the recent success for the Cavs should be linked to the bench. Cleveland had the 28th highest scoring bench in the association last season, but are ranked 5th this season. It can also be linked to the clock-work like greatness from LeBron James. During their win streak, excluding the game on Tuesday against Miami, LeBron has averaged a gaudy 27.5 points, 9.6 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game.
You would think with these numbers that LeBron would be flying away with the MVP award, but think again. James Harden has set the league on fire in his last 10 games with averages of 36.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 10.1 assists per game. While Harden doesn’t provide the rebounding that LeBron does, he does provide more of a scoring punch. Harden’s shown that punch this season with seven games of 35 or more points, two games of 40 plus points and one game with a smoldering 56 points against the Utah Jazz.
Houston is 11-1 in the month of November and many have argued that the record of Houston alone, 16-4, should be an automatic reason for MVP honors for The Beard. However, I believe LeBron James should garner those honors because LeBron seldom has a bad game and he makes his teammates considerably better. You can look at how well Jeff Green has been playing for example.
Another reason I believe that LeBron James should be MVP is the situation that each player is in. Harden has been without teammate Chris Paul for the majority of the season, but it seems as if Paul has taken a back seat, which allows Harden to score more points. Paul is currently scoring only 10.8 points per game, which is almost half the points that he has averaged for his career.
I personally believe that Houston will finish with the best record in the Western Conference and possibly the NBA. However, I still think Lebron James secures his first MVP award since 2013.