There are a number of players having crazy great seasons in the 2016-17 NBA. LeBron James, the perennial candidate for NBA MVP, is again blossoming with the daffodils, his Cavs in front despite their injury troubles. James is second in minutes per game (mpg) average too, but he sat out on Saturday night (Coach’s Decision) to rest — and he’s rested before. Other MVP candidates have missed time too: Kawhi Leonard sat out due to a concussion recently and he gets rested by Coach Popovich on occasion too. As a result James has played in 63 games and Leonard in 62.
In a four-man race for MVP (Isaiah Thomas would be a shocker), that leaves Harden and Westbrook, who have played in 71 and 70 games respectively — or ALL their teams’ games. Not only that, but Harden is 7th in the NBA in mpg at 36.5 and Westbrook is 17th at 34.7. Does that make them more valuable? The definition of MVP is always blowing in the wind, but playing every game has to figure in prominently.