Written by: Matt Saint-Louis
It’s crazy to think that an NBA player averaging a triple-double, as rare as it is can lose the battle for MVP. In fact, only one other player in the history of the NBA has averaged a triple double for the duration of a whole NBA season, Oscar Robertson. Well Russell Westbrook is averaging 31.7 points, 10.3 assists, and 10.5 rebounds per game with 13 games left and has a 97% chance of ending the season with a triple double according to ESPN. But what are the chances of Westbrook actually winning MVP? With historic seasons from players James Harden and Lebron James, it is looking very difficult for Westbrook, with all his triple doubles, to win MVP this season.
Many argue that Westbrook is leading a sub par team on his back to a playoff seed, as the Thunder, just a year removed from Kevin Durant’s exit, are currently the 6th seed in the West. This is very impressive but may not be impressive enough to secure an MVP win.
His chances are very slim because even though he is carrying his team to the six seed, James Harden is carrying a similarly sub-par team to a two seed, while averaging near a triple double and Lebron James is the best player in the world, making history and leading his team to the best record in the East. “He’s not going to get it. What Lebron is doing in the East is crazy and there’s no way he doesn’t get it,” says Saheem Liburd.
After polling 50 people about the MVP race, the result was that 78% say that Russell Westbrook will win MVP. Sports analysts happen to have a split view on the topic. Professional analyst Max Kellerman says that, “if he touches a triple double it's going to be hard not to give it to him,” while Stephen A. Smith thinks that there is no way he wins MVP because his team isn't as successful as the Rockets, Cavaliers, or even the San Antonio Spurs with Kawhi Leonard. This last 13 games of the season should be interesting and it will be exciting to see who will win this historic race.