Rockets' James Harden: 'I feel as though I am the MVP'

James Harden on the MVP race: 'I think I would have the edge'

James Harden, like pretty much everyone else, has an opinion on who should be this year's MVP in the NBA.

You'll never guess who he's picking.

"I feel as though I am the MVP," the Houston Rockets guard told "I think the MVP is the most valuable player to your team. Obviously you have to be winning and be one of the top teams in this league and we are."

In one of the tightest MVP races in recent memory, Harden is right up there in the conversation, along with guys such as Golden State's Stephen Curry and Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook.

"I'm not taking credit away from anybody else in the league," he said. "But I've been consistent all year. I've just been doing the right things to put my team in situations to win, considering all of the different circumstances we've had to deal with."

Harden's point is well taken. Not only does he lead the league with 27.6 points a game -- just ahead of Westbrook's 27.5 -- he has done so while carrying a Rockets team that has been plagued by injuries more than any other playoff contender this season.

Center Dwight Howard and power forward Terrence Jones missed significant playing time this season. And now point guard Pat Beverley and forward Donatas Motiejunas are out for the rest of the year. Still, Harden has kept the Rockets afloat, at 53-25 and tied for second in the West.

But with just a few days left in the NBA season, the MVP race is far from over. On the same day Harden's comments were posted, Curry put up 45 points and broke his own record for three-pointers in a season (276) as the Warriors beat Portland, 116-105, to bring their league-best record to 64-15.

"Like I said, not taking away from Steph or that team. It's an unbelievable season that they're having," Harden said in the interview. "But we're having a pretty good season as well with all the injuries and all that we've been going through this season.

"Look, I understand that people can go either way with it. But for the most valuable player, I think I would have the edge."

Twitter: @chewkiii

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