James Harden’s former Houston Rockets teammate Chandler Parsons and Parsons’ new coach Rick Carlisle say that Harden is at the top of the candidates for MVP.
“Right now, there’s nobody playing better basketball on the planet,” Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of Harden, reported Dallas News. “He’s just been on a tear the last five games, particularly. He’s lethal from 30 feet and he gets to the rim unlike anybody in the game right now, and he gets to the free throw line.”
Parsons said the 6’5″ shooting guard is “for sure” in the MVP conversation.
“Obviously, James is having an unbelievable year right now/ He’s the best player in basketball right now. The things he’s doing are incredible. The scouting reports stay focused on stopping him, and he’s still getting 30,” Parsons said.
“I saw it first-hand how talented he is. And he works extremely hard. I’m happy for him.”
Harden, 25, is having arguably his best season, averaging 27.3 points on 45 percent shooting, including 38 percent shooting from behind the arc. He’s also averaging 9.1 free throw attempts per game, as well as 5.6 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and 2 steals.
The Rockets (32-14) are tied for the Western Conference’s third seed despite the Rocket’s other star, Dwight Howard, missing some games due to injury. The Rockets have also dealt with other injuries, including to Terrence Jones and Patrick Beverley.
Parsons added that he was happy to be back in Houston, although Dallas ended up losing to the Rockets and dropping to the seventh seed in the West.
Parsons said he keeps in touch with Houston coach Kevin McHale, Harden, Beverley, Howard, and assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff.
“Even though I am on the rival team now, our friendship is bigger than that,” Parsons told the Houston Chronicle. “It’s always really good to see those guys.”