Celtics' Isaiah Thomas Reveals His Top 5 Candidates For NBA MVP

Paola Ditto
Aprile 20, 2017

Beyond the stats that underscored their success against Oklahoma City, the Houston Rockets showcased that for all the dynamism Thunder guard Russell Westbrook possesses, his individual brilliance isn't always a corollary for victories.

However, the Thunder have ended up securing the sixth seed in a bitterly competitive Western Conference and will finish with a total win count in the mid-high 40's.

For months, fans and analysts alike have debated a hotly contested MVP race led by this series' two biggest stars: James Harden and Russell Westbrook.

Russell Westbrook's critics whine that his pursuit of Oscar Robertson's triple-double record resulted in occasionally blatant attempts to pad statistics, but this bottom-line stat underscores the value of the Westbrook triple-double. Each have put together historic offensive seasons to carry their teams to unexpected finishes, Harden helping the Rockets rebound from a massively disappointing season previous year and Westbrook single-handedly allowing the Thunder to move past Kevin Durant's departure last summer.

Westbrook, the triple-double machine who singlehandedly carried the Thunder after Kevin Durant bailed, probably will.

But Tim Bontemps, an National Basketball Association writer from the Washington Post, takes a step aside from either Westbrook or Harden in his vote for the best player in the league. Look beyond Westbrook vs Harden vs Leonard vs LeBron. "I'm going into it thinking we can win".

When prodded about what makes Westbrook so good, Harden provided some praise for the fellow point guard. "I just go out and compete".

"That's up to coach", Westbrook said of his minutes increasing.

"It's a great experience", he said.

Abrines for the season shot 38.1 percent from three this season and could be the shooter that the Thunder need to match the shooting of the Rockets.

After an entertaining regular season, the Thunder will begin postseason play on Sunday night (8 p.m.) when it takes on the Rockets inside the Toyota Center in Houston.

(3) Raptors vs. (6) Bucks: Many figured the Raptors would be the team to step up and come closest to challenging the Cavs' fait accompli run to the East title, but the Celtics went and leapfrogged both of them. After a timeout, Oklahoma City scored the next eight points with 3s from Westbrook and Andre Roberson to cut it to 64-62 with about 8 1/2 minutes left in the quarter. "That's hard", Donovan said. Lou Williams scored the first four points in that span, and Beverley found Clint Capela on an alley-oop dunk.

James is one of the few people in the league that you can give the ball to anywhere on the court and have faith that you have a decent chance of scoring (besides the free-throw line). "It will be fun". If that's not enough for you, while Harden was on the floor, he assisted on over half (50.7%) of his teammate's field goals. To say we don't trust the Spurs is an understatement.

The Thunder finished dead last in team three-point shooting percentage at 32.7 percent, while the Rockets were in the middle of the pack at 15 with 35.7 percent.

Looking at the betting trends, the Thunder are 4-1 ATS in their last five road games and 5-2 ATS in their last seven Conference Quarterfinals games. What's more, Westbrook was the league's leading scorer this year, averaging 31 points a game, including this game victor. One team will reign supreme; those who can't wait until June to find out which one can take a sneak peek at the Bing Predicts NBA Playoffs bracket.

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