The MVP race has been extremely intense this season between the top two candidates Russell Westbrook and James Harden, who will coincidentally play against each other in the first round of the playoffs. While Westbrook has 42 triple-doubles and an average of a triple-double on his resume, Harden has carried his team to a top-three record, averaging close to a triple-double.

Votes have been revealed

Apparently, 59 out of 100 people have now released their votes, and Westbrook leads the race with 505 points as opposed to Harden’s 431.

It is actually a pretty close race, but Westbrook has had the advantage throughout. With the way it’s going, Westbrook may be able to edge out Harden to win the first MVP trophy of his career.

While the award doesn’t mean much to Westbrook if he cannot carry his team in the playoffs, it is still a major accomplishment, which justifies the historic season he had.

Westbrook apparently has 38 first place votes, while Harden has 16 first place votes. Meanwhile, Kawhi Leonard has three first place votes, and LeBron James has two, according to SB Nation. It appears that the latter two are completely out of the race, and it will come down to Harden and Westbrook as anticipated.

When will the winner be announced?

Although a lot of information on the MVP race has already been revealed, the award is typically announced during the second round of the playoffs. Even if the winner gets leaked, the NBA will probably officially announce it when it is appropriate.

Who is my pick for MVP?

What Westbrook has done this season is surely deserving of the award, but Harden’s work shouldn’t be overlooked.

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The five-time All-Star has averaged 29.1 points, 11.2 assists, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game on a more efficient 44 percent shooting. For a shooting guard, it is impressive that he led the league in assists. Additionally, he led his team to a top-three record in the West and placed them as the second best offense in the league behind the Golden State Warriors.

Westbrook has undoubtedly been a monster this season, but Harden is also ranked first in win shares. This race is similar to the 2006 MVP race when Kobe Bryant was having an inhuman scoring season, but his team wasn’t good enough, so Steve Nash won the award instead. However, in the public’s eye, Westbrook has made more noise this season with his performances, and he will most likely be voted MVP.