As NBA playoff action got underway this past weekend, we were treated to many great matchups and games in the first weekend of the postseason. The series that has everybody's attention is the Houston Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder. This series puts up the top two MVP candidates in Russell Westbrook and James Harden. In Sunday night's game, the Thunder got dominated 118-87. Westbrook had nine turnovers in the game and didn't shoot well from the court.

Does this game one loss help or hurt his MVP case? Let's take a look at both sides.

Hurting your chances

In the Thunder's game one loss, Westbrook shot 6-23 from the court and an awful 3-11 from three-point range.

He also tallied nine turnovers and had an overall plus/minus score of -25. This game can hurt his MVP chances because it shows that he tried to do too much for his team. Some of his turnovers came when he was penetrating the lane and he tried to pass it back out. The Rockets did their homework, plucking the ball away when the situation arose.

This shows that Westbrook struggled to find his shot against a testy defense (specifically Patrick Beverly). Westbrook's struggles in game one could start the rumors that Westbrook won't be able to carry a team far in the playoffs. Westbrook's lackluster performance in game one could be the start of him losing his MVP trophy.

Helping your chances

Many could flip this game one loss to Houston and say that this actually helped his chances for MVP. Allow me to explain, Westbrook was the only person on his team to score over 20 points in game one.

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Other than Andre Roberson's 18 points, no other Thunder player scored more than 10. The topic of the Thunder all season has been that they don't have enough weapons on their team. Game one definitely proved that, and its shows that Russell's success is paramount to the team.

The MVP is give to the most valuable player, and Russell is undoubtedly the most valuable player in the NBA. The Thunder will get smashed if Westbrook has a bad game, like Sunday night. Westbrook's game determines if the team wins or loses on a nightly basis and that only solidifies that he is the MVP. If you mean so much to a team that you having a bad game can lead to a blowout, you must be valuable.

Despite getting smashed by the Rockets and James Harden, Russell Westbrook is still the favorite to win the MVP, probably. But it's only one game, and Game two will be played on Tuesday night. Westbrook needs to pump up his teammates or something so they can find the scoring the need to keep up with the Rockets high-flying offense. This series is far from over, and there will be a great deal of NBA playoff basketball being played in the coming weeks.