Eastern Notes: Harden, LaVine, Curry, Grant

James Harden - photo via USA Today Sports Images

Most media members might not like nor want to admit it but James Harden is throwing his name into the MVP race. The former Rocket is nearly averaging a triple-double since coming to Brooklyn and he’s sporting a 25.4 player efficiency and a career-high 65.5 true shooting percentage.

Harden (+3300 to win MVP on PointsBet) may have strong-armed his way out of Houston, though he only missed two games of action while in Texas. His 27 games played on the season are one more than Joel Embiid (+250) and eight more than Kevin Durant (+1600).

Additionally, winning makes players into legit candidates for the award, something that Harden has assisted the Nets with. Brooklyn is 12-3 in Harden’s last 15 with the club, helping Brooklyn rise up in the standings (just 0.5 games behind Philadelphia in the standings; The Nets are actually favorites at -175 to win the Atlantic Division and end up with a better record than the Sixers).

More From Around The Eastern Conference

  • While there were rumblings that Zach LaVine would participate in the dunk contest now that he’s an All-Star, the shooting guard will not be competing. LaVine told Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson that he’s “not going to do it.”
  • Seth Curry, who missed Tuesday’s win over the Raptors because of an ankle injury, is probable for the Sixers’ matchup with the Mavs on Thursday, per the league’s injury report.
  • Jerami Grant is sitting out of the Pistons’ matchup with the Pelicans on Wednesday for rest (second night of a back-to-back). We would never say Detroit is blatantly tanking, though they have already traded Derrick Rose and they continue to sit Blake Griffin while they search the market for a trade.

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About the Author

Chris Crouse
As a co-owner of FortyEightMinutes.com, Chris Crouse wears many hats, including editor and marketing director. He previously covered sports business at CNBC and he has covered the NBA for various publications, including SLAM Magazine and Hoops Rumors, in addition to working on the business side of media.

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