Daryl Morey Shows MVP Support for James Harden with 'Random Combo of Numbers'

Andrew Gould@AndrewGould4Featured ColumnistMarch 18, 2017
Daryl Morey @dmorey

If we might make someone MVP because they have hit a random combo of numbers then why not this random combo? https://t.co/HnAEvNHTfo

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has made a living studying numbers. The analytically inclined executive also must know that although a bevy of stats exists, the masses will flock to certain benchmarks.

Russell Westbrook has scored an NBA-high 31.7 points per game while also averaging 10.4 assists and 10.5 rebounds. Those rates make him a popular MVP choice in a crowded race also featuring Westbrook's former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate James Harden.

The Rockets guard has registered impressive numbers well. StatMuse's Justin Kubatko noted that while Harden is not averaging a triple-double, he has joined Oscar Robertson in exclusive territory:

Justin Kubatko @jkubatko

The @HoustonRockets James Harden is the second player in NBA history w/ 2000+ pts, 500+ reb, & 750+ ast in a season: https://t.co/Yj97p8ySLI

While sharing this research, Morey said this "random combo of numbers" was just as meaningful as more celebrated ones—presumably those earned by Westbrook.

Numbers don't lie, but they're often manipulated to frame one's argument. While averaging a triple-double shouldn't guarantee Westbrook the MVP trophy, there are other stats fueling his candidacy.

According to Basketball-Reference.com, the Thunder point guard also leads the NBA in player efficiency rating and value over replacement player.

[Daryl Morey, Justin Kubatko]