Move over LeBron, Reggie Miller says MVP is James Harden’s to lose

Reggie Miller’s NBA MVP prediction has changed since the All-Star Game and now he feels like James Harden can run away with the award.

This year’s NBA MVP race was muddy before the All-Star break but now it’s even less clear. Joel Embiid seemed to be the front-runner but he’ll now miss time recovering from his injury. LeBron James is shouldering the load for the Los Angeles Lakers with Anthony Davis still sidelined with injury and has been in the MVP conversation pretty much every year.

Before he went down with his own injury, Kevin Durant could also have thrown his name in the MVP hat along with Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo but NBA legend Reggie Miller thinks another Brooklyn Nets player deserves this year’s honor.

Reggie Miller thinks James Harden will win this year’s NBA MVP award

Each player in the MVP race will only be able to remain in the running if his team is among the best in the league. The Lakers started to struggle with Davis out which forced James to do more. We can’t be sure he’ll be able to maintain such a high level of play for an extended period of time given the competitiveness in the West. Embiid’s and Durant’s stock have obviously taken hits due to injury.

Antetokounmpo and Jokic ought to remain in the conversation as long as they stay healthy but it’s Brooklyn’s James Harden that Miller thinks will run away with it.

He explained his reasoning to FanSided’s Patrick Schmidt while promoting Wendy’s being the Official Breakfast of March Madness. Wendy’s will be offering fans a free Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit* – no purchase necessary – beginning Thursday, March 18 – Saturday, March 20.

“Before the All-Star break, I probably would have said LeBron and Joel Embiid are the MVP front-runners,” Miller said. “But now with Embiid down with a knee injury, I think if Brooklyn overtakes the Sixers in the East, which I believe they will, and if he keeps continuing to play like this, I think James Harden will win his second MVP.

“It’s hard to go against LeBron and the storyline, but he’s having to do a lot with Anthony Davis out. And you’re wondering if this is going to wear on him as the season continues to go on because I know Kevin Durant is out, but he’ll be back soon and it’ll be less for Harden to do. I think his assist numbers will go up and he’ll average anywhere between 23-26 points and averaging, 11.5-12 assists and about six or seven rebounds. That’s pretty good on a team with either No. 1 or No. 2 overall best record.”

It’s hard to argue against this conclusion right now. Naysayers will say that it’s unfair because Harden joined the Nets in the middle of the season. But if he continues to play at this level with Durant coming back to the lineup soon, it’ll be hard to deny him.

Does The Beard stand a chance of actually winning his second MVP award while on a team with two other superstars?

*No purchase necessary. Offer valid March 18 – 20, 2021 during breakfast hours only. Limit one (1) free Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit upon request per customer per day at participating U.S. locations while supplies last. Offer not valid for delivery orders or combined with other Wendy’s app offers. No substitutions.