The NBA GM survey results are announced and the predictions seem to be lazy choices. 72% of the GMs have Brooklyn Nets emerging as the 2021-22 NBA Champions. In addition, 4% of them believe James Harden has a better chance of winning the MVP this season over Stephen Curry.
Every year NBA conducts a survey wherein the GMs give their prediction for the upcoming season. Since the GMs scout for players and are the architects of a team, it is presumed that the predictions are reliable. However, just analysing the data from the past 4 seasons it is clear that their opinion isn’t any more reliable than a casual highlight watcher.
It’s insane how Steph and KD in GSW couldn’t even get first team votes not to mention mvp but KD is the mvp favorite on the Nets. But then they don’t wanna say Steph is that good that it disqualified KD. Some stuff doesn’t add up https://t.co/2J4PcVEjUh
— nathan hoffman (@Nate_moseby) October 5, 2021
Despite the Milwaukee Bucks winning the east last season, the GMs believe the Nets have a better chance even though Kyrie Irving may not be available for home games. They also believe Miami Heat has a better chance to make it to the finals compared to Atlanta Hawks, and Boston Celtics even though both teams did much better than the former last season. Brooklyn Nets, according to them, have the best possible odds to win it all.
Although their prediction for the eastern conference turned out accurate in 2021, none of the GMs believed Pheonix could make it the WFC, let alone reach the finals. Injuries are always anomalies that cannot be accounted for in predictions, the count was similar for all teams which neutralise. It is important to point out that the GMs’ prediction for title winner has been wrong 4 years in a row. Before that, it wasn’t necessary to have GM level basketball knowledge to predict the final outcome.
James Harden can never win the MVP in Kevin Durant’s presence
James Harden’s patience was tested by the Houston Rockets for 5 years, as the team couldn’t get him enough help to beat the Golden State Warriors. Although the superteam dismantled in 2019 after Kevin Durant’s departure and Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry being sidelined due to injuries, James Harden failed to make the Finals yet again. He lost to the LA Lakers in the Orlando bubble.
In the 2020-21 NBA season he forced his way out of the team by missing practice, gaining weight and continuously asking for a trade. Ultimately he teamed up with the guy he failed to defeat for 3 years, Kevin Durant. Brooklyn Nets were a sure shot deal for him to finally win the ring however, untimely injuries led to the Nets being knocked out of the playoffs by Milwaukee Bucks.
Harden is a prolific scorer and a great passer. He has changed his game entirely with the Brooklyn Nets showing how accommodating he can be. He definitely shed off the ‘ball hog’ tag by leading the NBA in assist last season.
However, the Brooklyn Nets’ invincible quality comes not from James Harden r Kyrie Irving but from Kevin Durant. Although his scoring volume isn’t as high as James Harden, he is much more efficient and a better defender. 37% of the GMs predict KD to be the 2021-22 Kia MVP followed by Luka Doncic at 33%. While James Harden was supported by 7%, only 4% believe Stephen Curry could pocket a third MVP award.
It is impossible for James Harden to win it over Kevin Durant in any scenario. Even if KD doesn’t win it he will be the best player on the Brooklyn Nets and more valuable to the team than James Harden. Although media narrative plays a huge role in deciding the winner, no one could possibly think James Harden is more valuable to the team.
Stephen Curry missing the playoffs last year pushed him down on the list
Stephen Curry is the only Unanimous MVP in the history of the NBA and the second oldest player to win a scoring title. In addition, he is one of the only if not the only player to average 30+ in a season on 50/40/90 shooting splits. He was close to repeating this feat once again last season but fell short narrowly.
He is considered to be the greatest 3pt shooter in the NBA and rightly so. He has all eyes on him last season after Kevin Durant’s departure. Although he proved to be the same player he was before KD joined the Golden State Warriors, the team missed playoffs regardless. Klay Thompson, James Wiseman, Eric Pascall, Jordan Poole were injured. In addition, Curry himself missed several games due to tailbone contusion which turned out to be a fracture when checked in the offseason.
He laid his heart out in the play-in tournament but his teammates didn’t show up. Draymond Green’s lack of scoring and a young core was responsible for the Warriors missing the playoffs. These reasons, however, don’t pop up when comparing him to James Harden who led the Rockets to playoffs every year.
This could be why many GMs believe James Harden has a better shot at winning the MVP award than Stephen Curry.