Stephen Curry vs James Harden

Who is the true MVP?

Stephen Curry (left) is guarding James Harden (right) on January 17th, 2015.

The NBA officially announced on May 4th that the Golden State Warriors' guard Stephen Curry, who set a single-season record for three-pointers made and led the league's best regular-season team in scoring, assists and steals, has won the 2014-15 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award.  However, many people, such as NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, believe that Houston Rockets' guard James Harden deserves the MVP trophy better.By comparing the advanced games statistics of Curry and Harden, let's find out who the better player is. 

Basic Statistics

Since the two players played different minutes per game, we adjust their game statistics of 2014-15 regular season to be the statistics of 36 minutes per game. 

PTS, AST and TRB of players_h_hardeja01_gamelog_2015__pgl_basic pages

From the basic statistics above, we can see that James Harden and Stephen Curry  are evenly matched in 36 minutes performance. No wonder they are the two leading competitors for the MVP award. However, we see that Curry wins significantly in +/- (points won/lost when player is on court). This difference is further shown by the Floor Times Statistics of the two players.

Floor Times Statistics

Floor Times Statistics measure a player's influence on his team. Net48 shows the net +/- points for a full game.

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