James Harden has 37 points, Rockets rout Thunder, Russell Westbrook 118-87

Should Houston take care of business from deep, that alone may bury the lower-seeded team in this series.

"Pat is probably the unsung hero", D'Antoni said.

I don't know who will win the series.

The series appeals as one of the sexiest of the first-round matchups around the league purely on the basis of its superstar matchup. Or, will Harden guard Roberson and Westbrook guard Beverly?

Is it Russell Westbrook (yes), who became only the second player in National Basketball Association history to average a triple-double for an entire season, while dragging an otherwise completely sketchy OKC roster into the playoffs? Westbrook has seemingly been a man on a mission each time he steps on the court and it's nearly scary to think about him turning things up even more in the postseason. Westbrook could win at least one game by himself, giving Oklahoma City a chance to keep their title hopes alive beyond the first round.

There are a lot of scenarios at play here and the best one for Oklahoma City is this: Matchup Westbrook against Harden on the defensive end. Why? Victor Oladipo hasn't been on this kind of stage before and will need to step up as a reliable second option as a scorer and Steven Adams must not only control the paint but also maintain his stance as an interior defender. It should also be fun to watch Andre Roberson taking on Harden...and Eric Gordon for that matter.

Jumpstarted by the trade deadline acquisitions of Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott from the Chicago Bulls, the Thunder finished the season 14-10 and should feel confident heading into the playoffs for the seventh time in eight years.

This is the marquee match-up of the first round, therefore the National Basketball Association will find a prime time spot for every night they play. If he's not feeling his outside shot or is having trouble getting to the basket, life will be pretty tough for OKC during this series. With sports like baseball, where you play so many games and it is hard to make your teammates better, giving the MVP to someone excellent on a lousy team, like Mike Trout on the Angels, is understandable.

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Westbrook has the triple-doubles, the bounceback season after the loss of former MVP Kevin Durant, the fact that his team falls off when he's not playing. But Westbrook and the Thunder were unable to exact revenge in the four games between these two teams during the regular season. Oklahoma City went 33-9 this season when Westbrook registered a triple-double and 13-26 when he didn't.

OSCAR ROBERTSON: Well, I will just go what has gone, what has happened so far. Plus, he contests 6.6 shots per game (3.4 from behind the arc) and leads the league in loose balls recovered (1.6 per game).

Without Westbrook this season, it's been worked out that the Thunder would barely have 25-30 wins to their name.

James Harden supporters would fall into the category of the player who means most to his particular team that particular season.

Donovan and the Thunder were rigid with Westbrook this season, resisting the temptation to play him an entire fourth quarter even as the Thunder bench let leads slip (OKC was outscored 8.9 points per 100 possessions with Westbrook on the bench). If Kawhi's on their best player, suddenly that guy's standing around on the weak side, barely part of any play.

It's certainly an option that, if combined with making the Thunder look slow with two bigs being exploited on the perimeter, could potentially make that two bigs lineup unplayable for stretches.

Which player deserves to be called the most valuable of the past year?

We could go back and forth with the numbers forever.

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