For fantasy basketball players, Harden is the NBA MVP
NBA.com Global on Jun 18, 2019 07:48 AM
BROOKLYN, NY - JANUARY 23: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets shoots a free-throw during a game against the New York Knicks on January 23, 2019 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
By Jimmy Golen, Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo may have helped his team win 60 games and earn the No. 1 seed in the NBA during the regular season.
That’s just in the real world, though.
In fantasy sports, James Harden was the biggest winner, registering the most points over the 2018-19 season to claim NBA Most Valuable Player honors from DraftKings. Harden averaged 64.53 fantasy points per game, about five more than Russell Westbrook and seven more than Antetokuonmpo.
Nikola Jokic and Paul George rounded out the first team that the fantasy sports site announced on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time).
Harden also had the best performance of the season, when he totaled 99.75 fantasy points against the New York Knicks on Jan. 23 (Jan. 24, PHL time), a game in which he had season highs of 61 points and 15 rebounds, along with four assists and five steals.
Last year, Harden was the real NBA MVP and LeBron James was the fantasy sports winner.
Other awards went to:
— Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic for rookie of the year. He averaged more than 44 fantasy points per game to beat Trae Young and Deandre Ayton.
— Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons was the best value play of the year. He played in only 20 games and had a total of 75 points this season, but he scored 37 with nine assists and six rebounds in one game on April 10 (April 11, PHL time) against the Sacramento Kings — netting 66 fantasy points at the site for a salary of $3,000.
— Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam was the most improved player. He added 1,261 points to his total over last season despite playing in just two more games than last year. Runner-up De’Aaron Fox and third place JaVale McGee added more but also played in eight and 10 more games, respectively.