The NBA playoffs have arrived, and here's 10 things to watch


However, that was for the regular season. The next game against the Denver Nuggets he made National Basketball Association history once again by becoming the player with the most triple-doubles in the regular season with 42.

Westbrook broke Robertson's single-season record for triple-doubles by getting his 42nd on Sunday against Denver.

No one-including Westbrook-did more with less.

Some think that it's going to come down to Russell Westbrook and James Harden.

Somebody asked Houston coach Mike D'Antoni on Wednesday if voters should wait until after his team's first round series with the Thunder before they cast their ballots for Harden or Westbrook. But there is now only one game to go until the playoffs, and OKC locked into the No. 6 seed days ago. And ultimately, the Rockets offense became one of the best in the league. Enes Kanter will be a factor as well and has averaged 14.3 points and 6.7 rebounds.

First team to score 2,000 points in a month since 1992. Clint Capela (22 points, 10 rebounds) and Patrick Beverley (10 points, 10 boards) added a double-double while Ryan Anderson chipped in 20 points.

The workload for Harden changed this season, unlike in previous years. The league hasn't seen many players improve so dramatically as Leonard.

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Russell Westbrook made the spectacular look mundane by the end of his historic season.

While LeBron did have another wonderful season - statistically one of his best ever - there are a few factors working against him.

The Oklahoma City Thunder won 12 of their last 18 regular season games to finish with a 47-35 record and the sixth seed in the Western Conference. Yet it is based on stats and accomplishments-some arbitrary, some not-style of play and the success of that players' team. Harden has been absolutely magnificent this year, leading the National Basketball Association in assists and points produced, and second in points overall.

In every sport, every year, it's really the same argument. And usually, there's not much of a debate there.

San Antonio is in the postseason for the 20th consecutive year. I wouldn't be surprised if Jerami Grant logs more minutes than we are accustomed to, as his versatility is extremely valuable against the Rockets' high-powered attack.

While it may have seemed like LeBron and his beloved Cavs had a down year, this was actually LeBron's best season in years. Harden is also putting up significantly better scoring numbers with 29.1 points per game while also having 8.1 rebounds. The stat line for his career now sits at 27.1 PPG/ 7.3 RPG/ 7.0 APG/.501 FG%, which is alone remarkable. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin have dealt with nagging injuries throughout the season but will look to shoulder the weight for the Clippers in the playoffs. Kawhi Leonard's been in the conversation all season, but he's more of a dark horse candidate than anything else. James has only finished higher than a 2-seed once in his entire career.

According to FiveThirtyEight, the Rockets have a 70 percent chance of moving on to the second round, which will only go higher if Westbrook falters in any way. With the Warriors' stars, and the Blazers' backcourt, there will be plenty of talent on the floor during this series, but the Warriors should run away with things most nights, and that doesn't make for very compelling action. He was more efficient and carried a banged-up Cavaliers team. That's largely due to James Harden's spectacular performance all season. Indeed, the skill on the court plus the MVP talk off it makes Rockets vs. Thunder the most intriguing first-round matchup. Many people also argued that he was robbed of another Finals MVP in 2015 when the Cavs lost the Warriors in six games. I honestly never thought I'd see someone average a triple-double. These two players are neck-and-neck in the MVP race, and this series will ultimately reveal the best player of the two. That's not a knock on him, Westbrook or Harden, but James is simply a once-in-a-generation talent. He did so a couple of games in the Thunder's final four last year, sitting out in Portland and then again in San Antonio to close the year. Combine that with his ability to involve his teammates while playing and defending almost every position, and nobody can match up to his size, speed and athletic ability. His MVP case has been further strengthened by the fact that his team is winning.