For anyone who had yet to be convinced that James Harden was far and away the best sixth man in the NBA, the closing game of the Oklahoma City Thunder's sweep of the defending champion Dallas Mavericks erased any doubt. Harden took the game over for the Thunder and somehow wrestled the spotlight away from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in the process. The confirmation was clear: OKC has three definite stars to carry them through the 2012 NBA Playoffs.
Now Harden is expected to be rewarded when the NBA announces its Sixth Man of the Year Award, per Darnell Mayberry. He writes:
The official announcement from the NBA is expected to come late Thursday morning. Harden has been widely projected for months to be the runaway winner of this year's award. His selection by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada now validates his standing as the league's best player in a reserve role.
Last year, Lamar Odom won the award for the Los Angeles Lakers.