James Harden is doing a "wonderful job" at the Houston Rockets and could lead them to the NBA Finals, says Dikembe Mutombo.
Harden has been in sensational form this season and posted 11 triple-doubles in 40 appearances for the 31-9 Rockets, the latest two coming back-to-back and for 40 points.
The guard is averaging 28.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 11.8 assists and his form has delighted eight-time NBA All-Star Mutombo, who believes his former side have a chance of making the final two with Harden on board.
"I'll tell you what, as a former Rockets player I will say that I'm very impressed [with Harden]," Mutombo exclusively told Omnisport at the Tissot Boutique in London.
"For so long people have tried to aim a lot of criticism behind his back, telling him he cannot pass the ball, and that he just wants to score and do it all by himself.
James Harden goes for back-to-back 40 point triple-doubles. He also grabbed 15 boards and dished out 10 dimes. #SAPStatLineOfTheNight pic.twitter.com/hOP6Ziv1h3
— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) January 11, 2017
"Now every day we wake up and we see him giving us the most exciting games we've ever seen, triple-double after triple-double, breaking records after records.
"I couldn't even get two [triple-doubles] a season myself, so I take my hat off to him and congratulate him for the wonderful job he's doing.
"I think if they continue to play the way the way they're playing, going in the direction with the chemistry they have right now, I'm not going to be surprised if I see them go much further in the playoffs. We're talking about maybe conference championship, maybe the final."
While Harden's form has been impressive, Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder has produced an astonishing 17 triple-doubles and is on course to become just the second player in NBA history after Oscar Robertson to average double figures in three facets of the game across an entire season.
Westbrook is averaging 31.2 points, 10.6 rebounds and 10.4 assists after 39 appearances.
— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) January 8, 2017
Mutombo cannot separate the two in the MVP race, believing the latter stages of the season will be decisive in who claims the accolade.
He said: "It's very tough. I think it's between Westbrook and James Harden. I would not pick one, I would pick both of them.
"Right now I've got both of them standing there in the middle. So we will see in the next couple of months who keeps up the form."