OAKLAND – As Stephen Curry was going through his usual post-practice routine Friday at the Warriors facility, his coach sat a few feet away offering a persuasive rebuttal to the assertion that James Harden is the league's MVP.
That assertion was made by, among others, Harden himself on Thursday.
"James has a great case," Kerr said. "He's had a phenomenal year. I can't argue with him.
"I just know that I'm biased. Steph's had an amazing year. What he's done at both ends of the floor is a big reason why we have as many wins as we do."
The Warriors are 64-15 and two weeks ago assured themselves of the best record in the Western Conference. The Rockets had a 53-25 record entering Friday's home game against the rampaging San Antonio Spurs.
Harden based his case for MVP largely on his massive role in helping Houston withstand multiple injuries to key players – Dwight Howard, Terrence Jones, Patrick Beverley, Donatas Motiejunas – and still remain a top-four team in the highly competitive West.
"He deserves all the accolades he gets," Kerr said. "I hope my guy wins."
Kerr has his reasons, and not all of them are personal. Curry ranks behind Harden in real plus-minus, in scoring average and in offensive efficiency. Curry is ahead of the Rockets guard in shooting percentages across the board (field goals, 3-point field goals, free throws), overall efficiency rating and in all defensive metrics.
Curry ranks fourth in steals, while Harden is fifth.
"It's pretty rare that you see a player at his position, on a team that's going to win this many games, this good defensively, among the steals leaders," Kerr said of Curry. "If you look at the advanced numbers, Steph is in the top few players in the entire league at his position, defensively. And he's this offensive machine.
"I think it makes sense to give him the award. And that's not taking anything away from James."
Kerr did not mention another factor that could influence voters: head-to-head totals. The Warriors are 4-0 against Houston this season, with each win by double digits.