In the last few seasons, Houston Rockets All-Star guard James Harden has continued to elevate his offensive game to an elite level as one of the most potent scorers in the league.
This has helped lead him to put together a campaign where he could foreseeably capture MVP honors for his impressive performance on the floor. It has already earned Harden a unique accolade by the NBPA with the Toughest To Guard Award.
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The NBPA Toughest To Guard Award
Easy 💰. Congrats @JHarden13!!
Making it look effortless, @TheRealNaturel reimagines what it means to be a walking bucket.🏆 #PlayersVoice pic.twitter.com/JFptoW6jnu
— NBPA (@TheNBPA) June 1, 2018
Harden has become a difficult cover for any defender given his well-rounded offensive ability to put himself in the position to score. He has a unique skill set of being able to a highly effective 3-point shooter with what seems like an unguardable stepback shot along with a quick first step to the rim that allows him to get a layup or draw the foul. In fact, the ability to draw shooting fouls at a high rate has only further contributed to the difficulty that comes with having to defend him on any given play due to the variety of ways he can get in the scoring column.
This has given the impression that he can score at ease with the best of them that has made him often times a defensive nightmare matchup. Harden can score from practically every area on the floor while impacting the game as a passer as one of the top passing guards in the league. What makes this award a bit more meaningful is that the NBA players voted Harden as being the most difficult player in the league to guard over the likes of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Kevin Durant to just name a few.
With Harden being just 28 years old, there should more highly productive campaigns ahead of him as he’s in the prime of his career that may see him rack up many more similar awards like this over the next several years.