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Lakers’ Josh Hart says James Harden is the hardest player to guard in the NBA

Josh Hart, James Harden

Josh Hart has named the hardest player to guard in the NBA, and it’s not new Los Angeles Lakers teammate LeBron James. Instead, the second-year guard pointed to Houston Rockets star and reigning MVP James Harden.

Hart made the revelation in an interview with USA TODAY Sports, via Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype, admitting that Harden is the “most skilled” player he has ever faced. The 23-year-old even suggested that guarding LeBron or Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant pales in comparison to defending the Rockets’ All-Star guard.

“The hardest [player] to guard is James Harden, by far. BY FAR. I guarded LeBron, I guarded KD… James Harden is the most skilled and he’s very smart. You should just pray to God that he’s not going to get the ball – that’s what you should do when you defend him.”

Durant is an unstoppable offensive weapon with his ability to score from all over the court, while LeBron is just difficult to stop with his physically and athleticism, so Hart’s remarks may raise some eyebrows. However, he isn’t wrong, to say the least.

Harden is a crafty guard who can shoot and drive to the basket. He also uses his speed well to confuse defenders and has a knack for drawing contact and the foul.

The six-time NBA All-Star averaged 30.4 points per game on 44.9 percent shooting to lead the league in scoring last season. He also made 3.7 3-pointers per game for the Rockets last year, finishing the campaign with 36.7 3-point percentage.

Harden may lack the tools Durant and LeBron have, but he uses his gifts to their fullest to establish himself as an unstoppable force.