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Raptors star Scottie Barnes punks James Harden in pickup game

Scottie Barnes, James Harden, Raptors, Sixers

James Harden is one of the best offensive players in the NBA today, so it speaks volumes of Scottie Barnes’ ability when he was able to put the clamps on the superstar guard.

In a recent practice session, Barnes can be seen guarding Harden one-on-one. The Philadelphia 76ers guard struggled getting any open looks in front of the Toronto Raptors youngster, and in the end, his shot ended up missing the ring by a wide margin.

Even better, Barnes punked Harden as he guarded him.

https://twitter.com/TheNBACentral/status/1556409153593163776

Now that’s what Raptors fans would love to see. Scottie Barnes has already proven his elite two-way play during his rookie season, and with the way he’s working, the 2021-22 Rookie of the Year is only going to get better.

Barnes put up 15.3 points and 7.5 rebounds on 49.2 percent shooting in his first season in Toronto. He averaged 35.4 minutes per game, which it the most among all rookies. It is also worth noting that he was the only rookie to be able to make it in the Top 5 of points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks in the class of 2021.

As for James Harden, getting used to that kind of defense will certainly be beneficial for him, especially after his rather inconsistent and lackluster play for the Sixers late in the 2021-22 campaign. With many people saying he’s washed and that Father Time has caught up to him, the Sixers would really need to remind everyone that he is still the same dominant scorer who can torch defenses with his creativity.