Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks coached Houston Rockets superstar James Harden with the Oklahoma City Thunder back in the day, so the 53-year-old knows better than anyone how difficult it is to guard the reigning MVP.

Ahead of the Wizards' matchup with the Rockets on Wednesday, Scott Brooks said the referees aren't giving James Harden fouls and that's he's earning them. A lot of fans and players complain about Harden because of how many fouls he gets called in his favor, but Brooks says The Beard is just a clever player.

Harden is averaging a league-leading 31.5 points per game. He's also shooting 10.2 free throws per contest and making 8.6. Harden does get to the free-throw line a lot, but not all of his points are coming from there. The six-time All-Star is making four 3-pointers on a nightly basis as well.

Does Harden initiate a lot of the contact on his fouls? Absolutely. But that's exactly what Brooks is talking about. He's crafty in the sense that he knows what the refs are looking for and is taking advantage of it. It might be unpleasant to watch if you're an opponent, but everyone in Houston is thoroughly enjoying it.