No matter how you feel about the way he plays, Houston Rockets guard James Harden put together one of the best offensive seasons in recent NBA history.
The MVP finalist averaged a league-leading 36.1 points per game during the regular season. Numbers-wise, it was an incredible season, even if the way he reached those numbers was unappealing.
You would think that Harden would be the toughest threat the Warriors face all postseason long. Apparently, you would be wrong.
"The Warriors, I’m told, unequivocally regard [Kawhi] Leonard as a bigger individual problem than Houston’s James Harden because of Leonard’s impact at both ends."
Harden, as you already know, is not a great defensive player. Leonard, on the other hand, is one of the best defensive players in the NBA right now.
Leonard is having a great postseason, averaging 31.2 points in 18 games. He carried the Toronto Raptors past the No. 1-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals.
Without Kevin Durant to occupy Leonard's attention, Steph Curry will probably be hounded by the two-time Defensive Player of the Year. The Warriors never really had to worry about Harden's defense.
So while Harden is a deadly threat on offense, it makes perfect sense why the Warriors would fear Leonard more.
We'll find out Thursday if the Warriors are proven right. Game 1 of the 2019 NBA Finals tips off at 6 p.m. PT at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.