LeBron James: 'There's Nobody That Can Guard' Kevin Durant 1-on-1

Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2014

Sue Ogrocki/AP Images

LeBron James knows how to serenade his opponents.

In anticipation of the Miami Heat's bout against the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday night, James has been asked a vast array of questions about playing the world's second-greatest player, Kevin Durant.

While he's not ready to concede the MVP race just yet—though maybe he should—James did admit that Durant is impossible to defend, via SportsCenter's official Twitter account:

Durant comes into Miami having scored 30 points in each of his last 11 games, tying him for the third-longest such streak in the last 30 years:

In that time, Durant has registered averages of 38.5 points and six assists per game on a blistering 54.6 percent shooting. Good luck to anyone trying to guard against that production, including James.

Recognized as one of the NBA's best defenders, James doesn't create any illusions. He cannot stop Durant; he can barely hope to contain him.

The two have squared off 11 times in the regular season, during which Durant has typically produced at an above-average rate.

Kevin Durant's Offensive Output
Against LeBron29.048.246.7
For Career27.047.837.8
Via Basketball-Reference.

In James' defense, Durant is indefensible. And James' teams are also a dominant 9-2 against Durant's Thunder, so Slim Reaper's numbers have been mostly in vain.  

But that doesn't diminish the expectations or excitement behind this matchup. Even James is openly thrilled at the opportunity to play against Durant.

"Oh yeah, it's a challenge. It's not secondary it's first-dary," James said, per Fox Sports Florida's Charlie McCarthy.

See, you know James is excited when he's inventing/butchering established words. Or when he's less cryptic and flat-out says he enjoys these competitions.

"I like going against the best," he added, per McCarthy, "and K.D.'s definitely up there."

Higher up than anyone else in the NBA, save for James.

Durant is playing like the best player in the world right now, and James relishes in the chance to remind everyone there's a certain someone still ahead of him, even if he himself cannot stop the scoring machine.

"I wish I could play against him every night because he brings that competitive nature out of you," James said, via ESPN's Brian Windhorst and The Associated Press.

After a crash-course refresher in how difficult, how impossible it is to defend Durant Wednesday night, that could change.


*Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference and NBA.com (subscription required) unless otherwise noted.