Dwyane Wade: James Harden 'One of the Most Unguardable Players' in NBA History

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 1, 2019

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 28 : James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets and Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat talk after a game on February 28, 2019 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Dwyane Wade had high praise for James Harden following the Houston Rockets' 121-118 win over the Miami Heat on Thursday.

Harden finished with 58 points and 10 assists in the victory.

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Wade used the occasion to put the 2018 MVP's offensive dynamism in a historical context.

"He's definitely one of the most unguardable players this game has ever seen," Wade said, per Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle.

Harden's 58-point outburst is his sixth game with 50-plus points.

Wade's comments echoed those of Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, per ESPN.com's Tim MacMahon: "You could argue for him as the best offensive player of all time. To be able to say that with a straight face, and not have it be GM speak or coachspeak, is pretty amazing. There's a whole bunch of ways to measure it, but he's for sure in the conversation as the greatest offensive player ever."

After Thursday, Harden is averaging a league-high 36.6 points per game and shooting 36.4 percent from three-point range.

According to Basketball Reference, Harden is one of eight different players to have averaged at least 30.0 points while shooting at least 35.0 percent from the perimeter. He hit the benchmark a season ago and is on pace to do it a second time, something only Michael Jordan and Kevin Durant have achieved.

The Rockets have needed every bit of Harden's mastery to maintain a challenge for a top-four spot in the Western Conference. Carmelo Anthony proved to be a complete disaster, while Chris Paul and Clint Capela have missed extended stretches.

Houston looked to be in dire straits when it lost to the Dallas Mavericks on Dec. 8 to fall to 11-14. Instead, Harden put the team on his back, and the Rockets are just 1.5 games behind the Portland Trail Blazers for the fourth seed.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is putting up a strong case for the 2019 NBA MVP, but Harden is doing his best to get his hands on the award for the second consecutive year.

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