Colin details how James Harden has elevated his game to a new level

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Colin Cowherd offers up his opinion on Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Hear why he is so impressed with Houston's star.

COLIN COWHERD: As I'm watching OKC and Houston last night, it's really interesting. If you go back a few years, go back to 2011, 2012. So go back about six years and watch Harden and Westbrook.

So six years ago Westbrook was 24 a game, an emerging superstar. Harden was a bench player. Two years later, they both average about 23, 24 a game. Today Harden is clearly the MVP of the league and Westbrook is the NBA leader in worst three-point percentage, and scrapping with Melo, Adams, and Paul George.

So six years ago, one was an emerging superstar, one was a bench player. Two years later, they're even. Now Harden is separated. Harden's easy to play with. People want to go to Houston.

Harden's winning games. Westbrook isn't. Westbrook's hard to play with. I don't know why everybody thinks I'm a Westbrook hater. Why can't you just be honest? Fans want to be right, not get it right.

Just get it right here. Westbrook every couple years-- think about this. What if Paul George-- and I think this is now not just possible, it's probable-- they end up being a 7 or a 6 seed. They open up with a Houston.

They get their ears boxed. They're out. And Paul George leaves and says, I'm going to go to L.A. and play with the emerging Lonzo Ball. The emerging Brandon Ingram. And the Lakers' hit, Kyle Kuzma, has been a shocking good rookie.

Who's Westbrook going to get then? OK. KD left. It didn't work with Paul George and Melo. How many star players in the league are going to go, I want to play with that guy. this? Is not about banging on Westbrook.

We have something going on here. He had Harden. Harden left, owns the league. He had KD. KD left, now owns the league. Victor Oladipo leaves. He's now an all star.

Paul George comes. His numbers are down, he may leave. This is not about-- stop trying to be right, just get it right. Watch the trend that's happening. And I'm watching them last night.

James Harden is like a great baseball pitcher. He's two pitches ahead. He's throwing you breaking stuff to set you up for the fastball in the hands. Harden comes down with a plan every time.

James Harden comes down with a plan. He is setting you up. Westbrook is the guy that just chucks it 100 miles an hour and what happens happens. He lives pitch to pitch. Clayton Kershaw, the great guy. Max Scherzer.

The really great pitchers in baseball are a pitch or two ahead. OK. They spot a strike on the outside corner. Now they've got it down 0 and one. That next pitch they throw you is setting up the third pitch.

That's what Clayton Kershaw does. Seen him pitch live four times. He is constantly setting you up. He is a pitch ahead of you. Every pitch is a plan. He's done his homework. Other guys come out and just throw hard.

And don't get me wrong, the guy that throw hard, he gets a lot of strikeouts. You can be closer with the year. You can win 20 games that way. But the legends are a pitch ahead. Gretzky was a moment ahead.

Messi is seconds ahead. Harden now is that player. He is setting every play up. He's going left to eventually swing right. Right to eventually swing left. Pick and roll, he'll abandon it here. He's going to use it next time.

Chris Paul, he'll fake the pass, shoot next time. Doesn't fake the path. He's just intellectually-- Harden has taken his game to a completely new level. And you're watching those two go in the same ring last night and they're different.

He is really-- Harden has really separated from Westbrook, who is just living in the moment, going 100 miles an hour. Whatever happens in the moment is sometimes amazing, but sometimes it's not planned. It is just, I'm going to just spill a ton of paint here and whatever lands on the canvas lands on the canvas.

And I watched last night and James Harden-- and by the way, March 18th to April 9th, end of the year, Oklahoma City's last 11 games. Ten are against playoff teams. Ten are against playoff teams. It's not getting easier for OKC.