After playing alongside Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Dwight Howard, it appears that Harden is finally taking his game to the next level defensively by playing Team USA Basketball. Not one to shy away from his feelings, Harden made some pretty interesting remarks about his teammates today. Hit the jump for details.

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Via Black Sports Online:

Surprisingly, Harden has earned praise from Coach Mike Krzyzewksi for his effort on defense, an end of the floor where he was so uninterested that a YouTube clip of his foibles making an honest effort caught steam last season. He has no choice on this team.

“First of all, you got the top players in the world on your team, so if you’re not focused and locked in on defense, they are going to embarrass you,” Harden said. “I think our coach has done a phenomenal job of making sure we’re keyed in. [Chicago Bulls Coach and Team USA assistant Tom] Thibodeau is phenomenal with that defensive presence, so all those things collectively is why I’m so locked in.”

Shouldn’t he bring the same intensity during the regular season?

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