Anthony Randolph

Kevin Durant or the Utah Jazz…not a tough choice

Sure, a true basketball fan is supposed to appreciate the consistency and grit shown by Jerry Sloan’s Utah Jazz or Gregg Popovich’s San Antonio Spurs, but I don’t spend my money based on appreciating the Warriors get smacked by a fundamentally solid team, which is about as much fun as taking cod liver oil or eating a Subway “footlong yum rocket” consisting solely of sprouts and cucumbers.

When the opportunity came to attend one of the next five Warriors’ home games, the choice was easy: Kevin Durant. Kevin Durant. Kevin Durant.

Sorry Charlotte, but I’m not that excited about watching Ray Felton, Emeka Okafor and a couple Suns castoffs.

Watching the Warriors play the Jazz is always depressing.

The Nets? Please. Unless the Warriors signed that British playground guy to take on Devin Harris, I’m not interested.

The Mavericks aren’t that horrible to watch, but nobody can tell me Dirk is a more entertaining show right now than Durant.

Everyone knows Durant’s been scoring over 30 ppg over the last who knows how long, how the Blazers should have drafted him over Oden, blah, blah, blah…Just check out his last four games against Golden State, including the last game of Durant’s rookie season:

4/16 @ GSW (OKC won, 126-121): 42 pts (18-for-25), 13 rebs, 6 asts, 2 blks
12/8 @ OKC (GSW won, 112-102): 41 pts (15-for-27 FG), 10 rebs, 4 asts, 3 blks
12/31 @ OKC (OKC won, 107-102): 25 pts (9-for-18 FG), 10 rebs, 6 asts, 2 blks
1/21 @ GSW (OKC won, 122-121): 27 pts (8-for-22 FG), 12 rebs, 5 asts, 3 stls

Durant has four 40-point games in his career, two of them against the Warriors. One of the amazing things about Durant’s game is how easily he racks up points even though he’s almost as skinny as I was after contracting mono my senior year of high school (which left me at 6’2″, 145 lbs) and isn’t even mediocre yet from 3-point range (28.8% for the season). The Thunder don’t run the pick-and-roll like Utah or consistently reach the playoffs like Dallas, but I couldn’t care less. Maybe it sounds bad to those who can’t stand the NBA’s focus on individuals over team, but the last 15 years have been full of chances to watch Golden State get beaten by a bigger, better squad.

Perhaps if the Warriors were in the hunt for anything other than a lottery pick I’d like to watch them play another contender. But for now, getting a look at the best under-21 player in the world for the first time is a far better use of my money and time than watching Paul Millsap box out Corey Maggette.

My hope for this game isn’t just that Durant goes off and puts on a show I’ll never forget, but that Tony Randolph takes his performance against Lamar Odom and the Lakers and builds on it against Durant. Randolph showed he could withstand Odom’s muscle, can he handle Durant’s versatility and speed? Will Don Nelson even let Randolph get the chance to try? I’ll have a full report after the game.

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