Bucks Diary

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Dreaming of Durant in Green and Red


Its a long shot the Bucks will ever be in the position to have to make this choice, but having watched Texas' Kevin Durant last night, and having seen Ohio State's Greg Oden on two occasions earlier, I would take Durant in a heartbeat. He's unbelievable. Just imagining him in Green and Red is enough to bring even the most jaded Antlerhead to the verge of tears.

And why not? This guy has the most fully rounded offensive game I have seen in a longtime. In an earlier post I called him a cross between Alex English and Kevin Garnett. I think that's pretty accurate. He fills it from the outside and has the smooth game and quick release of English, and, like English, he has this uncanny ability to use the glass to make shots. He can score from distance, he can score from the mid-range, and he can score from down low. Combine all of that with the size, ballhandling, and rebounding ability (and rebounding desire) on par with the All-World Kevin Garnett, and you have the recipe for a basketball prospect version of Haley's Comet -- you may see him come around once in your life, but never again. All he lacks at this point is passing, and even Jordan himself had to develop that skill.

None of this is meant to belittle Oden. I'd be happy to see him in Milwaukee. He is an unquestionable force in the middle. His play against the Wisconsin Badgers earlier in the year reminded me of a young Patrick Ewing. You could see the way he intimidated every Badger drive to the basket.

Two problems, however. Like a young Ewing, he has a limited offensive game. So, unlike the nearly complete Durant, you'd be gambling on his development. Second, I don't think even the most dominant shot blocking presence can lead a team to a championship anymore. The best shot blocker I ever saw was Utah's Mark Eaton. Yet despite having played with All-Timers Karl Malone and John Stockton, he never got close to a championship. Same thing goes for Mutombo, and, technically, Alonzo Mourning. (He was an add-on player in last year's Miami Heat championship).

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