Courtesy of Newsday, here’s what New York Knicks coach had to say recently about 21-year old forward Anthony Randolph, whom the Knicks acquired in the sign-and-trade deal that sent David Lee to the Warriors and D’Antoni referred to as a “future stat magnet”:
“He should go on the floor and have three blocks, five rebounds, get to the line three times, have two dunks and when he comes out he only played five minutes and you go, ‘Whoa, look at that!’ Then he goes to seven minutes and then to 10 minutes. He has to have so much energy that he’s changing the game.”
D’Antoni is dead-on about how versatile Randolph can be. The 2008 lottery pick is listed at 6′ 11, possesses a 7-3 wingspan, has incredible athleticism, leaping ability, and great timing when he goes to block a shot. He can handle the ball extremely well for a man his size, and even played point forward successfully in Summer league. He’s shown flashes of a mid-range game. He uses his long arms to play the passing lanes and grab steals. D’Antoni is right — Randolph has the talent to fill up stat sheets the way somebody like Andrei Kirilenko or Shawn Marion used to.
However, Randolph’s talent has never really been in question. His biggest problem in the NBA, other than staying healthy, has been figuring out how to put all of his talents together — he fell in love with his barely-adequate jumper in Golden State, and it often seemed like he goes out on the court with no real idea of what he was supposed to do when he got out there. If D’Antoni can figure out a way to get Randolph to utilize his strengths without allowing him to indulge his on-court vices, the 21-year old forward is more than capable of flourishing in D’Antoni’s system.
Stephen Curry has reached the transcendent point in his career. We’re now talking about if he has passed LeBron James as the best player on the planet (he has), and we’re starting to think about his legacy as the perfect point guard for a modern NBA small-ball, space-and-pace offense. Plus he’s just a joy to watch play.
“I don’t know – it’s a chicken and egg kind of conversation,” Curry said while laughing.
“We both have a creative style, a feel when you are out on the pitch or the court. I’m trying to do some fancy things out there with both hands, making crossover moves and having a certain flair to my game and that’s definitely the style Messi has when he is out there in his matches.”
I love Curry, but Messi is the bigger international star.
But I love the comparison in terms of the must-watch nature of the two stars, the flair in their games, the sense that you have to keep an eye on them at all times because the spectacular could happen any time they touch the ball. When the ball comes to them, everybody leads forward in their chairs. That is the sign of a real superstar.
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