Sunday, November 25, 2007
Better Without Durant? Don't Make Me Laugh
Yeah, I know. It's been a while. And I promise there will be more bloggage around here at I Ball For Real.
Anywoo, while perusing the internet, I decided to check up on my third-place Fox Sports fantasy football team and the obliteration they were putting upon some inferior squad. Of course, when I got to Fox Sports' home page, I noticed an article by FSN's Jeff Goodman talking about the University of Texas' recent W over Tennessee.
Goodman had the audacity to say that Rick Barnes' squad was better off, yes better off, without once in a lifetime Player of the Year Kevin Durant. Goodman said that the Longhorns were better suited to make a deep postseason run because "they're more balanced" then they were last year.
Get this: He says that last year, Texas (the real UT) was a one-man show.
To that I say, wow. Texas was a one-man show last season, but it definitely wasn't Durant dominating the ball or even taking a shitload of errant shots. Even though he averaged 25 points per game on his way to every single POY award, almost all of his shots came within the framework of the Horns' offense, or whatever semblance there was of an offensive system.
No sir, the one-man show last year came in the form of point guard D.J. Augustin. D.J. pounded the ball in his (very underrated) freshman season, often ignoring the 6'10 wonderkind while draining the shot clock before forcing a contested shot or driving into the lane with absolutely no direction. Granted, when Augustin's creating shots for teammates consistently and knocking down shots for himself, like he's doing this season, he's one of if not the best point guard in the country. The problem was, he didn't do that nearly enough last season in the midst of playing with the most dominant college player ever.
Key example: twice against Kansas last year, Durant exploded in the first half of both games for 25+ points. In the second half of both games, which turned out to be losses, KD had limited touches and absolutely no sets run for him (which is a bigger indictment on Barnes) because D.J. forgot he was on the floor and inexplicably gave more shots to himself and resident gunner A.J. Abrams.
Look, at this point, D.J. Augustin is the best point guard in America, which is something I didn't think he could be yet. He was one of the best young pgs last season also, despite his horrid decision making. But to say he and the Longhorns are better off without Durant is both false and extremely ignorant. Kevin Durant would have been better off with a more experienced distributor and a coach who actually knew what to do with his many talents.