The New York Knicks may be playing an away game tonight, but Barclays Center is only five miles away from Madison Square Garden. The Brooklyn Nets will host their neighbors from the borough of Manhattan for the first time this season. And who runs New York City? Well, if we’re to determine that from Julius Randle’s latest comments, it’s Kevin Durant and the Nets.
Forget about the city … Durant runs this league. He and Steph Curry sit atop the NBA with an average of 28.6 points per game. Randle falls in at No. 36 with 19.2 points. That’s not bad by any means, but it’s not anywhere close to KD’s average.
Brooklyn’s offense has been wishy-washy, but one thing has remained consistent, and it’s been Durant’s dominance. He sat out for one game due to shoulder soreness, but in the other 19 games, he’s only scored fewer than 20 points once. KD’s carving out a solid MVP argument, which is why he’s currently No. 2 in the power rankings.
Even the Knicks can’t deny Durant’s greatness. Ahead of Tuesday’s much-anticipated matchup, Randle showered praise on the two-time NBA champion.
Randle compliments Kevin Durant ahead of matchup against Brooklyn Nets.
Can you blame Randle? Durant’s shooting a career-high 54.8% from the field. He’s the main reason why the Nets are 14-6 and in first place in the Eastern Conference.
"“He’s the best player in the league, for sure,” Randle said Monday when asked about Kevin Durant ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Nets at Barclays Center. “[I’ve] never seen a 7-footer that skilled.”"
Referring to KD as the league’s best player isn’t all that Randle had to say.
"“[He can] do anything, everything, on the court. No weakness. That’s him. He’s tough. Great player, but I love competing against him.”"
Brooklyn fans know that Durant can do just about anything. He’s had to completely take over games with fellow star Kyrie Irving out due to his refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. KD still has James Harden, but the former Rockets star hasn’t been off to a great start as the Nets’ point guard.
If Durant didn’t sign a four-year, $198 million extension with the Nets in August, who knows where Brooklyn would be sitting in the rankings right now. He’s committed to winning a title with the Nets, who were the preseason title favorites.
Let’s not forget that the Knicks were supposedly going to be where Durant landed during free agency in the summer of 2019. Randle could’ve played alongside KD, but Durant chose to make Brooklyn his home instead.
The Nets are the best team in New York and as long as KD’s part of the picture, Brooklyn’s not going to relinquish that title anytime soon.