Last night in the Thunder’s division-clinching win over the Clippers, we got to see the future of the NBA go head-to-head. There was the smooth-shooting Kevin Durant, dropping 29 points with an assortment of floaters and pull-ups. He’s on his way to another scoring title and more than likely, at least one playoff series win with a team that has everyone bug-eyed frightened. Then on the other side, there was Blake Griffin, scoring 35 and dunking on everything, a human wrecking ball, literally the only reason that the Clippers have become relevant again. When was the last time a player on a Lottery team became the face of a regular season?
Throughout the year, as Griffin has disassembled everyone in his path, this argument has gained steam: has he become the best young player in the game? Just a year after that title was locked away in Durant’s locker, it has emerged once again.
Some time ago, it was all about LeBron James, Dwight Howard and Dwyane Wade. Now, as they have graduated beyond, they have bequeathed the next line of great, young cornerstones: players like Durant and Griffin and Derrick Rose (and I still believe John Wall will get there too).
For now, since they battled in a wonderfully entertaining game last night, let’s stick to Griffin and Durant. Seriously, no two players could be more different, yet more similar. They both play with an inner anger that never seems to boil over, but are still polar opposites when it comes to how they slice teams up. It’s Subway versus D’Angelos. McDonalds and Burger King. How do you want it?