Zach Randolph Not the Best Power Forward in NBA, Despite Kevin Durant’s Recent Claim

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Zach Randolph Not the Best Power Forward in NBA, Despite Kevin Durant's Recent Claim Kevin Durant is far from the first professional athlete to express a wild overreaction to a silly little one-game sample. Surely, he’s far from the last.

So perhaps it’s not that big a deal that he got a little bit overzealous in his postgame comments about Zach Randolph and the Memphis Grizzlies. I mean, it happens.

Wait a minute, though. He said what?

Apparently, Durant said Randolph was the best power forward in the league after Sunday’s Game 1 win over the Thunder in Oklahoma City. Really, that’s what he said.

“He’s an animal,” Durant said. “He’s an animal. He’s the best power forward in the league, I think. I started saying that toward the end of the season. He’s been playing phenomenal.”

Come on, Kevin, let’s be reasonable here.

Zach Randolph is very good. In Friday’s series-clinching win over the Spurs, he went off for 31 points, setting a new Grizzlies scoring record for a playoff game. In Sunday’s Game 1 against OKC, he dropped 34, breaking his own record. He’s now averaging 23.3 points and 9.3 rebounds over seven postseason games. Not bad at all.

But the best in the league?

Here’s a refresher course. Outside of the Grizzlies-Thunder series that opened Sunday in the Sooner State, there are three other conference semifinals featuring the following six power forwards: Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer and Josh Smith. Put Randolph in the group with those six. Where does he rank? Dead last, you could argue. Maybe if you’re generous, he’s as high as fifth.

But the best in the league?

It’s funny — because Durant is an NBA wunderkind who’s cranked out scoring titles and taken over playoff games like a machine, we often forget that he’s still only 22 years old and still sometimes says things that are a little silly. His comments on Sunday were interesting, that’s for sure, but frankly they were impulsive and lacked the proper perspective.

And by the way, should Durant’s Thunder overtake Randolph’s Grizzlies and advance further into the playoffs, they make for some pretty solid bulletin board material for Messrs. Nowitzki and Gasol.

The Grizzlies are a captivating story, there’s no debating that. And Durant, who can blame him, has been just has swept up in it as everyone else. But it’s only a matter of time before reality sets in.

Randolph is good. The Grizzlies are good. But neither is good enough to make a serious statement this spring on this stage. Their Cinderella run will end — if not in Oklahoma City in the next two weeks, than surely at the hands of either Nowitzki or Gasol later this month.

The playoffs are a lot of fun, Memphis. Enjoy them while you still can.

What do you think of Zach Randolph and the Grizzlies? Share your thoughts below.

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