Commentary

Who's better: Griffin or Durant?

Two of the NBA's most explosive scorers do battle in our head-to-head matchup

Updated: April 3, 2011, 9:12 AM ET
By Chris Palmer | ESPN The Magazine
Blake Griffin and Kevin DurantThese two guys are great at filling up the stat sheet. But who's the better player?

In this space we'll break down the best individual matchup of the week to see who's the better player. But toss out career accomplishments or potential. This is about ability -- strengths, weaknesses, intangibles -- and who gives his team the best chance to win. It's about the only thing that matters when you step on the court on any given night -- who's better right now.

You know the rule: When it comes to superstars, positions don't matter. Just get it done. Carry your team to victory, guard whoever is in front of you and smile like you do it everyday. Ask any superstar and he'll tell you as much.

This week's comparison of two of the NBA's most exciting young players is a study in contrast. Kevin Durant uses deft shooting ability and length to frustrate opponents, while Blake Griffin's raw power and athleticsm have taken the league by storm.

Their squads squared off last night, and Griffin's Los Angeles Clippers took down Durant's Oklahoma City Thunder with each player leading his respective team in scoring. Their time guarding each other was limited, and it will be again when they go toe-to-toe again on Wednesday, but that hardly matters when it comes to comparing the two. It's all about who has the bigger impact on the game. Two franchise cornerstones go head up to answer our favorite question: Who's better?

Chris Palmer

ESPN the Magazine