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Oh, Coach D'Antoni

Poor Mike.  He's getting sucked in by Zach Randolph in the preseason.

As reported by Newsday's Alan Hahn:

D'Antoni expected [David] Lee to thrive in the up-tempo system, but there was skepticism that Randolph, known for his methodical, pound-the-ball post-ups, could fit in as easily. But D'Antoni came away from Wednesday's game impressed with Randolph's adaptability, while still getting his numbers.

"He's a stat guy. The guy's unbelievable," D'Antoni said. "I was looking down in the second quarter and he had 10 points and nine rebounds. He's got a knack for getting 20-10s. There are only about three or four guys who can do that in the league, and he's one of them."

All of that is accurate, but D'Antoni might have been best served to stop after "stat guy."

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I'll be impressed with D'Antoni's coaching job (perhaps even more so than I was with any of his work in Phoenix) if he is still singing that same tune come April '09.

The sentiment here is nothing you haven't heard before: Randolph gets his stats, but he gets them in as meaningless a way as possible for his team.  He kills ball movement, stagnates offenses, doesn't help the play of his teammates and is a miserable defender.  But in the name of the new season, I'm going to try to go in with a semi-open mind about Randolph under his new coach.  If D'Antoni can get the forward to buy in and play hard all season and at the very least raise his trade value (thus making Donnie Walsh's decision to hold off on a deal this summer stand up), more power to him.  But that doesn't mean I'm not a bit skeptical. 

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