Nets Preview: Fratello on Game Changers

10/26/2012 10:06 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Mike Fratello scoring "just comes so easy" for Thunder star Kevin Durant.(AP)
As part of our month-long season preview, we've already run Ian Eagle's and Jim Spanarkel's thoughts on the best pure scorers and rebounders in the NBA - and as we reveal Mike Fratello's answers to the scoring and rebounding questions, it's clear that the Nets broadcast team, and perhaps the NBA scope at large, are in agreement that there are a few men who are head and shoulders above the pack in both categories.

When it comes to putting the ball in the hole, says Mike Fratello, the top guys are unquestioned; but that said, after No. 1, each of the "runners-up" to the throne all have different circumstances that keep then a step below the current scoring kingpin.

No. 1: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City
“Durant is the best pure scorer. It just comes so easy to him.”

No. 2: LeBron James, Miami
“If he wanted to lead the league in scoring, LeBron could give Durant a run for it every year – but he’s so unselfish and understands about sharing the basketball, so the numbers aren’t always there.”

No. 3: Carmelo Anthony, New York
“Again, Carmelo is a great natural scorer, but he’s got to share the ball now because of the talent level they have now in New York.”

Wild Card: Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
“For Kobe to be in that class (with Durant, James, Anthony, etc.) right now, he’d have to force shots. The other guys don’t have to, so I wouldn’t put him in the best pure scorers category per se. Is he capable of scoring a lot of points? Yes. But is he the natural scorer that Durant is? Not right now.”

As for those who patrol the boards, Fratello says that’s also a case of a few could-be alpha dogs fighting to be second-best to the undisputed guardian of the glass.

No. 1: Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers
“If he comes back healthy, he’s going to be the top rebounder in the NBA.”

No. 2: Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City
“Ibaka is an up-and-comer; he’s coming along and has had a little more of a presence each year as he gains more confidence, and this could be his breakout year.”

Nos. 3 & 4: Kevin Love, Minnesota and Andrew Bynum, Philadelphia
“Bynum does it more because of his size, Love does it more because of his effort and positioning. You can’t argue with the numbers Love has put up, but we’ll see what Bynum does this year in Philly. Moving to a new team gives him a chance to really bust out this year, because he doesn’t have Kobe there and other guys who need shots.”

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