No bullet points tonight, no statistical angles, no Spurs player to watch. Tonight, it does not matter if we win (we won't) or lose (we will). Even Nellie's return is peripheral at this point. This game is about one guy and one guy only, the guy whose path back to a well-deserved starting spot opened up the same day his agent publicly acknowledged his openness to a trade. This game is all about Anthony Randolph.
It shouldn't be like this. It's not fair to cast a kid under a microscope this intense, even if he and his agent are partly complicit in aiming it. It doesn't actually matter how he plays tonight; a good game will not negate the mistakes he still frequently makes, and a poor game will not erase the strong overall production he's been providing for the past ten months. Anthony Randolph is, though flawed, a genuinely good young player, no matter what happens tonight.
But once the opening whistle blows, none of us -- the organization, the media, the fans -- will fully remember that. In the benighted world of the Golden State Warriors, time will stop, and all eyes and expectations will fall on the shoulders of the sixth-youngest player in the league. Tonight, there is enormous pressure on Anthony Randolph to play well, against one of the beefiest and most intelligent teams in basketball, and the unfairness of that pressure doesn't make it any less real. Here's hoping the kid has a good night... for his sake, even more than for ours.