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Three Stars of the Night: The big boys showed up on Friday

Nov 10, 2012, 3:17 AM EDT

Miami Heat v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

Nights like this have happened before and will happen again — as much we love the stories of the rookies finding themselves or the under-appreciated player having a huge night, the NBA’s superstars are the NBA’s superstars for a reason. Nike pays them to sell shoes for a reason.

The NBA’s stars showed up in force on Friday:

Number Three Star: Kobe Bryant (27 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists)

Freed from the shackles of the overly-complicated hybrid Princeton offense, the Lakers went about doing the things that work best for them against Golden State. Los Angeles played at a lot faster, it ran more pick-and-rolls, it played with real energy at both ends of the court, and the players seemed to have fun. That starts with Kobe, who operated more out of the post, pushed the ball in transition (see the video below) and played as complete a game as we have seen from him in a while. Maybe he should be lobbying for Bernie Bickerstaff to get the job full time.

Number Two Star: Carmelo Anthony (31 points on 22 shots, 7 rebounds)

Carmelo Anthony has the Knicks undefeated. The NBA’s only remaining undefeated team, thank you very much. It was ‘Melo who set the tone for the win over Dallas — 19 of his game-high 31 points came in the first quarter. Sure, J.R. Smith sparked the Knicks in the third quarter when they pulled away, but ‘Melo had laid down the foundation. They don’t win without him. And right now he’s a lot of fun to watch — he’s playing as good a stretch of ball as he ever has.

Number One Star: LeBron James (21 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists)

It wasn’t just that he flirted with a triple double on the night — he’s been doing that almost every game this season. It’s that he took on more with Dwyane Wade out and was there to sink the dagger — a jumper with 13.6 seconds left to seal a Heat win. I feel for DeShawn Stevenson, who tried but just isn’t strong enough to stop LeBron when it mattered most. But then, who can?

  1. dh1018 - Nov 10, 2012 at 6:24 AM

    another MVP for king james

  2. e39er - Nov 10, 2012 at 6:31 AM

    Remember a time when 5 games into the season there were about 5-4 teams still undefeated nowadays it’s only the Knicks, although schedule does play in effect I feel like teams are getting better…to a point where even the super teams can’t dominate anymore take a look at the eastern conference….8 years ago they were a joke now they’re catching up to the west

    • 00maltliquor - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:19 PM

      Yeah, I agree. And despite the fact a lot of uninformed people out there think that the NBA should contract 5 or so teams, every team has a few nice pieces and some real talent to build on. The NBA as a whole is a deeper league then it was in the glorious ’90s although soooooo many people would vehemently disagree. Look at the records around the L, they are all one or two games off from one another. Of course it’s early, and as the season hits full gear the real good teams will break away from the pack, but I think we are going to see a pretty competitive season night in and night out….until the injuries wreck the playing field to sht.

  3. 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 10, 2012 at 7:34 AM

    Know the difference between the King and the pawn

    • miamatt - Nov 10, 2012 at 10:57 AM

      Anybody else watching Mia-Atl notice the PA announcer trying to start “Let’s go Hawks!” chants, only to have them drowned out by “Let’s go HEAT!”? Hilarious.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 10, 2012 at 11:21 AM

        And for all those lauding Rondo yesterday because he doesn’t think players on other team should be nice to each other (and in doing so, making backhanded jabs at the Heat), did you see Udonis refuse to help Zaza up off the floor? Zaza’s laying there, UD is standing over him looking down, Zaza puts his hand up for a little help, UD just shakes his head “no” and walks away. Drew a Tech from Zaza in the process.

        Is that “Old School” enough for you? Is that “80′s, Bird/Magic-Style enough for you?

        I’m telling you, this team is the best of all things we love about basketball. Sacrifice/Toughness/Defense/Showtime/Passing/Stars in their primes/Smart/Fun/BadAss/Youth and Vets…..all of it.

        Anyone who is dead set on hating this team, or just hoping and praying that they lose, are truly missing out on a unique fan experience. Just enjoy it while it’s here because one day, not in the too distant future, some other team will be great, and the talk will be “yeah, well TeamX isn’t as good as those Heat teams of the 2010′s. Those teams played the game RIGHT”.

        Not too late. The crowd in Atlanta realized it last night. The crowd in New Jersey realized it last season. Much more enjoyable to join us. Plenty of room for you…..YES EVEN YOU!!!

      • michaeljordanseviltwin - Nov 10, 2012 at 4:08 PM

        No, I was watching the SunSports broadcast of the game. Why were you watching the Atlanta broadcast?

        I did find it odd how it seemed more like a Miami home game. Why don’t the Hawks have any fans?

    • 00maltliquor - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:23 PM

      @ 1972

      Hilarious!

  4. kvanhorn87 - Nov 10, 2012 at 8:05 AM

    No jrue?

  5. eagles512 - Nov 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    Holiday had a better game than all of them. And against Rondo.

  6. jagsfan11 - Nov 10, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Kurt is a homer. Jrue played great and hes not even up there

  7. liamj55 - Nov 10, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    I am a Sixer fan but Jrue did have 7 turnovers.

  8. Zammael - Nov 10, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    No mention of Tim Duncan’s 23 and 12, plus a few rejections of the vastly overrated DeMarcus Cousins during crunchtime?

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