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Three Stars: We are all witnesses

Nov 13, 2012, 2:02 AM EDT

LeBron James AP

What a night. We saw Utah and Toronto battle it out in a triple-overtime slugfest high on theatrics. We saw the Pistons put a scare into the Thunder before collapsing, and the Bulls make things interesting against the Celtics. There were a lot of memorable moments from tonight’s games, but like anyone who has stood in front of the Men in Black flashy forget thingy (that’s real, right?), we’ll probably only remember one part of it. Onward, to the Three Stars of the Night.

Third Star: Rajon Rondo – 20 points, 10 assists, 9 rebounds, 5 steals

Rondo ended up one Ricky Davis rebound short of a triple-double — an impressive feat given the circumstances. Although Chicago has probably taken a step backwards defensively, they’re undoubtedly still a team who can really put a damper on your halfcourt stuff. That wasn’t a problem at all for Rondo, who seemed to be an extension of Doc Rivers more than ever out on the floor, following the gameplan perfectly. Rondo got Garnett involved early, pushed the pace when needed, and gashed the Bulls defense with crafty fakes and euro-steps to the tin. Rondo has shouldered a great deal of the blame for Boston’s lackluster offense over the years, but tonight he was the number one scoring option against one of the league’s best defenses, and he came up roses (sorry, Bulls fans).

Second Star: Brandon Jennings – 33 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds, 4 steals, 1 turnover

This was just pure speed. When Jennings can establish his 3-point shot as a threat like he did in the first half against the Sixers, there aren’t many guys quick enough to hang with him on a pump-and-go. With that quick first step and left-handed wizardry, Jennings blew by Philly’s guards and finished at the rim against a toothless frontcourt with relative ease. There were questions about how Jennings and Monta Ellis would co-exist going into this year, but Scott Skiles deserves a ton of credit for getting his team to buy in to sharing the ball. Although Jennings and Ellis both jacked up a few quick shots on occasion, they didn’t spend the entire game dribbling the air out of the ball like both were prone to doing in the past. Is Jennings worth the contract coming his way eventually? Probably not, but it’s nights like these that spark the imagination to what he could become. If he ever starts consistently taking good shots (Jennings’ career True Shooting Percentage is 49.3, one of the worst of all starting point guards) he’ll start being a serious problem for opposing teams more consistently than just this.

First Star: LeBron James – 38 Points, 10 Rebounds, 6 assists, 0 turnovers

I distinctly remember playing basketball with my dad when I was younger, and how he’d let me make a few buckets and hang around so I’d gain some confidence before destroying me and restoring order to the universe. And honestly? That’s the same feeling I got watching LeBron James in the second half of this game against the Rockets. LeBron had just 6 points at the break, but erupted for 32 in the second half, never even bothering to turn it over once. LeBron was in total “no-fair” mode tonight, making 3-pointers (5-for-8) and controlling the second half completely. Although Houston had their chance with a wide open 3-point attempt for Jeremy Lin that hit nothing but net (in the bad, little kid in the driveway sense), it just felt like LeBron James was winning this game without a doubt. It’s funny how quickly perception changes when you actually see someone do it on the highest level, and you have to consider that LeBron’s disposition towards the end of games may be a little different now that he’s seen himself do it. I suppose seeing truly is believing, and after watching how easy LeBron made the go-ahead layup, it’s pretty safe to say that we were all witnesses tonight. Again.

  1. torontofalcon - Nov 13, 2012 at 2:11 AM

    What do Lebron’s nuts taste like? Curious because every writer seems to be drooling over them

    • paleihe - Nov 13, 2012 at 2:55 AM

      First Star: LeBron James – 38 Points, 10 Rebounds, 6 assists, 0 turnovers

      If there’s anyone in this league that deserves to have fans on his nuts, it’s Lebron. Look at that stat line, and if you saw the game, or highlights, you’d know exactly why people are drooling over him.

      You can’t deny that he’s the greatest player on the planet, and it’s not even close.

  2. sjtorpitt - Nov 13, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    Maybe because he had a great game dumbass, and because he’s the best (or at least one of the best) in the game

  3. asublimeday - Nov 13, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    No need to apologize for the roses comment. Rondo knows who his daddy is. Rose. Will. Rise.

  4. lakerluver - Nov 13, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    I’m not a Heatles fan but I must give it up to LBJ. The dude is on another level right now. However, if I were a Miami fan I wouldn’t start planning any parades just yet. As great as LBJ is, the Heat aren’t exactly a dynasty. The defense is not very good and teams with a strong inside game can beat them. Look at what Memphis did to them the other night.

    • dls612 - Nov 13, 2012 at 6:30 AM

      Yes u are!

    • miamatt - Nov 13, 2012 at 8:12 AM

      Ok, I’ll bite.

      “The defense is not very good…” I’d hardly call the first eight games of the regular season a significant sample. Miami is near the top of opponent FG% and PPP nearly every year. Something to keep and eye on? Sure. A statement of fact? Not likely. As I’m sure you would lean on your Lakers track record rather than call them lottery bound based on the first two weeks of the season, so I would point out the type of D Miami has made their calling card.

      “teams with a strong inside game can beat them. Look at what Memphis did to them…” The first part of this statement may be true- time will tell. But you obviously didn’t “look at what Memphis did to them.” What Memphis did was get dribble penetration and then kick it out to 3 point shooters, setting the Miami D scrambling. A poor performance, for sure, but when Wayne Ellington makes seven 3s, it’s safe to say it’s one of those nights. Miami actually outscored Memphis in the paint, and the rebounding battle was even. Miami did not lose because they were pummeled inside.

      And c’mon already with these variations on the “one hit wonder” comments. There must be other basketball related thoughts within your head.

    • cramsinned - Nov 13, 2012 at 12:30 PM

      I’m not a Laker fan but I must give it up to Kupchack. The dude is on another level right now (He was able to sign Nash and trade for Dwight). However, if I were a Laker fan I wouldn’t start planning any parades just yet (“lakerluver : Prepare for banner 17”). The offense and defense is worse. Look at what Dallas (Dirkless), Portland (Lillard “Rookie” show), Jazz and Clippers did to them.

  5. adnan604 - Nov 13, 2012 at 3:07 AM

    Yea I was definitely a witness to last night’s game against Memphis where the only guy that looked like he wanted to win was Chris Bosh. Everyone else including LeBron was looking around uninterested…. where’s the killer instinct LeBron ?
    but I see you made up for it tonight I guess ? you think that’s what makes great players ? give up one game and make it up the next ?

    no, you play hard and play like you wanna win EVERY SINGLE NIGHT….

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 13, 2012 at 7:14 AM

      Reigning MVP, reigning finals MVP, best player on gold medal team, reigning Eastern Conf player of the week….. Yeah, you’re right. We need to see more consistency from LeBron in order to truly classify him as a “great player”.

      • adnan604 - Nov 14, 2012 at 7:56 PM

        Yea that’s all good for him, that’s all talent and skill that is God given to him. He will NEVER have the mental aspect of the game, the thing that pushes great players into a new category reached by very few.
        I am talking about that extra that Jordan and other few players have that’s rare, the drive, the determination, the will…..
        Even Kobe lacks that sometimes, like when he let his team get blown out in a Finals game against Boston few years back by almost 40 points, I Told my friends as I was watching it, MJ would be punching people out left n right before letting his team lose by 40 in a regular season game let alone the Finals…

        It looks like LeBron wants to coast by on his God given gifts, and has no interest in pushing himself mentally to the edge….
        And I sort of understand why, when he’s that good he doesn’t even need to push himself there, but neither did Jordan…. and yet he still decided it would be worthwhile to put 110% into it, something that LeBron never EVER will

  6. 00maltliquor - Nov 13, 2012 at 4:08 AM

    Hey Cleveland, did you “Witness”? Just curious. That LeBron fellow’s pretty good, huh?

  7. progress2011 - Nov 13, 2012 at 7:27 AM

    LBJ is the baddest dude, lacing up sneakers !

    But as I said before the season started, the Heat gotta get rid of their “SENTIMENTAL ATTACHMENT” to:

    1. Haslem – Too small (shorter and not as muscular as LBJ), No Hops, cant box out, with a broke jumper. He can’t defend NO small forward or power forward on any of the contending teams.

    2. Miller- Walking Wounded. Plus they have more athletic 3 point specialists in Ray and Lewis.

    3. Battier- Not a lock down defender anymore, can’t get his own shot and his jumper is suspect

    4. Dexter Pittman – This guy won’t even make a WNBA squad. Why is he even in the league

    The Heat better address the middle by packaging these HAS-BENS and get a durable, athletic 6’11″/ 7’0″ guy to defend the paint and to get some boards.

    Bosh is waaaaaaay too soft. His body looks fragile. He simply won’t last, trying to play center. He is almost the identical prototype of KG but without the toughness and grit KG “had”.

    Since the Bulls have gutted their roster anyway, maybe Riley can work some magic to get Noah or someone similar. But Noah would be a perfect fit.

  8. jagsfan11 - Nov 13, 2012 at 7:30 AM

    The joke is ok, Rose is better than Rondo.

  9. rodge1 - Nov 13, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    Nice to see you’re back on here posting the usual moronic comments… How’s Phil Jackson working out?… Please keep it up, everyone here is amused by your ignorance. I enjoyed 2 seasons ago when you said Heat wouldn’t do anything. I really enjoyed last season when you said Heat would lose to any team from the West in the Finals. And then the preseason when you said Lakers were the best team. Thanks for your contributions, you’re a ‘special’ guy

  10. paulhargis53 - Nov 13, 2012 at 8:39 AM

    Did you guys know that lakerluver is also bozosforall? He is that pathetic he has AT LEAST 2 screen names. I suspect he is maddog911 also.

    Lakerluver you sh*weasel, I see you ha e a fan club on Heat articles too.
    You know, when 1 person calls you a know nothing moron, it could be a difference of opinion, but when its 15 or 20, its the truth.
    The only reason you get any thumbs up’meaningless) is because fellow laker fans are defending their own. They are ashamed of you, but the mindset is fans need to stick together.

    Ignore his predictions, he’s using a broken magic 8 ball.
    He’s a 38 year old man with a 10 year old mind and swoons over Kobe like a 15 year old girl. He’s to be pitied, but its so fun to insult him. He invites it.

    • bougin89 - Nov 13, 2012 at 10:31 AM

      Paul…Lakerluver/Bozosforall are like his alter egos. Lakerluver tries to be positive for the most part, defends Kobe on everything, defends the LAKERS(god is that annoying) on everything no matter what the circumstances even if his logic is totally distorted. I could admire loyalty to your favorite team/players but when the comments are so overly biased and borderline arrogant it’s just really annoying. Bozo on the otherhand is all negative, only posting petty insults against anyone that says anything positive about Boston or negative about the Lakers. I have yet to see one comment by Bozo where he actually has an intelligent opinion instead of a cheap, elementary level insult.

    • badintent - Nov 13, 2012 at 3:15 PM

      Now the cat is out of the hat , lets call in the FTC to do with him.Wire fraud, mail fraud, name fraud, or maybe just the nut squad with the white sleeveless jackets !

  11. ludachrisgsx - Nov 13, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    I watched the end of that game and saw a couple really questionable calls that helped LeBron’s team get into position for him to even be in this discussion. He owes those refs a couple nice Rolex watches after that one. Not that he didn’t have a great performance, win or lose, but when you win those performances do a lot more for you. I guess that’s basketball though.

    • cramsinned - Nov 13, 2012 at 12:24 PM

      You may want to try to come up with something new. Refs are too old.

      It’s also too early to show your hate. Reserve them for the playoffs. It’s just a regular season game and we’re yet to reach half of the season

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