Nov 29, 2012, 3:52 AM EDT
Mark Morrison is not one of our Three Stars of the Night, mainly because he does not play professional basketball. For those unfortunate souls who are unfamiliar, Morrison is a singer who made a name for himself way back in 1996 with the hit single “Return of the Mack.”
While Mark Morrison and that awesome song may have been left behind in the past, another guy who burst on to the scene 16 years ago is still making some noise. Here’s our Three Stars of Night, featuring a comeback song.
Third Star: Jerry Stackhouse – 17 points, 5-of-6 on 3-pointers
Despite playing in just 89 games over his last four seasons, Jerry Stackhouse won a roster spot on the Brooklyn Nets. Now, incredibly, he’s helping them win games. In a slugfest with Boston where both Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries were ejected, Avery Johnson turned to a 38-year-old to bail him out. Although the athleticism that carried him earlier in his career is totally gone, Stack can still stroke it. His 5-for-6 effort from behind the arc and 17 points in 22 minutes of play gave the Nets the offensive boost they needed to get out of Boston with a win to show for their bumps and bruises.
Second Star: Serge Ibaka – 23 points, 9 rebounds, 6 blocks
Although a lot of the focus on the James Harden trade narrowed in on Kevin Martin, it’s easy to forget that the Thunder decided to lock up Serge Ibaka long-term first. Performances like this are the reason. Ibaka is a little overrated as a defender because of his gaudy shot-blocking totals, but he’s actually pretty underrated as an offensive player. How many big men with his size and athleticism also sport a reliable 17-foot jumper? Ibaka connected on every jumper he took except for one (11-for-13 on the night, 6-of-7 on jumpers) and continually spread the floor for Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant to do their thing. Speaking of…
First Star: Kevin Durant – 37 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists
In his return to Oklahoma City, James Harden lamented after the game that he “couldn’t cover everyone”, but he couldn’t really guard Kevin Durant, either. Far too often Durant got to start with the ball from 15-feet and in, which is just too easy for a guy a who can rise and fire over anyone. Durant was great offensively, obviously, but give him some credit on the defensive end for Harden’s 3-for-16 stinker as well. The narrative that Durant is “just a scorer” needs to go away and never come back.
- Spurs would like to remind you they are very good, crush Grizzlies in Game 1 0
- LeBron takes offense to something that Pacers’ head coach Vogel didn’t actually say 28
- Thunder GM says team won’t amnesty Kendrick Perkins 23
- Western Conference Finals preview: Grizzlies vs. Spurs 8
- Pacers advance to the Eastern Conference Finals with Game 6 win over Knicks 50
- Knicks predictably drop Game 4 to Pacers, fall behind 3-1 (93)
- Kobe Bryant responds to Michael Jordan comparison from Phil Jackson (79)
- LeBron James shrugs off claims he’s a flopper (64)
- Seattle group releases statement; forced to wait, hope for expansion (63)
- Bradley Beal said he’d lose respect for a teammate who acted like Derrick Rose (63)
- Play Video: Grizzlies ready for 'running' Spurs
- Play Video: Durant won't 'compromise himself' like other stars
- Play Video: Knicks avoid elimination
- Play Video: Heat finish off Bulls, James 'has no energy left'
- Play Video: Health woes make Heat vulnerable
- Play Video: Good news for Sacramento, Kings stay