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Three Stars of the Night: MVP Candidates shine on Christmas

Dec 26, 2012, 3:26 AM EDT

Kevin Durant, LeBron James AP

Christmas Day is a showcase day for the NBA. No NFL. No college bowl games. Just hoops. And as you can imagine any league run by David Stern doing, it put its biggest stars on display on the biggest early season stage. The second opening day, if you will.

The stars on Christmas were the three guys at the front of the MVP race. With apologies to Kobe Bryant, who came in fourth in the stars voting by our committee (of one).

Third Star: LeBron James (29 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists)

He won the MVP last year and voters seem a little weary of voting for him, but you simply cannot have an MVP conversation without the single best player on the planet in the discussion. He almost put up a triple-double, which he seems to almost do a lot of nights. He showed off the full range of skills, from a couple monster dunks to a no-look pass late. If you think the MVP has to be the single best player in the league, you have to vote for him.

Second Star: Carmelo Anthony (34 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists)

He is doing more than just scoring this year, but when he does score the Knicks take leads. Like when Anthony put up 17 points in the third quarter when the Knicks seemed to take control of the game. He had seven in the fourth but the Lakers focused their defense more on him and his teammates could not make Los Angeles pay for that. Anthony deserves to be in the early MVP conversation, but now it falls on him to stay in the talks.

First star: Kevin Durant (33 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assist)

He didn’t have a huge first-half impact because he was mired in foul trouble, but he had 14 in the fourth quarter when you expect your stars to make plays (although he missed a tough three to tie it with LeBron in his face. He did. He has been the most consistent of the big stars this year and I get the feeling voters are going to give it to him because “it’s his turn.” But it’s more than that, he came back to the NBA off the Olympics a better player and he has led the Thunder to the top spot out West.

  1. danielgmz - Dec 26, 2012 at 4:02 AM

    Two of the 3 stars lost… That just seems a little odd to me. I’d give it to MWP, Kobe and LBJ.

  2. dannymac17 - Dec 26, 2012 at 4:28 AM

    good for them. such a prestigious award. only many will hold the throne.


  3. felisberto - Dec 26, 2012 at 4:41 AM

    Why Jeremy Lin isn’t on the list? JLin is the MVP.

    • davidly - Dec 26, 2012 at 6:20 AM

      I think he’s talking about for the season. But for the night, you’re close to right, he was second to LBJ.

  4. lemfax - Dec 26, 2012 at 6:59 AM

    33-7-3 lost better than 29-8-9 won
    Please change the title to the best shooter of the night:)

  5. davidly - Dec 26, 2012 at 7:03 AM

    I sure was wrong about the NY/LA game: I figured whoever took fewer shots, Melo or Kobe, would win. They both took more than their average, barely, but shot pretty well. And while a couple of other guys had pretty solid games, the game itself was kind of boring, I felt.

    Not as bad as ESPN’s halftime coverage, though. Why on earth do they hire four guys to sit at a desk when each guy is worse than the other? Isn’t two enough?

    When Bryant takes more shots than his team has assists: 4-10
    When his team has more assists than he does shot attempts: 10-4
    Of the times that they win in spite of Bryant taking more shots than his team has assists, an opposing team’s player does the same: twice
    Kemba Walker – Bobcats
    J.R. Smith, Carmelo Anthony – Knicks (same game)

  6. bils293 - Dec 26, 2012 at 8:18 AM

    ??? You would think given the title for the article that the biggest star of the night would be the guy who almost got a triple double and who’s team actually won the game. And Kobe should be listed as well. And I’m pretty sure both Carmelo and lebron have been just as consistently good as kd has been this season.

  7. jcavfss - Dec 26, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    Why are two of these three players listed when their teams lost the game? Isn’t the point of this supposed to be about players that impact the game in such a way that their team wins? Seems like Kurt and the boys only care about box scores and the “wow” factor….oh and their favorite super stars.

    • davidly - Dec 26, 2012 at 9:32 AM

      Isn’t the point of this supposed to be about players that impact the game in such a way that their team wins?
      Yes it is. That’s why these particular players are being discussed in this post; Because their teams are winning (20-8,19-6, 21-6) and they all had impressive games yesterday. Hence the MVP correlation.

      This ain’t rocket science. Try to keep up.

      • jcavfss - Dec 26, 2012 at 10:06 AM


        That sounds great except for the fact that this post is titled the “Three Stars of the Night”…not of the season. That clearly went right over your head as you were watching Sportcenter last night. If this was about players having MVP-type seasons it should have been titled the “Three Stars of the Season” in order to be consistent. “Stars of the Night” should be about the players that lead their team to victory on a given night. Not the predictable, presumed selection of few.

        Also, following your strange line of logic, since Lebron, Carmelo, and Kevin Durant pretty much have these type of games on a nightly basis, should we just presume that they will all be the “Three Stars of the Night” every time they play a game? That is a logical consequence of what you are spewing. You know, because as you said: “Yes it is. That’s why these particular players are being discussed in this post; Because their teams are winning (20-8,19-6, 21-6) and they all had impressive games yesterday.”

        I will do my best to keep up though.


    • davidly - Dec 26, 2012 at 10:24 AM

      What apparently has gone over your head is the byline and the website. You see, that’s who’s responsible for the “Three Stars of the Night” series. But you knew that before you clicked, didn’t ya?

      Also, since you are doing your best: While this may be more blog post than article–it’s called framing. The author framed the issue in a larger context. You still following?

      Which brings us to perhaps the most significant word in the title, “Stars”. What does that mean to you? And since you have an apparent intimate knowledge of Sportscenter, you’d have to tell me how it might distract one from attaining your superior knowledge of sports’ journalism, because I haven’t seen it in years.

      If you still haven’t fallen too far behind, you might want to consider proposing your own personal choices. Though, keep in mind that you’d be lowering yourself to the standard of choosing three stars in the first place. That might be beneath what you know as–how was it you put it–“the point of this”?

      My choices would be LeBron James, Jeremy Lin, and MWP.

  8. kevinramljak - Dec 26, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    This is just stupid. Lebron should be the first star ’cause his team actually WON and he had a much better game than both Carmelo and Durant. The other two stars should have gone to Kobe and Harden.

  9. lameasish - Dec 26, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    I got something we all can keep up with, davidly is trying too hard

  10. iowahbr - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    The amazing game last night was Omer of the Rockets. The man with stone hands gets 20 points 18 rebounds and 3 blocks and makes the Bulls look silly. In return the Bulls get Boozer looking like a walking ad for a tattoo parlor.

  11. redwards29a - Dec 26, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    “he came back to the NBA off the Olympics a better player and he has led the Thunder to the top spot out West.”

    Actually, the Thunder don’t have the top spot out west, because they lost last night.

  12. felisberto - Dec 26, 2012 at 3:22 PM

  13. michaeljordanseviltwin - Dec 26, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    I watched the games and if you did you would know LeBron was the star of the night. He played his best game of the season because he was fully locked in on defense. He broke that silly streak of games with 0 fouls because he was going at guys on D and making smart plays all over the court. LBJ’s stats are incredibly consistent so it isn’t always easy to tell when he has a truly great game… but this was a great game. He wanted to beat Durant and the Thunder and that’s what he did.

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