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Three Stars of the Night: Be Easy

Jan 31, 2013, 2:25 AM EDT

beasley_8503_1 Getty Images

This is catnip for the Lakers haters out there. The Lakers had all this positive momentum, Kobe Bryant was a new man, and all they had to do was keep it going against Phoenix. Easy, right? But instead, in what has to feel like rock bottom, the Lakers were put away by Michael Beasley. Yes, that Michael Beasley, the same guy who might finish out the year with more shot attempts than points. The guy with the “Super Cool Beas” tattoo across his back. That guy.

And with that in mind, we can’t honor the ultra-efficient nights of Tony Parker or Tyson Chandler on Beasley’s first (and probably last) appearance in Three Stars, can we? It just wouldn’t feel. Let’s get to the rest of the stars:

Third Star: Al Horford – (22 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks)

Horford’s monster night may have been overshadowed a bit by some memorable Josh Smith moments, but that worked out just fine for the Hawks in the end. Down one to Toronto with about 24 seconds left, Smith held the ball and the defense’s attention near the top of the key. It looked like Horford was going to set a down screen for the always deadly Kyle Korver, but instead, Horford brilliantly slipped the screen, and the Raptors forgot all about him. Smith delivered the picture perfect pass and Horford laid in the go-ahead, game-winning layup. Smith gets a lot of publicity for being a special athlete, but ask Horford — he’s an incredible high-low passer as well. He might have to share his star, but Horford’s big line and his thwarting of Toronto’s potential game-winners (one legal, one not so legal) gave Atlanta the win.

Second Star: Michael Beasley – (27 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals)

How did the Suns come back from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit? Dwight Howard‘s shoulder injury played a role, and Phoenix’s defense did also, but let’s give credit where credit is due —  Beasley was awesome. On the game he had a season-high 27 points with 10 of those coming in big spots in the fourth quarter. Beasley made the game easy for himself by taking much more reasonable mid-range jumpers than he usually settles for, and his ability to attack the basket and use his size is something we all dreamed on when we watched him tear it up at Kansas State. If Beasley could somehow bottle this intelligent aggressiveness and use it all the time, we’d really have something. There’s an awful lot of evidence to suggest he’ll never figure it out, but nights like this are tantalizing enough to keep the hope flickering.

First Star: LeBron James – (24 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists)

It’s easy to forget about LeBron’s great games. We’ve just become so accustomed to greatness that we can dismiss it. LeBron’s work in the pick-and-roll and killer jumpers just further illustrated why Reggie Evans is so terribly, terribly wrong. Everyone needs help against good offensive players — true — but not every team is rendered helpless by certain guys. That’s only reserved for a select few, and that select few does not include Andray Blatche. More importantly than all that, the Heat sent a nice little message in a 20-point drubbing of the Nets that they can turn it on when the situation calls for it. They have their issues, but so did their championship team. As long as LeBron is making performances like this seem average, they’ll just be fine.

  1. badintent - Jan 31, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    Kurt , I just look up the page and see “Report: Lamar Odom “desperately ” wants to be a Laker again and I know that all is good and right in the world. Lamar is a Clipper and happy, I can’t speak for Chloe but I do know that Lamar has no Honey Nutt issues. Only issue NOT on Laker radar these days.

    • Kurt Helin - Jan 31, 2013 at 11:58 AM

      You should check the date stamp on some of the reports that the system pulls up to go with stories. You’ll see some are not recent.

      • badintent - Jan 31, 2013 at 5:34 PM

        Sir,I did check the date. but you must admit there is a delious irony in the location of Lamar’s present situation with a winning Clippers team as compared to what”if” the Lakers had taken him back. The same goes for the page placement of both headlines. Keep up the great work, but please don’t tell anyone that Steve Siegal had a movie in the 90′s where deer antler extract was mentioned. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

        I\’m Vijay Singh and curry does masked deer antler smell.

  2. kavika6 - Jan 31, 2013 at 4:25 AM

    The Lakers got beaten by a man that looks like a woman.

    • badintent - Jan 31, 2013 at 5:35 PM

      Ya mean an IT

  3. miamatt - Jan 31, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    What a joy it was to watch Phoneix come back in the forth quarter last night behind Michael Beasley’s dominance. I mean MICHAEL FREEKIN’ BEASLEY!!!

    I’m also glad the Heat-Nets video showed Chalmers’s on-his-a$$ rebound and pass. I was dying when that happened.

    • fanofthegame79 - Jan 31, 2013 at 11:55 AM

      That was a nice little rebound by Chalmers!

  4. BigBeachBall - Jan 31, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    the only thing missing from that kid’s haircut are some beads and sequence.. wtf

  5. badintent - Jan 31, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    Mistake by the Lake

  6. badintent - Jan 31, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    PBT BLOWBACK AGAIN. NASTY

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