Skip to content

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.

Latest Posts
  1. Paul George tweets: “I’ll be ok and be back better than ever”

    Aug 2, 2014, 1:22 AM EDT

    PAUL GEORGE PAUL GEORGE

    Adam Silver and Larry Bird issued statements as well.

  2. LeBron James leads long list of players wishing Paul George the best after suffering serious USA Basketball injury

    Aug 2, 2014, 12:07 AM EDT

    Paul George, LeBron James Paul George, LeBron James

    LeBron, like most NBA players, had nothing but get-well wishes for Paul George following what appeared to be a serious injury.

  3. Paul George leaves USA Basketball Showcase with severe lower leg injury, remainder of scrimmage canceled

    Aug 1, 2014, 10:51 PM EDT

    Team USA Practice Session Getty Images

    Gruesome injury suffered by George causes remainder of scrimmage to be canceled.

  4. Tony Parker didn’t get a no-trade clause in his new Spurs deal. Why not?

    Aug 1, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    2014 NBA Finals - Game Five Getty Images

    Only six NBA players have no-trade clauses, and Parker wasn’t eligible under the circumstances.

  5. Report: Corey Brewer not going to Cavaliers in Kevin Love trade

    Aug 1, 2014, 5:44 PM EDT

    Kyrie Irving, Corey Brewer Kyrie Irving, Corey Brewer

    Rumor had suggested Brewer could replace Kevin Martin or J.J. Barea in deal

  6. Derrick Rose: Bulls are more talented than at any point in his career

    Aug 1, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT

    NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service NBA Cares All-Star Day of Service

    Chicago added Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott this summer

  7. Knicks sign second-round pick Cleanthony Early

    Aug 1, 2014, 4:14 PM EDT

    Cleanthony Early Cleanthony Early

    New York had only minimum contract available

  8. Rumor: Corey Brewer to Cleveland now part of Kevin Love trade talk

    Aug 1, 2014, 3:37 PM EDT

    Minnesota Timberwolves v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

    If true, Corey Brewer would be a nice get for the Cavaliers.

  9. Tony Parker signs (another) contract extension with Spurs

    Aug 1, 2014, 2:22 PM EDT

    2014 NBA Finals - Game Five Getty Images

    Parker’s max extension: three years, $43,335,938

  10. Dwyane Wade says he has dropped weight, ready to take on more of offense

    Aug 1, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    Dwyane Wade Dwyane Wade

    Wade is trying to drop pounds to make life easier on his knees. We’ll see how much that helps.

  11. Isaiah Thomas: “I always will love Sacramento, but when we play them I’m going to kill Sacramento”

    Aug 1, 2014, 11:51 AM EDT

    Sacramento Kings v Golden State Warriors Getty Images

    “So when I say I felt disrespected, I just felt like the way I played the game of basketball wasn’t appreciated.” —Isaiah Thomas referring to Sacramento management.

  12. Paul George: Cavaliers are Eastern Conference favorites

    Aug 1, 2014, 11:20 AM EDT

    Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game 3 Getty Images

    Why is the Pacers’ star choosing LeBron James’ team?

  13. Report: Greg Monroe ‘doesn’t really have a great interest in going back and playing with the Pistons’

    Aug 1, 2014, 10:29 AM EDT

    Atlanta Hawks v Detroit Pistons Atlanta Hawks v Detroit Pistons

    Pistons have reportedly talked sign-and-trade with Hawks, Suns and Blazers (but Portland is out)

Featured video

Why can't Lakers have a player-coach?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (4023)
  2. K. Love (3713)
  3. L. James (3638)
  4. K. Bryant (2630)
  5. K. Durant (2202)
  1. R. Allen (2101)
  2. D. Wade (2038)
  3. E. Bledsoe (1950)
  4. B. Griffin (1860)
  5. M. Beasley (1806)