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Three Stars of the Night: Almost Perfect

Feb 5, 2013, 12:26 AM EDT

Heat's James drives against Bobcats' Mullens, Gordon and Walker in the second half of their NBA basketball game in Miami

You never know when it’s going to be one of those nights. You know, when regardless of what you do the shots just fall. It doesn’t matter if it’s a twisting drive to the rim, a deep three pointer, or your standard pull up from the elbow. Some nights the rim just seems bigger. Tonight, we honor three guys who really had it going; three guys who whenever the ball left their hands, you thought the ball was going in. Let’s get to it…

Third Star: David West (29 points, 11-18 shooting, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks)

When we talk about all-star snubs, it’s a wonder David West’s name doesn’t come up more often. Maybe it’s because his numbers don’t jump out at you or the fact that he doesn’t play a flashy game. Or maybe it’s just because his consistency is just a bit…boring. Whatever the reason, we shouldn’t let it distract us from the fact that West is really very good. Against the Bulls, West showed why scoring from all over the floor with his patented arsenal of mid-range jumpers and power post ups. West’s presence became so forceful that the Bulls started to send a second defender his way and he ended up just passing to open teammates for assists (or making the pass that led to the pass that became the assist). Other Pacers may have had the more highlight worthy plays, but it was West that was the catalyst for their win over their division rival.

Second Star: LaMarcus Aldridge (25 points, 12-17 shooting, 13 rebounds, 5 assists)

Aldridge once again showed why he’s an all-star with a fantastic two way performance against the Timberwolves. He dazzled with his typical array of made jumpers, making minced meat of any defender that was tossed at him with either a face up shot or a post up that turned into a turnaround (that he sunk over either shoulder). At the end of the game, when the ‘Wolves made a fantastic run to get the game within a single point, it was Aldridge who sunk a deep two from the right wing to give the Blazers a 3 point cushion. On top of his shot making however, it was his defense that really saved the day. On back to back possessions, he snuffed out two Minnesota scoring chances, once contesting a Ricky Rubio short jumper that would have tied the game and again on the Wolves last possession by contesting a Dante Cunningham shot that would have tied the game at the buzzer.

First Star: LeBron James (31 points, 13-14 shooting, 8 rebounds, 8 assists)

What more can really be said about LeBron at this point? He truly is the most dominant force in the game today. Against a game Bobcats team, LeBron dominated the paint by relentlessly attacking the rim via post ups, drives, and in transition. No defender could stay between LeBron and the rim and continuously made the ‘Cats pay by not settling for anything less than a high percentage look. The best part about his game, though, was the fact that he dominated late in a game that was close down the stretch. LeBron scored 10 of his 31 points in the final period, while also dishing out 3 key assists when the defense tried to collapse on him. When it was winning time, it was LeBron that took over and made it so his team would leave the arena victorious.

  1. hodaghunter - Feb 5, 2013 at 12:56 AM

    Well tonight is a good example of why Durant is the MVP and not James… Miami didn’t bother to play hard or aggressive against a weak Bobcats team. James didn’t get the team any direction or focus. Meanwhile OKC emptied out their bench in the 4th quarter thanks to a collective effort from a focused team from the start.

    • eventhorizon04 - Feb 5, 2013 at 1:48 AM

      Well, the games on February 2nd and 3rd are a good example of why LeBron is the MVP and not Durant….

      On February 2nd, OKC didn’t bother to play hard or aggressive against a weak Cavaliers team that was missing Andersen Varejao. Durant didn’t get the team any direction or focus, and the Thunder lost.

      Meanwhile, on February 3rd, Miami emptied out their bench in the 4th quarter thanks to a collective effort from a focused team from the start against the Toronto Raptors, and the Heat won.

    • fanofevilempire - Feb 5, 2013 at 7:12 AM

      I would like to report that the Knicks played Detroit and beat them.
      Melo had a lot of points and Tyson had a lot of rebounds and JR Smith
      shot a airball from the free throw line.

      • acdc363 - Feb 5, 2013 at 7:55 AM

        That was funny stuff. Then not even a minute later Drummond tosses a FT off the corner of the backboard.

    • hehateme2 - Feb 5, 2013 at 7:17 AM

      Watching LeBron is like watching a cat toy with a mouse. MVP

  2. asublimeday - Feb 5, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    Please list the current active players with better stats in every category and more rings. Jordan was a force, Lebron is Barkley…Ewing…etc

    • eventhorizon04 - Feb 5, 2013 at 2:03 AM

      There’s a lot of confusion evident in your comment.

      First – LeBron won a ring. So he has more rings than Barkley…Ewing…etc.

      Second – there aren’t any “current active players with with better stats in every category and more rings” than LeBron.

      LeBron’s numbers this year are 26.6 points per game, 55% FG, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists per game.

      So looking at star players with more rings than LeBron that are active, most fall into one of only two groups, members of the Spurs dynasty and members of the Lakers dynasty. Then there’s Dwayne Wade, who won a ring before LeBron joined the Heat.

      1. Duncan, Parker, and Ginobli are each playing well but none are surpassing LeBron’s statline individually. Parker is averaging 0.6 more assists, and Duncan is averaging 1.6 more rebounds, but otherwise, LeBron beats all 3 comfortably in points per game and FG%.

      2. Pau is having one of the worse seasons of his career. Kobe is scoring slightly more than LeBron – 27.7 ppg – but is doing much worse in terms of rebounds, assists, and FG%, and his team is losing a lot more games (currently struggling to an 8th seed).

      3. Wade is overcoming a slow start. His numbers have recovered to 20.6 ppg, 4.6 rebounds, and 4.6 assists on 51% shooting, so they’re worse than LeBron’s as well.

      While there are a few players putting up terrific statlines that are on LeBron James’ level right now – mainly Durant, CP3, and Carmelo – coincidentally, all are ringless.

      So again – the answer to your question is there are *zero* current active players with better stats in EVERY category AND more rings than LeBron.

  3. prourke22 - Feb 5, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    So, the guy does nothing but put up these numbers, and its his fault they didnt empty the bench? I know lots of you hate LeBron, but the numbers he puts up night in and night out our insane. He shooting 54%+, a career high 40%+ in threes, averaging 7 rebs and asst. And that makes Durant the MVP?
    Durant is great, but LeBron’s all around game is on another level than anyone else

  4. jabsteppumpfake - Feb 5, 2013 at 2:22 AM

    Reblogged this on JAB step PUMP fake.

  5. ryanmaxfield27 - Feb 5, 2013 at 3:51 AM

    Hey hod okc just lost to Cleveland the other day so shut up, your a retard.

  6. rickyspanish - Feb 5, 2013 at 4:19 AM


    Keep spending your energy hating, I hope it’s time we’ll spent for you.

  7. 1972wasalongtimeago - Feb 5, 2013 at 7:35 AM

    Heat plays Sunday. Doesn’t get back to Miami until 3am. Plays Monday night, and Lebron shoots 93%. ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!!!!!

    • southbeachtalent - Feb 5, 2013 at 10:14 AM

      Just plain ridiculous, hand him the MVP already..

  8. thenmoveback - Feb 5, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    It’s down to 2 players only LBJ and KD, both deserve it so far but LBJ is just more defensive on the court, and is 10th in assisting. And don’t give me this okc has a better record crap, they need a better record to prove something still, the heat have to prove nothing as defending champs, just stay healthy and wait for the playoffs. Also KD can’t even control his teammates, who saw baby Westbrook pouting and hitting stuff as he whined his way to the locker room for no reason in the middle of a game. Watch a heat game if LBJ tells someone to do something on The court they do it no questions asked, true leader.

  9. miamatt - Feb 5, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    The funny thing is in watching LBJ this game really didn’t strike me as anything special. 31-8-8? 93% shooting? I believe he did have 5 turnovers, as did Wade in a somewhat sloppy affair.

    What really strikes me about this Heat team is how far they have come in the past two years in terms of late game execution. They don’t win ’em all, but watching LeBron come up the floor with the ball in a gotta-have-it situation these days is a close to money as it gets. If Miami comes up short, it isn’t beause they didn’t get a good look.

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