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Three Stars of the night: Carmelo’s hot hand continues

Apr 4, 2013, 3:56 AM EDT

Carmelo Anthony, Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd AP

Welcome to the Atlantic Division version of Three Stars of the night. We don’t need your other five divisions, you can keep them.

Third Star: Jonas Valanciunas (24 points, 10 rebounds)

Coming into this season, there was a lot of hope in Toronto around Valanciunas, that the rookie could be a key part of their future in the middle. But he was raw — he still is raw, for example watch him bite on pump fakes (especially a second one). But he does bring a defensive presence, and in this game his energy and explosiveness was key for Toronto’s offense — and right from the start, he had 9 points in the first quarter.

Second Star: Jeff Green (34 points, 6 rebounds)

Jeff Green was very efficient in this game — 13-of-19 shooting — and that was big for him and the Celtics (who clinched a playoff spot). He also drained the dagger three late in this one. The question with Green has always been whether he’d be aggressive or passive and of late he certainly has been attacking more. But also he has developed a more rounded offensive game over the years. Sure, attacking by going right and ideally dunking is preferred, but he can go left and has a nice little elbow jumper. It makes him that much tougher to guard.

First Star: Carmelo Anthony (40 points, 5 rebounds)

One night after dropping 50 on the Heat he dropped 40 on the Hawks. Somebody is gearing up for the playoffs. This game was different than the Heat one — against Miami it was all jump shots but against the Hawks he was attacking the rim from the start, using his strength to bully his way there. With the threat of the drive he was able to get to his spots on the floor (the elbow) and knock down midrange shots. He also just hit some ridiculous shots while Josh Smith played solid defense. Anthony was 17-of-27 shooting and showed why he is thought of as one of the best scorers in the game today — and that has been key to the Knicks’ 10-game winning streak.

  1. rickyspanish - Apr 4, 2013 at 4:39 AM

    Carmelo es en fuego! Love him or hate him, the dude can shoot.

  2. cantonbound13 - Apr 4, 2013 at 8:07 AM

    Ok, who hacked Ricky’s account?

  3. saint1997 - Apr 4, 2013 at 8:14 AM

    I just feel the Nix are better when they drive. I get Melo can drop 50 without stepping a foot in the paint (it’s surreal how that sentence isn’t an exaggeration) but the Knicks are at their best when Melo and JR play inside out and don’t take as many 3s. It opens up the court for other shooters I think

    • jolink653 - Apr 4, 2013 at 2:02 PM

      Couldn’t agree with you more…The Knicks are much more successful when they attack the rim and put pressure on the opposing defense, getting higher percentage shots and also getting to the line…Can’t tell you how frustrating it is as a Knicks fan to watch them jack up 20 foot jumpshots all night in some of these games, and I think the real reason for the recent success on offense is that JR is taking the ball to the hole, providing that much-needed second scoring option and lifting some of the scoring burden from Melo

      • saint1997 - Apr 6, 2013 at 12:50 AM

        I feel you I’m also a Knickerbocker man and I so agree with the JR analysis. It looks like Woody likes it as well when JR is taking it hard to the cup even when he is just getting fouled

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