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Three Stars of the Night: Small forward edition

Apr 10, 2013, 2:17 AM EDT

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony dribbles down the court past Washington Wizards guard Martell Webster in the first half of their NBA basketball game in Manhattan, New York

One of these players won’t make the All-NBA first team.

Third Star: Kevin Durant (21 points, 12 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals)

Durant just missed his fourth tripe-double, but he still had half of Oklahoma City’s assists in a win over the Jazz. Maybe Durant shouldn’t have passed so much. He shot 60 percent (6-of-10) to his teammates’ 37 percent.

Second Star: LeBron James (28 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists)

LeBron’s rebounds and assists per game actually dropped tonight. He’s the MVP not because his highs are the NBA’s best, but because he’s made games like tonight’s against the Bucks his baseline. His pass off the backboard to himself was pretty special, though.

First Star: Carmelo Anthony (36 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 0 turnovers)

Melo has scored at least 36 points in five straight games, and unlike earlier in the streak, he’s showing a much more diverse game. He hadn’t had this many assists without a turnover since he played for the Nuggets, and he’s had at least eight rebounds in three straight games.

LeBron and Durant probably still have the inside track to take the All-NBA first team’s two forward spots, but Melo is making an impressive late push.

  1. Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:34 AM

    We were bombarded with 3-4 straight stories per night when the Heat won 13 straight…

    Oh, and about the All-NBA debate. James trumps Durant. And since they both play with at least one other All-Star and bona fide All-NBA team and Anthony doesn’t, then you take Anthony and you take James, since James trumps Durant. Not even sure why people talk like Durant is better than Anthony, when he isn’t.

    Watching ESPN highlights and browsing box scores doesn’t give license to speak on Anthony’s game if you don’t watch four out of every five games on average.

    • saint1997 - Apr 10, 2013 at 4:07 AM

      can you please stop giving honest and modest knick fans everywhere a bad reputation?

    • fanofevilempire - Apr 10, 2013 at 6:53 AM

      I was looking for something on the Knicks but nothing, I guess the nba leading scorer and
      the first Knick division title in 19 years was not so important.

      • kinggw - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:19 AM

        Really? Are you Knick fans so attention starved, that you expect blog posts congratulating Melo on currently leading the race for the scoring title?

        Im sure that once the season is over and Anthony wins the scoring title, he will get his props. There is no need for that now. And yes an Atlantic division title is not important, especially if the Knicks are contenders like you think they are.

        And before a certain somebody gets to whining, PBT did not do a story on the Heat winning the Southeast crown.

    • pudgalvin - Apr 10, 2013 at 8:00 AM

      That’s some nice made up logic. I would argue that every single measurable stat, points, field goal %, three point %, free throw %, assists, rebounds, steals, blocks, EFF, PER and wins, favors Durant. Maybe that’s just ‘checking box scores.’ I would also argue that if Durant didn’t play with Westbrook, though the Thunder wouldn’t be as good, Durant’s numbers would even more impressive.

      I’ll also add that Carmelo Anthony can’t get his team out of the first round in a weak east while Durant has his teams in the finals in a brutal western conference.

    • kinggw - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      Right now the Knicks are on an impressive streak, but it still is the 3rd longest streak of the season behind the Clippers and Heat respectively. Does the 3rd longest streak deserve 3-4 stories a night? I’ll let you answer that one.

      As much as I respect Melo, he’s not better than Durant. Melo is on fire right now, Durant has been doing work all season. There is something to be said about consistency.

    • michaeljordanseviltwin - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:17 PM

      How about you tell me the last time Carmelo Anthony won a playoff series. Playoff series wins/losses:

      Carmelo: 2-9
      Durant: 5-3
      LeBron: 15-6

      So next time you want to toot Carmelo’s horn why don’t you consider that he’s never made his teammates better and never been the best player on a great team. I’m not saying that couldn’t change… but the evidence is stacked heavy in Durant’s favor.

  2. yousuxxors - Apr 10, 2013 at 6:06 AM

    melo and Durant are pretty much the same player. great scorers and average defenders. melo has better post moves while Durant is a better jump shooter and passer (more willing). I say the games are pretty even. best two scorers on planet and can make argument for either one.

  3. pudgalvin - Apr 10, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    It’s too bad the rest of the Bulls crapped their pants last night because Jimmy Butler was really good. 28 points on 10-12 shooting, 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks playing all 48 minutes while thoroughly shutting down Rudy Gay was a nice evening. Hard to win games, though, when Nazr Mohammed and Maclom Thomas are playing 30+ minutes. The Bulls have now played 25 of their 77 games with their first game starting lineup. That’s some bad injury luck.

  4. eboneseagles - Apr 10, 2013 at 9:14 AM

    Couldn’t melo get in as PF? He’s played the vast majority of his minutes there this season. I just don’t see how the NBAs leading scorer gets left off the all nba team.

    • pudgalvin - Apr 10, 2013 at 9:21 AM

      Hasn’t Lebron played the mainly the 4 this year too though?

      • eboneseagles - Apr 10, 2013 at 9:38 AM

        Idk because I don’t watch the heat very often, but I’d say no since their stating lineup includes Haslem and Bosh. I mean you could say Lebron plays PG for them honestly.

      • pudgalvin - Apr 10, 2013 at 9:56 AM

        More of a rhetorical question. He has played an awful lot of 4.

  5. floridascuba1 - Apr 10, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    Yea cause that guy chandler sucks.

  6. bowmanj35 - Apr 10, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    splitting hairs maybe, but I’m taking that Durant line over the LBJ line any day. and the only thing significant about melos is the Zero turnovers.

  7. fanofthegame79 - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    I don’t know…the more I watch the Thunder play, I think that Westbrook is the best player on their team. I think he has a more complete game than Durant. And, I’ve been saying this for a while (pre-injury, too) but I think Westbrook is better than Derick Rose. He has just as a diverse game, yet he’s often the 2nd option on his team after Durant. Would Rose be as dynamic if he wasn’t 80% of the Bulls offense? Personally, I would put Carmelo over Durant this year. They own the head-to-head match up (by points, anyway) and he’s about to win his first scoring title. If the Heat were so dominant, the Knicks would have been more of a story this year – they’re 2nd in the East and just won their division title. Thunder are in 2nd place in the West and seem to get as much hype as the Heat.

    • pudgalvin - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:03 PM

      I think you’re wrong on Westbrook. Not that he’s not a great player, but if you put any of the top flight point guards, Rose, Paul, Irving, Wall etc., along side of probably the second best player in the league, he’s going to look that much better. If Rose only had to be 50% of the Bulls offense, his shooting percentage and his efficiency would go way up. And if you look at at the on/off stats for Durant and Westbrook, Durant has a larger, better impact on most facets of OKC’s offense than Westbrook, especially shooting %, assists % and points per 100 (especially points per 100).

      And if you look at Rose’s stats from last year, he has an impact on the Bulls offense that is closer to Durant’s than Westbrook’s; especially field goal % and points per 100.

      I see way too many Thunder possesions that are Westbrook dribbling around in circles while one of the best scorers in the game stands and watches and doesn’t get a touch.

  8. fanofthegame79 - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    Going back to my Westbrook comment. Just think about if he went to another team (like Harden did), he would be talked about as one of the top 3-4 players in the league.

  9. stoudemelo - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    What’s also getting lost is Melo didn’t play in the 4th

    • stoudemelo - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      Not the mention Melo has played less than 5 games as the starting small forward

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