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Three Stars of the Night: Give me your Point Guards

Apr 16, 2013, 1:29 AM EDT

Stephen Curry

I’m a sucker for point guards. The guys who can balance scoring and dishing; who can control the game’s flow like they do the ball in their hands. Tonight there were several worthy performances of making out list, including fantastic nights from Kevin Durant, Luis Scola, Gerald Henderson, and Greg Monroe. But, tonight, I’m going with the point guards who made their team go and led their squads to victory. Let’s get to it…

Third Star: Goran Dragic (21 points, 14 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals)

Dragic didn’t have the best shooting night (7-17 from the floor), but he led his team masterfully in an upset win over the visiting Houston Rockets. Dragic set the tone early, leading the Suns to a dynamic 39 point first period with 8 points and 9 assists (with zero turnovers) in the opening frame. He broke down the defense masterfully and set up his teammates for open shots that they were able to knock down. This was a bit of a revenge game for Dragic who was allowed to walk in free agency by the Rockets after putting up some very good numbers for them last year. Tonight, with this win, Dragic was able to help put his old team in jeopardy of slipping all the way to the 8th seed should they lose to the Lakers in their season finale on Wednesday. Not a bad night’s work for the Slovenian point guard.

Second Star: Kemba Walker (23 points, 9-15 shooting, 13 assists, 4 rebounds)

In the pantheon of very good young point guards around the league, Kemba Walker’s name typically isn’t one of the first mentioned. That said, the 2nd year pro is making real strides in his game, finding ways to have a positive impact for the Bobcats as a scorer and a distributor. Tonight was a perfect example of that as he blended his usual brand of shot making with excellent playmaking for his teammates. Maybe the most impressive part of Walker’s night was the fact that his 13 assists came with only a single turnover attached as he mostly made smart reads that fueled his team’s offense while fearlessly attacking the defense.

First Star: Stephen Curry (35 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 7 made three pointers)

There may not be a more fun player to watch right now than Steph Curry. He dazzles with a fantastic handle and is able to launch quick release jumpers from all over the floor. And against the Spurs, Curry had that jumper working, canning 7 of his 13 attempts from behind the arc to lead his Warriors to a win that, with the Rockets losing, could set them up to climb up to the 6th seed on the last day of the season. In the 1st half Curry mostly worked on the ball, creating for himself and then making good passes when the defense took away his jumper. But in the 2nd half he worked much more off the ball, coming off screens and hitting shots that few people could even attempt, much less knock down. Just another special night from one of the league’s special talents.

  1. 27winstreak - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:03 AM

    Damn, I get he’s on the Heat but can’t show no love for Norris Cole? Kid flirts w/ a triple double, makes game saving steal (on Kyrie Irving mind you) & not even an honorable mention for the little guy?

    • miamatt - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:46 PM

      Ha ha, when I saw that it was “give me your point guards” I thought for sure Cole was in. One assist shy of a triple double while playing a career high in minutes. The mental toughness he showed after missing both of what could have been game-clinching free-throws was impressive. You could just see he was desperate to make a play in the huddle. First he denies Irving the ball to force Cleveland to use their last timeout when they couldn’t inbound the ball. Then, the Cavaliers get what they undoubtedly wanted- Kyrie Irving matched-up one on one with Norris Cole- and Cole wins the game with a clean-as-a-whistle steal (or, a blocked shot and rebound, as the play was oddly scored).

      You can see why the Heat traded for this guy in the draft- they really value the things he can do defensively, and he has a fearless attitude. Cole still has a long way to go in his development, but he has improved accross the board this year- jump shot, 3-point shooting, distributing, finishing at the rim, and defending without fouling- all vastly better than a year ago.

  2. baymac408 - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:31 AM

    Curry a beast… Smooth

  3. hehateme2 - Apr 16, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    Norris Cole was the BEST!

  4. broncobeta - Apr 16, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Norris Cole? Ty Lawson? I mean, come on.

    Well whatever. I should just count my blessings that they didn’t put Kobe on the list.

  5. ochotrinko - Apr 16, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Carry

    • 4thquartermagic - Apr 16, 2013 at 4:49 PM

      Lol yeah its pretty hilarious how much NBA players carry the ball. It’s like “holding” in football. Happens all the time and is arbitrarily called… Well come to think of it, carrying is almost never called. SMH for fundamentals.

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