The West all-stars defeat the East all-stars 148-143. As expected by most, Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant led the West’s charge to victory. While Durant (34 points) was Kobe’s main “gunner,” there was no question that the tactical command of the East’s destruction was in the hands of Bryant himself. Thanks to his 37-point, 14-rebound effort, the Black Mamba was able to secure his fourth all-star MVP award and is now currently tied with Bob Pettit for the distinction of having the most all-star MVP’s won.
While I wanted to see MORE BLAKE GRIFFIN, I recognized that he is still a rook and a first-time all-star. Besides, it was at Kobe’s house too you know. At least Dunk-a-tron was able to throw down a few during his 14 minutes on the floor. Not bad considering this was already the weekend’s third helping of Griffin pie. Then again, there’s never enough Blake Griffin action to go around, is there?
As expected, at some point it became a duel between the on-court leaders of each squad. Alas, Bryant had the better of LeBron James from the get go as his team was more cohesive and more focused.
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To his credit, Bron recorded the second triple-double in an all-star game, sharing that distinction with none other than Michael Jordan. IF the east won, James would have been the obvious MVP winner, but like they say to the victor go the spoils.
LBJ had a fantasy-friendly, monster line of 29 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists. Amar’e Stoudemire chipped in his own 29 big ones, going 11-20 from the field, 6-6 from the line and even 1-2 from beyond the arc. Hey it’s an all-star game after all.
Unfortunately, Stoudemire and James’ combined efforts were not enough to quell the western storm. The four Celtics in the East’s roster were virtually non-existent as far as the winning effort was concerned. As I was following the game in three media (TV, Twitter, and the Box Score on NBA.com), I read a tweet (obviously in jest) that “Doc Rivers wanted to tire out the Heat players while preserving his Celtics for the remaining games to come.” While that obviously was not serious, the rotation he employed showed that both Garnett and Pierce were played sparingly and only Rajon Rondo had “quality time” on the floor.
Dwyane Wade sprained his ankle as he stepped on Deron Williams’ foot and did not return. It was a precautionary move and he says that it was minor and that he should be good to go when the Heat get back to reality.
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The West never really pulled away far enough to get their lead into the 20’s and beyond, Bron and STAT kept the East within striking distance.
One play that stood out for me was how LeBron failed to block Kobe’s breakaway dunk. He made it time, but didn’t have enough to stop Mamba from stuffing it. That to me was the microcosm of the game. Kobe took charge. LeBron tried to rally his troops (via a semi-motivational speech in the huddle), but just didn’t have enough to carry them passed the West.
I’m sure this is by no means a metaphorical foreshadowing of our upcoming NBA Finals, but it would make for an interesting and spirited outcome at least.
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