It’s a misnomer to call Thursday’s picks for the rest of the All-Star squads “reserves” considering their place as some of the world’s best ballers, but we learned who filled out the All-Star rosters last night on TNT. Some experts weren’t thrilled by all the picks, which opens up the annual conversation: Do fans want the big names or should they deserve the best in the moment? A perfect example is LaMarcus Aldridge, who was balling last season in Portland but got cut because he wasn’t a hot name. He got his much-deserved All-Star spot last night. Paul Pierce, Luol Deng and Dirk Nowitzki, though? And no Rondo? … A final thought about the All-Star Game: We’d love to eavsdrop on the Gasol brothers’ phone call today. Hey Pau, sorry I beat you out … Nike Basketball delivered again and dropped All-Star kicks for Kobe, Durant and LeBron. What do you think of them? … The Truth (18 points, nine rebounds, seven assists) stared down Metta World Peace for a go-ahead three with a minute left, but the Lakers held serve in Boston to kick off Thursday night, 88-87 in overtime. L.A. finally grabs a win on the road, with Kobe pouring in 27. How about that two-night stretch for Doc Rivers? Take the bad with the good, sure, but he must have still been riding high a night after seeing his son, Austin, bring Duke from 10 points back and hit the game-winning, building-quieting three in Chapel Hill. Then he comes back to Beantown for a premier matchup only to see Pau Gasol (25 points, 14 rebounds) and Andrew Bynum (16 points, 17 rebounds) ruin a second Rivers family win. Bynum got a huge tip-in with two minutes left to put L.A. up one, then Pau tipped in a game-tying bucket with less than 10 in regulation. When he blocked Ray Allen to end overtime it was finally over … KG on why he struggled (6-for-23): “I should have took on a more meditative state, done some yoga on the side or something.” … Pretty easy for the Rockets over the Suns, 96-89. But the highlight came before the game was seven points old with Channing Frye‘s facial over Samuel Dalembert. Frye (21 points) was the recipient of All-Star reserve Steve Nash‘s (14 points, 13 dimes) generosity much of the night. Nash’s All-Star nod puts him in rare company for long-term greatness, joining only Kareem, Jordan and Malone as All-Star selections after turning 38 … Making close to 50 percent on three-pointers will do the trick any night out. Golden State, always one of the league’s most enjoyable teams to watch offensively, was, yeah, offensive (13-for-25 from deep, 52 percent shooting). Steph Curry was the ringleader of it all, going for 36 with seven rebounds and seven dimes to torch the Nuggets. His last three prompted a Mark Jackson-esque shimmy to go with his 36th point. The whole team was stroking it like Bob Ross on a mid-day painting show. At one point after a David Lee jumper from the elbow, the distraught Nuggets’ TV crew dropped this line: “When David Lee’s making jump shots what’s the world coming to?” … And â€” can we say this with a straight face? â€” give a round of applause to the GS defense for keeping the Nuggets in check. Denver came in averaging almost 104 points per game, the most in the league, but was almost held to less than 100 for the fifth straight game for the first time since 2006. The final score doesn’t show the control the Warriors had all game, leading by 20 in the fourth … Keep reading to hear about the biggest upset of the night …
Blackout night in Sacramento for their 106-101 win over OKC. Even C-Webb was in attendance calling the game for TNT (now, if they could only track down Doug Christie and Vlade Divac). Serge I-blocka, The Serge Protector, whatever you want to call him, OKC’s Ibaka controlled all the airspace above Sac-town on Thursday with 10 blocks … The second unit brought the Kings back before the half, with Jimmer Fredette hitting a three from somewhere near Modesto on the break after a one-hand bullet pass to Chuck Hayes for a bucket. That had the Maloof brothers doing their typical sideline histrionics … Russell Westbrook interrupted Webber’s conversation about arena financing in the second quarter with his HUGE eye-to-the-rim throwdown and then stepback triple the next time down. We’re pretty sure Kevin Harlan was about to melt down on the mic over that dunk … Daequan Cook finished the half with a buzzer-beater three … Creepy quote of the night came from Reggie Miller: “Don’t you love young legs?” … The second half had us guessing whether the Kings had a strategy on pick and rolls with Durant or if it was check by committee. But Marcus Thornton (15 points) stepped up as the playmaker late with his threes and Tyreke and Cousins had us believing … Charles Barkley last night: “We from the hood, black people don’t have trampolines” … And the official rosters were announced for the 2012 McDonald’s All American Game rosters. The prospects who made the cut for the West are Shabazz Muhammad, Brandon Ashley, Isaiah Austin, Anthony Bennett, Kevin Ferrell, Archie Goodwin, Grant Jerrett, Marcus Paige, Devonta Pollard, Cameron Ridley, Marcus Smart and Rasheed Sulaimon, while the East roster looks like Kyle Anderson, DaJuan Coleman, Kris Dunn, Perry Ellis, William Goodwin, Gary Harris, Amile Jefferson, Tyler Lewis, Tony Parker, Alex Poythress, Rodney Purvis and T.J. Warren … We’re out like Murray State’s undefeated season.
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