Jason Kidd, Raymond Felton

Three Stars of the Night: Two Knicks’ guards… and LeBron.

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We should just name one of these stars after LeBron at this point. Aside that, the story of the night was the Knicks dramatic comeback win, so the two guards that led that charge are getting stars tonight.

Third Star: Jason Kidd (14 points, 4-of-6 from three)

His line isn’t that impressive, but it’s really about when he got them — he was 3-of-4 from three in the fourth quarter when the Knicks made a 25-6 run to steal a game the Spurs thought they had locked up. Oh, and if you didn’t notice the Knicks are 6-0. Kidd’s not the player he once was, but he can shoot the rock and when he is on the floor the ball just seems to move better.

Second Star: LeBron James (27 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds)

We could put him up here any night he plays, he is on a different level than anybody in the Association right now. He could get away with anything short of Andrew Bynum’s haircut. With Dwyane Wade out and Mario Chalmers getting injured mid-game, LeBron put up 15 points and 7 assists in the second half and the Heat get a win in their fourth game in five days, winning on the most brutal back-to-back in the league (from Los Angeles or Golden State up to the mile-high air of Denver).

First Star: Raymond Felton (25 points, 7 assists)

He led the team in scoring in a big win in San Antonio and is a key reason the Knicks are 6-0, but like Jason Kidd it’s really about when he made his mark — Felton and Kidd scored 15 of the 23 points in the fourth quarter Knicks run that won the game. Felton has been a steady presence at the top, getting the Knicks surprisingly efficient offense going. He also runs a mean pick-and-roll with Tyson Chandler. After a terrible year in Portland he has found his footing again in New York.

PBT Extra: Who do you want to see most in first All-Star Game?

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Tonight the NBA All-Star Game starters will be announced. Then the coaches have a week to vote and the rest of the roster will be put together by them.

This year should see a few first-time All-Stars, guys bursting on the scene and grabbing fans attention — so we asked people on Twitter who they most wanted to see in his first All-Star Game and I break it down in this PBT Extra.

The winner? Giannis Antetokounmpo with 45 percent of the vote. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s second in the fan voting for the frontcourt in the East (behind only LeBron James). Good news for those fans, the Greek Freak is almost guaranteed to be a starter, he’s getting plenty of media votes and likely a lot from the players as well.

Second place in the poll? Joel Embiid of the Sixers. I’d love to see him, but will players and media members vote in a guy on a minutes restriction? Will the coaches pick him for that same reason? He is on the bubble.

Russell Westbrook: ‘Don’t say what’s up to that b— a—’ (video)

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Did Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant talk during the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night? Westbrook said no, though video and first-hand accounts indicate otherwise.

Even more clearly: Westbrook – who walked near teammates Enes Kanter, Anthony Morrow and Jerami Grant – didn’t want someone talking to someone as they left the floor after the game. ESPN caught Westbrook saying, “Don’t say what’s up to that b— a—.”

You will never convince anyone Westbrook is referring to anyone but Durant.

Russell Westbrook commits epic travel (video)

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Between getting laid out by Zaza Pachulia and apparently talking with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook committed a travel for the ages.

The Thunder guard took an inbound pass against the Warriors and just started walking up court without dribbling. The violation was so blatant, NBA officials even called the travel.

And it’s not as if they’re inclined to blow a whistle in that situation. Before Westbrook, Kemba Walker set a high bar last season, but he got away with this walk:

Are Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant on speaking terms after apparent conversation? Westbrook: ‘Nah’ (video)

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Russell Westbrook deleted Kevin Durant‘s goodbye text and, months later, told the whole world they still hadn’t talked.

That apparently changed during the Warriors’ win over the Thunder yesterday – though not if you ask Westbrook.

Westbrook dunked in the third quarter, and according to ESPN commentator Mark Jackson, Westbrook told Durant, “Don’t jump.” Anthony Slater of The Mercury News also wrote of the same quote.

ESPN’s telecast caught Durant clearly speaking to Westbrook shortly after. It appears Westbrook is talking back, but his back is to the camera.

After the game, Westbrook denied the exchange:

 

  • Reporter: “Are you and KD on speaking terms?”
  • Westbrook: “Nah.”
  • Reporter: “You guys had a little exchange in the third quarter.”
  • Westbrook: “What exchange?”
  • Reporter: “You and KD said something to each other.”
  • Westbrook: “Oh. You gotta maybe sit closer to the game. You maybe didn’t see clearly.”

This is so Westbrook – stubborn to the point of denying reality.

That approach worked for him when everyone rightly told him he was a significantly lesser player than Durant. Westbrook ignored that fact until it became false.

I suspect he wants to forget this exchange so he can maintain a cold animosity toward someone he prefers to resent.