In last June’s Finals, James Harden and LeBron James spent long portions of the action guarding each other. It probably was a big part of why the Beard struggled so badly, and was definitey fuel for his haters to use against his status as a potential franchise player. After watching the Heat’s 114-108 win over Houston last night, it was either an overrated factor, or Harden has gotten a lot better. James and Dwyane Wade were both unstoppable, combining for 63 points. But Harden often looked like the game’s best player, going off for 36 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. Amazingly, Harden might get more superstar calls than ‘Bron, getting tick-tack calls on jump shots, and then going into the lane and just running people over and not getting a whistle on him. Dwyane Wade must’ve been pissed like, “How you gonna steal my boys like that?” … We’re going to roll out a “Who’s Better?” later this week on this argument, but we’ll throw it out there anyway – who would you take right: Harden or Wade? … One night after being a part of the problem in Brooklyn’s epic meltdown, Brook Lopez (17 points) manned up, and scored the four biggest points in the Nets’ three-point win over Detroit. He lost his matchup with Greg Monroe (23 points, 10 boards), but Monroe also missed a huge free throw in the last minute, and after Will Bynum couldn’t hit a potential tying three-pointer in the last five seconds, Lopez walked out with the win … Halfway through the fourth quarter of their eventual six-point win over the Blazers, Dallas unleashed a game-deciding run behind O.J. Mayo (28 points), which was expected, and Shawn Marion, obviously unexpected. The Matrix had it going, continuing a run that’s seen him turn back the clock over the past two weeks. He had the Dallas announcing team hitting the high notes … The NBA released some more news regarding All-Star Weekend in Houston. Alicia Keys will be the sole headliner of the game’s halftime show (she’s never a disappointment), while Ne-Yo will take control during the pregame routines. John Legend will take care of the national anthem (that should be awesome), and Gloria Reuben will sing the Canadian National Anthem. But perhaps the biggest announcement is that Nick Cannon will host All-Star Saturday Night, apparently taking the place of Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith. Do we really need a celebrity to host the dunk contest? Hopefully the TNT guys stick around – they’re the best part … And ESPNLosAngeles.com reports Pau Gasol has a tear in the plantar fascia of his right foot, an injury he suffered on Tuesday against Brooklyn. If that’s true, that’ll leave the Lakers really shorthanded (especially if Kobe assassinates Dwight Howard for not playing through his own injury). Robert “Imhotep” Sacre might be the only one who can save them now … Keep reading to hear about Kevin Garnett’s big finish in Toronto …
Smack / Feb 7, 2013 / 1:12 am
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