With 12 games being played, and 24 of the NBA's 30 teams being in action, there was bound to be some fantastic performances tonight, and some players really delivered!
First off, I'd like to talk about a few things that I witnessed tonight.
To begin with, I saw the New York Knicks absolutely destroy the Miami Heat. The Knicks just dominated this game. Carmelo and his boys got hot quick, dropping 3-point field goals on almost every attempt it seemed like. After witnessing this game, I realized just how deep this New York Knicks team really is. They also have Iman Shumpert and Marcus Camby that didn't play tonight. If the Knicks can really learn to play defense under coach Woodson, which they have shown their defensive potential, then they can be a very scary force in the Eastern Conference.
The other game that I would like to talk about is the L.A. - L.A. game. Man, Kobe goes for 40 points and the Lakers STILL lose. I know that their bench productive is pretty bad, but whenever a team has Kobe Bryant AND Dwight Howard, you are not supposed to start off the season 0-3. Mike Brown was on a hot seat at the end of last season, and now he is right back on their as this year was supposed to be the Lakers year. If they don't get it turned around real quick, he could find himself unemployed - only to the relief of the Los Angeles Laker fanbase.
Now then, on to the 'Player of the Night'. It very well could have been Kobe, but the Lakers were just too ineffective, and while he had a good night scoring the ball, the Lakers fell at home to the opposing Los Angeles squad, the Clippers. After many great performances tonight, only one player could come out on top. That player was a pretty familiar face, as any true NBA fan could name him in a heartbeat with his 'trademark' look.
NBA Player of the Night: November 2nd, 2012 - James Harden.
Yes, James Harden is once again the 'Player of the Night' for the second time in a matter of days. He's been playing lights out basketball in his two games with the Houston Rockets. If this is what Oklahoma City was trying to hide from the rest of the NBA, then it worked well. Harden always played pretty damn well for the Thunder, but he never averaged 41 points in the sum of 2 games, at least not to my knowledge.
James Harden once again put the Rockets on his back tonight, although Jeremy Lin had a very good outing with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists. Those numbers are almost good enough to earn you the 'Player of the Night' honor, but not whenever James Harden is playing on the same team. Tonight, James Harden went for a career-high 45 points on 14-19 shooting, 2-4 from the 3-point stripe, and 15-17 from the charity stripe. He was as efficient tonight as he has ever been, but this time, doing it over the course of about 40 minutes!
Tonight was an incredible scoring performance for Harden, but as most great players, scoring wasn't the only thing he did for this young Rockets squad. He also grabbed 7 rebounds and dished out 2 assists. Now, he did have 5 turnovers, but whenever you drop 45 points with the percentages he shot, the turnovers get rightfully overlooked.
There were many great performances tonight, but James Harden once again took the honor with no regret. It seems like he is trying to prove to Oklahoma City that he WAS worth a max contract, and that he is going to do everything he can right now to make this Rocket team as relevant and competitive as possible. So far, it's working out nicely.
So, with all of that being said, what have you thought of James Harden so far? Is it a matter of just being relied too heavily upon, and will he just slow down drastically? Or, will he continue this play, and make the Rockets a force in the Western conference?
Finally, I ask you if maybe Harden wasn't your 'Player of the Night'? To me, it was pretty obvious to pick Harden tonight, but many other players had very solid nights as well.
**I have not done an 'Other Earning Votes' section on this thread yet, but I am going to with this one.**
Other Earning Votes - Kemba Walker, Glen Davis, Brandon Jennings, Jeremy Lin, Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, and Stephen Curry.
Thank you for reading, and for your feedback! It's always much appreciated!
Harden will finish the season with averages of 24-5-5. He's as complete a wing in the NBA as anyone else, especial given his accuracy from 3.
Kevin Durant deserves an honerable mention. He's looking like Larry Legend with 23 points, leading the NBA early in rebounds at 15.5, and huge increase in assists up to 6 a game, more than Westbrook. I think its clear that Westbrook will never be a pass first player, and his propencity to shoot is making Durant play a point forward role. Hes got enough ball handling to play this role, but his height and the fact he isnt a point guard has lead to more turnovers.
Lastly, I was excited preseason by how good of shape Carmelo looked to be in. He certainly played with a spring in his step that was noticable of the defensive end, matching up in iso's on Wade and Lebron and playing them as good as you can. Carmelo's improved defense (which he started playing last year, and looks better because of his improved conditioning) and the comradery and depth with veteran leadership, I am very excited for the Knicks potential this year.
... but does Amare fit to Melo?