LOS ANGELES CA - FEBRUARY 20: Chris Paul #3 of the New Orleans Hornets and the Western Conference talks with Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Western Conference in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game at Staples Center on February 20 2011 in Los Angeles California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
With All-Star weekend concluded, it's back to work for the Hornets. New Orleans welcomes freshly minted All Star Blake Griffin and his Clippers to the Hive on Wednesday. Before we move forward though, some assorted thoughts from last night's game after the jump.
- The thing I was most looking forward to this weekend was seeing the All-Star intros in person. Maybe it didn't seem like it over the television, but I felt like the intros were a little more subdued than normal. Interestingly, the East starters (with the exception of Rose) did their little dance things while being introduced while the West starters did nothing of the sort.
- A recurring theme across the weekend was player footwear- specifically shoes and socks. Chris Paul didn't don any wildly fluorescent kicks (as Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, and Serge Ibaka all did at various points over the weekend) but he did wear the tetris socks on Saturday.
- Tim Duncan was, for lack of a better word, horrible. He lost two Chris Paul feeds (the first quite slick) and didn't do much while on the floor. To be fair to Duncan, the All Star Game isn't exactly the ideal location for his skill set to shine... but still.
- Gregg Popovich's decision to sit Blake Griffin for large sections of the game definitely did not sit well with the Staples Center crowd. Following a "we want Blake" chant in the fourth quarter, Popovich finally acquiesced and put in the rookie. Griffin was pretty spectacular in limited time. Over 14 minutes he put up 8 points, 5 assists (not including one Duncan blew for him), and 5 rebounds. Popovich
- Kevin Durant missed a lot of shots during Saturday's Three Point Contest and did so again on Sunday.
- In much the same way Griffin won the Dunk Contest on Saturday (and by extension, Bieber won the Celebrity MVP on Friday), Kobe Bryant was always going to win this MVP. He staunchly refused to pass the ball, destroying multiple excellent alley-oop opportunities for the West. Sure 14-26 isn't a bad line... but the thing is, basically every player that started for either team could have gone out and put up 30+ points on 25+ shots if they wanted. Instead, they played within the constraints of their offenses (resulting in many awesome passes and dunks) and Kobe didn't. In any case, it's dumb to be too worked up about an... All Star Game MVP I think.
- Chris Paul put on a dribbling showcase. He went to various moves we've never seen him do and even pulled off a perfect Shamgod.
- Deron Williams missed three open layups, and Rajon Rondo missed a wide, wide, wide open fast break layup. So thankfully, Chris Paul's blown layup on Saturday exited the weekend with plenty of company.
- The halftime show was awesome. More than any other major sports league I think, the NBA really does know how to put on a show.
- Before the game, I went down to event level at Staples in an elevator, standing next to Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Pretty much the highlight of my 2011.