Gold Award: Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant did away with any remaining doubts surrounding his bum wrist and its hindrance on his shooting ability on Tuesday night as he submitted a vintage Black Mamba performance with 48 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals.
The Kobe System works, dammit!
Silver Award: Nate Robinson
Speaking of vintage performances, Nate Robinson turned in one of his own on Tuesday night in the Golden State's 111-106 victory over the Heat. The Warriors got 24 points, five assists, four rebounds and four steals off the pine in one of those sporadically fantastic games we've come to expect from the diminutive guard.
His offensive frenzy also sent fantasy owners around the globe scrambling to their waiver wires on Wednesday morning when they realized that: a) Nate Robinson is once again employed in the NBA; and b) he's still doing Nate Rob-type things.
Bronze Award: Al Jefferson
The Utah Jazz have quietly reeled off five straight wins and the latest victory—a Tuesday evening triumph over the Cavs—can largely be attributed to Al Jefferson's body of work. He went for 30 points on 13-of-17 and added 12 rebounds, three assists and two swats to top it all off.
I find it fitting that the Jazz (a team flying largely under the radar) are being led by Al Jeff (a player who lies outside the consciousness of most casual NBA fans).
The Rockets got 12 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks from Jordan Hill in a highly efficient 18 minutes off of the bench... Stephen Jackson broke out of his early-season slide with a 34-point, eight-assist and one-rebound night as the Bucks protected their home court against the Spurs... On the other side, Tim Duncan stuffed the stat sheet with 20 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, three blocks and a steal... Derrick Rose won his battle with Ricky Rubio and the Bulls pulled away from the Wolves as last season's MVP scored 31 points, dished out 11 helpers and notched three rebounds, two blocks and a steal... Dwyane Wade wasted little time getting back into the groove as he returned from a foot injury with a 34-point, six-rebound, two-assist, four-steal and one-block performance in The Bay... The Thunder won again on Tuesday night after receiving 30 points, six rebounds, four assists and a block from Russell Westbrook.
The "It Was a Matter of Time Before a Raptor Won the Worst Line of the Night" Award: DeMar DeRozan
I launched a theory on Twitter last night that the soul of Andrea Bargnani had actually inhabited the body of DeMar DeRozan during the lockout after watching the Raptors' third-year guard put up one ill-advised jumper after another last night in the US Capital.
DeRozan went 4-of-16 from the floor for 11 points, zero assists and three turnovers as the Raptors secured the dubious honor of being the first team that the Washington Wizards were able to beat.
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