Bronze Award: Dwyane Wade showed us that stories about the Heat's demise may have been slightly premature, as he was a dominant force in the South Beach trio's first regular season win over Philly on Wednesday night.
D-Wade had 30 points, seven assists, four rebounds, three steals and two blocks, not to mention getting his turnover count down to one from the previous night's total of six. Stories about Chris Bosh offering a congratulatory back rub shortly following the game remain unconfirmed. The Heat still have a ton of room to improve, but I feel like they'll just out-talent a lot of teams in the meantime.
Silver Award: Jason Kidd tossed us a throwback performance in the Mavs opener on Wednesday night, coming one assist shy from tying John Stockton's opening night dimes record of 19 in a win over the Bobcats.
Kidd did throw in 12 points, two rebounds and threes steals to go with the 18 helpers though, and he earned the silver award despite facing some legit competition from the some of the other point guards around the league, most notably Chris Paul (17 points, 16 assists, four rebounds) and Russell Westbrook (28 points, 10 assists, six rebounds, two steals and a block).
I'll be honest as to why I gave it to Kidd however. It's because he's old. He's like 48 or something now, so I think it's safe to say that he's doing it with a higher degree of difficulty at the moment.
Gold Award: Monta Ellis has his faults; most notably, he's a difficult player for coaches and teammates at times (especial the bad ones), but there's no denying that he's one of the best scorers in the NBA when he's got it going.
Ellis established the current season high for points against Houston Wednesday night with 46. He also had three assists, two rebounds and two steals in the win and treated us all with a good view of Happy Monta, who can be pretty scary on the offensive end a lot of the time. Let's hope Happy Monta hangs around for a while.
I still say that if he finds himself in the right situation, then Ellis could be a superstar. If I was a team in the Melo sweepstakes, I'd pick up the phone and give Golden State a call to see what it would take to get a deal done for Monta.
While I'm not saying Ellis does all of the things that Carmelo can do, you're probably paying him $7-10 million per year less than whatever Anthony's new deal will be and getting him for roughly half of what it would take to land Melo. I'm know he won't fit in on every team, but if I was the Knicks I would be making that phone call.
Besides the aforementioned Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook...
Rockets forward Luis Scola wasted no time proving that he was worth the $47 million contract he re-inked this summer, putting up 36 points and 16 rebounds with a steal and a block in a loss to the Warriors. Keep in mind that this game took place in Golden State, an area where defenses go to die, so you may want to adjust the stats at home accordingly.
David Lee had 17 points, 15 rebounds and six assists in his G-State debut, but everything I said above for Scola applies here as well. Did I mention that the final score was 132-128?
Joakim Noah and the Bulls fell to the Thunder last night in OKC, but Noah still had a big time performance with 18 points and 19 rebounds, plus a couple of blocks and steals too. By the way, I think if anyone can knock Dwight Howard out of the defensive player of the year award, it's going to be Noah.
Agree? Disagree? Got something to say about the Monta Ellis comments? Leave a comment here or reach me on twitter @brettfulmore