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Posted: Monday February 16, 2009 1:07AM; Updated: Monday February 16, 2009 9:18AM
Chris Mannix Chris Mannix >
INSIDE THE NBA

2009 NBA All-Star Games grades

Western Conference
 
A
Kobe Bryant, G
29 min., 27 points (12-23 FG, 3-8 3PT), 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals
Here's why Bryant will be a favorite in every All-Star Game he's in: He plays to win. There were no trick shots in Bryant's bag Sunday night, just a steady stream of runners, fadeaways and three-point shots. Like Kevin Garnett, Bryant doesn't seem to have an intensity-off switch.
A
Chris Paul, G
29 min., 14 points (7-14 FG), 7 rebounds, 14 assists, 3 steals
He wreaked havoc in the passing lanes all night, finishing with three steals, and took frequent advantage of the officials' "reluctance" to make traveling calls. He also was part of the play of the night in the third quarter, a give-and-go with Shaq that began with O'Neal threading a bounce past through the legs of Dwight Howard.
D
Yao Ming, C
12 min., 2 points (1-4 FG), 3 rebounds
The West's low scorer struggled all night, even having a shot swatted away by Dwight Howard in the second half. Perhaps the burden of having to carry the Rockets all season slowed him down.
A-
Amare Stoudemire, F
25 min., 19 points (7-10 FG, 5-6 FT), 6 rebounds
The buzz on press row before the game was that Stoudemire, whose name has been attached to trade rumors all week, would make a strong run for the MVP award. He did, finishing as the West's second-leading scorer. Could this be the last time Stoudemire graces the U.S. Airways Center in a "home" uniform?
B
Tim Duncan, F
18 min., 6 points (3-5 FG), 3 rebounds, 2 assists
The workmanlike Duncan doesn't draw oohs and ahhs from the crowd (a 15-foot bank shot just doesn't have the same appeal of a windmill dunk), but like in San Antonio, Duncan didn't miss one defensive rotation. Take that, Kobe!
C
Chauncey Billups, G
19 min., 5 points (2-5 FG, 1-3 3PT), 2 rebounds, 3 assists
Suiting up for the West for the first time, Billups didn't exactly distinguish himself. That's OK though. Mr. Big Shot must be saving it for the playoffs.
A
Tony Parker, G
20 min., 14 points (7-11 FG), 4 rebounds, 4 assists
Parker's grade gets a boost thanks to the superior performance of wife Eva Longoria, who by the end of the first quarter had converted John McCain and his wife into a Parker fan. The former presidential candidate was spotted cheering raucously alongside the Desperate Housewives star after every Parker bucket.
B+
Brandon Roy, G
31 min., 14 points (7-8 FG), 5 rebounds, 5 assists
Typical Roy. He's the West's most efficient perimeter player and half the crowd didn't realize he was on the floor. Some day, when the Bryants and Shaqs are retired, Roy is going to get some much-deserved recognition. I think.
A
Shaquille O'Neal, C
11 min., 17 points (8-9 FG, 1-4 FT), 5 rebounds, 3 assists
The Big Cactus gets an 'A' for entertainment for his smooth performance with The Jabberwockies during the pre-game introductions. O'Neal was pretty good on the floor too.
B+
Pau Gasol, F
17 min., 14 points (5-7 FG, 4-4 FT), 8 rebounds
Gasol deserves extra credit for being part of fellow Spaniard Rudy Fernandez's spectacular behind-the-backboard dunk Saturday night. He deserves even more credit for scoring the quietest 14 points in All-Star Game history.
B
Dirk Nowitzki, F
14 min., 8 points (3-5 FG, 2-2 FT), 1 rebound, 3 assists
Nowitzki has had a number of explosive scoring nights in Phoenix, but Sunday night wasn't one of them. He did make the most of his playing time, scoring with his trademark high-arcing jump shot.
B-
David West, F
14 min., 6 points (3-5 FG), 3 rebounds
West tied Dirk Nowitzki for team low in minutes. And he had six points. And he didn't do much else.
 
Eastern Conference
 
D
Allen Iverson, G
16 min., 2 points (1-4 FG), 1 rebound, 3 assists
Gotta love AI. Despite a less-than-All-Star-worthy season (and a ho-hum All-Star appearance that included a missed running layup attempt that sailed over the backboard), Iverson still seemed to be enjoying the moment. When colorfully dressed TNT reporter Craig Sager walked by the East bench, Iverson yanked up Sager's pant leg to reveal an even more colorful sock. Iverson's response: "Damn!" His reaction could be heard three rows deep.
A-
Dwyane Wade, G
27 min., 18 points (6-13 FG, 2-6 3PT, 4-7 FT), 2 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals
Remember when we thought Wade's broken body meant his All-Star years were behind him? Save for a few errant three-pointers, Wade was arguably the East's top performer. More than a few members of the press commented that if Jermaine O'Neal had anything left in the tank, the Heat are going to be a tough out.
B
Dwight Howard, C
28 min., 13 points (5-11 FG, 0-2 3PT, 3-5 FT), 9 rebounds, 3 blocks
The recently dethroned Slam Dunk champ had the slam of the night in the first quarter when he threw down a monster one-handed jam between Yao Ming and Tim Duncan. As he turned to chase the ball, Duncan mouthed "wow" in the direction of press row. High praise from the low-key Duncan.
B
LeBron James, F
29 min., 20 points (8-19 FG, 2-5 3PT, 2-2 FT), 5 rebounds, 3 assists
Not King James' finest performance. The NBA's MVP front-runner forced a lot of shots in the lane in the first half, though he rallied in the second half and tossed in more than a few spectacular finishes, including a driving, spinning, possibly four-step reverse layup in the fourth quarter.
B+
Kevin Garnett, F
19 min., 12 points (5-5 FG, 2-2 FT), 4 rebounds, 2 assists
You would think Garnett would tone down his intense pre-game rituals for an All-Star event. Not so much. KG was his usual stanchion-pounding, chest-thumping self before the game and a defensive menace during it, as he and Tim Duncan engaged in a surprisingly spirited mano-a-mano.
B-
Devin Harris, G
17 min., 6 points (3-6 FG), 1 rebound
Harris gets props for giving Dirk Nowitzki the "I-can't-believe-I-used-to-play-with-this-guy" face and Tony Parker the "I'm-so-happy-you-got-the-hell-out-of-my-conference" grin. Otherwise a pretty solid performance in the first of what should be many All-Star appearances from Harris.
B+
Mo Williams, G
17 min., 12 points (5-10 FG, 2-5 3PT), 2 rebounds, 5 assists
And to think, a year ago Williams was languishing in basketball purgatory in Milwaukee. A solid All-Star debut for LeBron's sidekick, who showcased his impressive penetrating skills and a feathery jump shot.
F
Joe Johnson, G
22 min., 0 points (0-4 FG, 0-3 3PT), 0 rebounds, 0 assists, 5 TOs
Johnson's performance ranks up with the worst in All-Star history. Seriously. Johnson's stat line was a row of goose eggs, save for the ghastly five turnovers he committed. Maybe he didn't like playing with anyone from Boston.
C
Ray Allen, G
18 min., 8 points (4-10 FG, 0-3 3PT), 3 rebounds
Blame it on the thumb, Ray. The injury replacement was injured himself when he hurt his right thumb last Wednesday. Maybe that had something to do with his un-Allen-like three-point shooting.
B+
Paul Pierce, F
20 min., 18 points (6-11 FG, 1-5 3PT, 5-6 FT), 4 rebounds, 2 assists
Think Pierce wanted the MVP award? He led the East with 14 first-half points and was in attack mode the entire night. Unfortunately, Pierce cooled considerably in the second half as the West pulled away.
B-
Rashard Lewis, F
21 min., 8 points (3-6 FG, 1-4 3PT, 1-2 FT), 6 rebounds
Poor Lewis. With Chris Bosh injured, the spindly, 6-foot-10 Lewis was the East's backup center and spent most of his minutes banging bodies with the 7-1 Shaq and the 7-5 Yao. But as he has many times with Orlando, Lewis created and took advantage of mismatches by forcing the West's big men to defend him on the perimeter.
B-
Danny Granger, F
11 min., 2 points (1-1 FG), 1 rebounds
SI.com colleague Ian Thomsen summed up Granger's night best after the first-time All-Star slammed home his only shot of the night. "That's it," Thomsen said. "Just point to the coach and yank yourself out of the game."
 

 
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