The 5 outstanding performances of the night in the NBA

LaMelo Ball (Charlotte Hornets)

Giannis Antetokounmpo came to swap his jersey with LaMelo Ball at the end of the match out of respect. However, the double-MVP planted 40 points while registering the basket for the win. But it is the young leader of the Hornets who made the show all evening. What a perf! 36 points, his new career record. With 8 award-winning baskets, including the one to snatch the equalizer a few seconds from the buzzer.

Melo was imperial. By also offering 9 assists in passing. The heat of an ultra spectacular player. A more « star » and more prolific version of the icon Jason Williams. The kind of showman you don’t want to trade for Mike Bibby. The oldest will have the reference, the lazy to explain it.

Ball is a real nugget nonetheless. Oh, and Jrue Holiday probably very rarely bit the dust like that.

Al Horford (Boston Celtics)

It’s crazy, when you think about it: Al Horford is so effective in defense on Joel Embiid that the Sixers brought him to Pennsylvania despite common sense and any team cohesion on the pitch. And the experiment obviously did not work. But, at least, the Cameroonian pivot did not have to deal with his Dominican counterpart in the playoffs.

Two years later, Horford returned to the Celtics. And it’s still Embiid’s pet peeve. New example Wednesday night with the clash between Boston and Philadelphia. The two interior All-Stars came face to face. Enough to make the Sixers superstar wince, limited to 13 points and 3 of 17 on shots. Embiid still took 18 rebounds while delivering 6 assists. But his team would have needed their usual twenty or so pawns.

Al Horford for his part did the job in the shadows. Like always. 10 points, 8 rebounds, 5 blocks and an excellent defense on the last action which leads to the decisive counter from Robert Williams.

It’s time to remember that, behind the “banal” statistics of the guy, hides a huge impact every evening. A real good pick for Boston.

Jarrett Allen (Cleveland Cavaliers)

Getting Jarrett Allen back by getting embedded in James Harden’s transfer to Brooklyn seemed like a stroke of genius. And indeed, the Cavaliers have done quite a bit. The pivot asserts himself as a safe bet at post five in the NBA. Not only is it a dunker and rebound machine. But in addition it complements Evan Mobley well.

And the Cleveland Twin Towers epitomizes the future of the franchise with Darius Garland in the lead. The future… but also the present! The Cavs are good this season! Even more so when their three major players are in good health. Allen was still excellent last night, to end a series of 20 consecutive losses on the floor of the Heat. His 19 points (7 of 8), 11 rebounds and 5 blocks made the difference.

Figures à la Rudy Gobert. The 23-year-old compiles over 16 points, 70% success on shots and 11 rebounds this season. Strong.

Cole Anthony (Orlando Magic)

He returns and the Magic starts winning again. Is it really a coincidence? Orlando remained on 6 defeats in a row before beating Denver (108-103) last night. A victory won on the wire after having been 16 points behind. With a new complete performance from Cole Anthony: 24 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists.

The young leader wasted no time in his return to competition after ten days of absence. He came back as if nothing had happened to start again on exactly the same bases. It is perhaps a star – or at least a very good leader – who is developing little by little before our eyes.

Jae’Sean Tate (Houston Rockets)

The funny thing about youth teams is that there are always a few moments in the season where one of them slams a pretty spectacular performance in completely random fashion. Without you really expecting it. Kind of like Jae’Sean Tate’s 32 points last night.

The young Rockets winger hardly missed the target (11 of 15 on shots) and he strongly contributed to his team’s fourth straight victory. A rather improbable series after the 15 consecutive losses of the Texas franchise. But this card with the scoring is the sign that the development of the man is going well. He’s averaging over 12 points and 6 rebounds this season.

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