By Sam Rubenstein

Hello and welcome back to the Player of the D.A.Y. column. It’s my way of figuring out who the true MVP is. Why leave it to the random thoughts of one mind, using data and knowledge, things of that nature? Every day, I reward the best player from the night before, based on performance that led to a win, taking into account the opposition and whatever extenuating circumstances there are. (One of the only two shows my girlfriend watches on T.V. is Law & Order. Hence that phrase).

If you were an MVP-minded voter, you would have looked at last season as a whole and said DIRK or NASH or KOBE! You would have wondered how a seeming non-entity in the race like Baron Davis could have so many Player of the D.A.Y. awards. I thought that was weird too. Then the playoffs started, and it soon became clear that Player of the D.A.Y. is the most reliable indicator out!

Last night was a night of many great returns.

First of all, the NBA regular season. It came back to us last night. You may have been aware of that.

Second, the Player of the D.A.Y. Yes it has returned.

And third, maybe this is new or a few days old, I don’t really know. But it’s new to me. Thanks to my friend Rob for sending it along. The return of DIPSET power ballads! If you thought the whole group rapping over Starship’s “We Built This City” in 2001 was funny, wait until you hear the return of Killa over the song they chose to end The Sopranos with. That’s right, it’s the karaoke favorite “Don’t Stop Believing.” I turned my back on them no homo like a true traitor a long time ago. Hey that “no homo” was for old times sake. But anyways, I’m not really sure of their status, whether Cam is “on punishment” still or if his comeback is going well. I really don’t know. Just a small town girrrrl, living in a lonely worrrrld!

Onto the first award winner. Kobe had the big night, but that was in a loss. Tim Duncan is worthy, but the lack of Oden in that game forever taints it for me. The best combination of teams last night was the playoff rematch of Golden State and Utah. Baron got off to a healthy start (knock on wood) once again and Kirilenko filled out that stat sheet like he used to before the tears and empty threats came, but I have to go with Carlos Boozer. 32 and 15.

Well done, Carlos. You upstaged Kobe’s latest drama. 27 free throws + 32 field goal attempts, but he needed a few more of each.