By Sam Rubenstein

Just so you all know, I spent my Friday evening at a charity event, and then I went to see the big Christmas tree at Rockerfeller Center. Basically, my night was the equivalent of the Knicks falling behind 17 to the Bucks at home before coming back to salvage whatever they salvaged. Minus the comeback. Let’s hand out some awards.

For games played Friday night: Dwight Howard had 30 and 23 in a loss, but man that’s 30 and 23, so what if it was against Phoenix where stats go to inflate. Honorable mention to Andrei Kirilenko for the triple double with 6 steals and 4 blocks while Boozer missed the game against the Lakers. Those are impressive numbers, but I’m giving the nod to a guy who scored 35 needed points in a two point win. Kevin Durant. We’ve been waiting for you rookie. Oh by the way I just got off the phone with that very same Kevin Durant, who is on the cover of EA Sports March Madness ’08. More on that later this week. I asked him if he was freaked out by the scoreboard explosion last night. He didn’t seem too impressed. Unflappable.

For games played Saturday night: Ron Ron and Kevin Martin played great for the Kings, a revenge game against Rick Adelman I suppose, upsetting the Rockets. But there was something bigger at stake. The New Orleans Hornets are… better than expected. WHEN HEALTHY. That’s a big thing for them. They need to knock off contenders to prove they are contenders. Statement games, so to speak. And in this game, it was Peja hitting the big shots. Tyson Chandler had 21 and 13. Buuuuuut, Chris Paul is everything to New Orleans that Reggie Bush is supposed to be. That’s right, Reggie Bush is supposed to be Player of the D.A.Y. in the NBA. Wait, what? The point being, Chris is the focal point, the guy that makes everything go, and he had 33-12-9 in the biggest Hornets game in years.

For games played yesterday: By the way Stephen Jackson was named Western Conference Player of the Week. He’s not a serious MVP candidate, but this is starting to take on a micro Robert Horry feel. For all of his acting out, the things that make him who he is, the bottom line is that Stephen Jackson is just a winning basketball player. He’s not Player of the D.A.Y. though. Honorable mention to Jamaal Tinsley, who has been having a great year and he put together a 29-7-7 against the Clippers. But Carmelo Anthony keyed a blowout win over Miami with 30 points on 12 of 19 shooting… in 26 minutes. I know, I’m taking a guy that played in a blowout against a team that’s struggling, but so was Denver until recently.

Alright. Yeah. Heroes finale tonight. Don’t let me down Tim Kring. (I know you will).