Player of the D.A.Y.

By Sam Rubenstein

Lots of honorable mentions today. Or as I like to call them, losers. T-Mac, Vince, KG. All great Hall of Fame players putting up big numbers, carrying their respective teams to wins. I salute each and every one of you. On a lesser day, you all would have made a great choice. Not today though. Kevin Martin, great free throw shooting exhibition, but still not enough.

Chris Webber was the best player on the floor between two teams that have arguably the best chance of going to the Finals. Microfracture surgery slowed him down and he’s not the same leaper he was but now he’s playing great and, oh I can’t keep up this charade. Yes, C-Webb did have the surgery and played the biggest role in a huge Eastern Conference win but there’s another post-micro man that is taking the Player of the D.A.Y. from him.

To quote Charles Barkley after the Suns-Spurs series two years ago: “Amare Stoudemire. Damn!” He came out early and got the Hawks into foul trouble with his dominance inside. He dunked on shotblocker and fellow power/speed blend Josh Smith. Down the stretch he made some of the bigger plays of the game for the Suns. The dunk on Josh Smith was humbling for a former dunk champion, who was quoted after the game calling Amare a beast. This is the kind of respect Amare was receiving two years ago when Tim Duncan was just trying not to get embarrased in that playoff series Charles referred to. There are many very good players in the NBA, but few that put the fear of God into their opponent like the one with a neck tattoo that reads “Black Jesus.” Amare’s legs aren’t all the way back, and he’s still beasting. One of his dunks was the kind where a guy starts going up for what looks like a layup with some contact – only he keeps going up and OH he just dunked on Josh Smith again!

By the way his numbers were 43, 16, and 6.