1. America. Good for you.
2. Ray Allen. In what was billed as the battle of the Big Three it was the littlest member (in both stature and impact) of last year's championship trio that won the day for the Celtics. Allan scored 29 points in the game, including 11 in the fourth quarter, to lead Boston to a four-point win over Houston in a game that saw each team have its moments. The Rockets, who got little from Yao and Artest when it mattered, put together a 25-4 run while the Celtics put together 15-4 and 15-5 spurts of their own. I really wouldn't mind watching these two tangle for seven games in June.
3. Raja Bell. The 32-year-old holdover from the 7-seconds-or-less Suns showed last night in the Swamp that he isn't ready to give up the D'Antoni ethos just yet. He was throwing up shots when and wherever he could. He went 6 for 6 from behind the three-point arc and paced the Suns with 22 points in their win over the Nets.
4. Dirk Nowitzki. One night after feeling Lebron's foot on his neck in Dallas, Dirk put a beatdown of his own on another NBA superstar. The larger-than-your-average German dropped 30 points on Tim Duncan. It was a fine bounce-back performance after his miserable eight-point outing in Monday's loss to the Lebronaliers.
5. Jason Terry. After coming off the bench thus far in 2008-2009, Terry got the starting nod and looked better for it. He asserted himself on the offensive end to the tune of 29 points and did his part in the orchestration of the offense to the tone of six assists. The Mavs look exponentially more dangerous when Terry is playing a 1/2 hybrid and touching the ball rather than just hanging out on the periphery waiting to catch-and-shoot. He's not Ray Allen. He's Jason Terry.