Just an overall tough night as a basketball fan in terms of the level of competitiveness in the NBA last night. Only one game was decided by ten points or less. We had blowouts ranging anywhere from 12 points all the way to a whopping 53 points! But with blowouts comes a handful of big-time performances and some nice performances by some bench guys that do not typically see a lot of playing time. So with that in mind, here are the Friday Night Primetime Performers from last night’s games across the league.

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Everybody knows that the best way to become well-liked and gain trust in a new environment is to first create a good first impression.

Well, when it comes to NBA basketball, the best way to really show your worth after being moved by the trade deadline is by balling out for whatever new team you land on. So, this week we are going to focus on guys who are setting up shop somewhere else in hopes of finding a new home after Thursday’s much-anticipated NBA Trade Deadline.

In particular, we are going to lock in and praise two guys who were having pretty good seasons thus far as part of their previous teams and kicked off post-NBA Trade Deadline weekend with a bang as members of their new teams.

With that being said, this week’s Hoopers of the Week are newly acquired Chicago Bull Nikola Vucevic staying in the Eastern Conference and former NBA champion Norman Powell who has gone west as a new member of the Portland Trailblazers. Let’s get into it!

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The NBA Trade Deadline is officially in the books and we all know what that means. New faces in new places. Teams are tanking. Contenders are making their final push for the playoffs. And most of all, the lights get brighter as every game means more than the last.

But no matter what time it is in the NBA season, we all know that nothing shines brighter than the Friday Night Lights! So, to kick off Post-Trade Deadline weekend in the NBA, here are some of the top performers from Friday night’s great slate of games.

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All Hail the Ant-Man!

In what has been a really interesting NBA season filled with parody, suspense, and competitive play, one of the league’s most exciting players this season has been rookie shooting guard Anthony Edwards for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Between all the SportsCenter Top-10 worthy poster dunks and the flashes of a James Harden-like offensive arsenal, Edwards has slowly played himself into a legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate this season.

This is a guy who I personally criticized early in the season for his lack of aggression on the offensive end and the fact that he was not much of an impact player despite going No. 1 overall in this past year’s draft. Nonetheless, throughout the season he has slowly developed a stronger, more consistent offensive package and is starting to really utilize the god-given athleticism that helped propel him to the top of draft boards.

But this week, in particular, Anthony Edwards displayed the peak potential of what he was projected to become coming out of the University of Georgia. That is why this week I have to shine a bright spotlight on Edwards as he has come along very strong in the second half of the season thus far. So, this week Anthony Edwards is running solo as my lone Hooper of the Week!

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The second half of the season is in full swing as we finish out the first full week of NBA basketball since coming back from the All-Star break. This may be the most grueling part of the season, but this is also the stretch where we see a lot of guys play a bit out of their mind.

Sometimes it is to help propel their team to a playoff position. Sometimes it is to help create a solid highlight tape for themselves as they head into free agency. Sometimes it is even to prove the doubters wrong as way of showing those in the comment section that they swung and missed on their perception of certain players.

With all that being said, there are a lot of guys who fall into this category across the NBA. Ironically, a handful of them were gathered together last night under the bright Friday Night lights. All faced with an opportunity to do something special with the world watching. So, after a night filled with thrilling finishes and plenty of season-high benchmarks, here are the Standout Performers from this week’s slate of Friday Night games!

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After a well-deserved break from regular-season action, the 2021 NBA All-Star Weekend has passed and the second-half grind towards the playoffs is officially underway. In a short week to kick things off the big story of the week was the superb play of the big men across the league. After seeing big guys like Domantas Sabonis (2021 Skills Competition Winner) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (2021 All-Star Game MVP) dominate during All-Star Weekend, it seems like the big fellas are coming into the second half of the season with a new swag and confidence. So this week, to recognize and celebrate the continued emergence of the New-Age bigs, my Hoopers of the Week are Domantas Sabonis in the Eastern Conference and Jonas Valanciunas in the Western Conference.

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Post-All-Star Break is the time when teams make their push for a spot in the NBA Playoffs. Every game becomes even more important as teams jockey for seed positioning and players look to make their cases for why they should win an individual NBA award or be named to an All-NBA team.

The road to the NBA postseason starts now and the lights are as bright as can be with last night being the first set of Friday night games of the second half of the season. These games did not disappoint as a handful of them quite literally had some second-half surges that flipped the outcome of those games as they ended in an exciting fashion.

With a promising second half to the season ahead, here are some of the top performers in the first slate of post-All-Star Weekend Friday night games!

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Over the course of the last two weeks, there has been a word that NBA Twitter has been shouting at the top of their lungs: Snub. For those who are unaware, the word “snub” in the NBA refers to players who were wrongfully passed on and, in some ways, disrespected in regard to voting for things like All-Star game participants and All-NBA teams.

This season we had multiple cries of “snubbing” take place. First, there was Luka Doncic being voted over Damian Lillard to be a Western Conference All-Star starter. Then there was Devin Booker and Domantas Sabonis who were left off the reserves list before eventually being elevated due to Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis being listed out due to injury. Now there is a new bone to pick with the NBA All-Star voting.

That gripe is with the fact that these two young stud guards are the driving forces of their teams and barely even sniffed a chance at the big game. The two guards in question are Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. But in spite of the All-Star voting results, they both responded with a handful of big games that displayed why they should have gotten more consideration for two of the 26 available All-Star slots. That is why this week these two are the Hoopers of the week coming out of the Eastern and Western Conference.

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This week’s Friday Night games hit differently. With the recent announcement of both the Eastern and Western Conference All-Star reserves, the talk of the town has zeroed in on the topic of All-Star snubs.

Some guys like Devin Booker and Domantas Sabonis recently went from being snubbed to just squeaking in as alternates for the injured Anthony Davis and Kevin Durant. But not every All-Star snub was so lucky. Guys like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, De’Aaron Fox, and even Jimmy Butler are just some of the notable names on the outside looking in who just missed the cut. With that, it feels safe to say that there are a good handful of former All-Stars and potential All-Stars that may feel a bit overlooked.

So, what better way to draw national focus and attention to yourself than to play under on the big Friday Night stage. This Friday we had some standout performances by a number of guys who put up some pretty spiteful stat lines with the intention of showing voters what a big mistake they may have made by passing on them. With that, here are the top performers from Friday Nights’ big games under the bright lights!

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It is that time of the year again for NBA fans: All-Star Weekend. We all know the 2021 NBA All-Star game is less than two weeks away and the starters for both conferences were recently released.

Like every season, there are some wrongs that were righted and snubs that need fighting for. This year the wrong that was righted was Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, who was wildly left out last season, will represent Washington as a starter out of the Eastern Conference. But of course, there was an outlandish snub that upset the apple cart. Dallas Mavericks phenom Luka Doncic snatched the second starting guard position from Damian ‘Logo’ Lillard as the fans helped him commit highway robbery.

Although it may not have been as egregious as Beal missing the big game last season, it was still an eye-popping snub right off the bat that stuck out like a sore thumb. So, it seems only fitting to show these two guys some love as Beal passes the baton to Lillard as a new member of the 1st team All-Snub club. With that, my Hoopers of the Week are Bradley Beal in the Eastern Conference and Damian Lillard in the Western Conference. Let’s get into it!

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With the recent announcement of the Eastern and Western Conference starters for the 2021 All-Star Game, the antennas are up across the league as guys look to make their push for a coveted spot on the All-Star roster. What better way to make an All-Star level impression than to show up big under the spotlight of the Friday Night Lights. With 16 reserve/bench spots left amongst the two conferences, everyone is fighting for a chance to get their name called in the big game.  Even guys who have already been named starters are stepping as they realize that with that kind of honor, there is also a big X on your back that everyone is gunning for. These Friday Night’s games had all kinds of big-time stat lines, career-high numbers, and all the 50-piece buckets you can get. So, with that, here are the standout performers who shined All-Star bright under the bright lights.

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Praising NBA Longevity

In the world of sports, there has been this rise in fascination with player longevity.

We hear all the time about players who have had long lasting careers in their respective sport. Then there are those who are still continuing their careers in pursuit of the glory that comes with being in their respective league for an unprecedented amount of time.

In the NFL there’s Peyton Manning who played for 17 years and won two Super Bowls and Tom Brady who claimed championship number seven in year 21 at 43 years old and is still trucking on. In the NBA we had guys like Kobe Bryant played all 20 years for the Purple and Gold. Vince Carter, who most recently retired, played 22 years in the NBA which is the longest in league history. Then there’s LeBron James coming off of an NBA title for the Lakers and is still playing at an MVP level in year 18.

Longevity in sports is definitely something that should be celebrated and commended as these guys lay it out on the line year after year in pursuit of that illustrious championship. So, with that, this week’s Hoopers of the Week are two wily veterans in the game putting on a show as they represent all their fellow old heads in what has become a young man’s NBA. This week’s Hoopers of the Week are Jimmy Butler in the Eastern Conference and Carmelo Anthony in the Western Conference.

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