By Marty Burns
February 21, 2005
Western Conference All-Star Grades's Marty Burns grades each of the players on the Western Conference team
Ray Allen, Sonics
Grade: A-
Stats: 23 min., 17 points (6-16 FG, 5-11 3PT, 0-0 FT), 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 0 steals
Analysis: Led all scorers with 17 points, including five 3-pointers -- one shy of Mark Price's record ('93) for most in an All-Star Game. But he couldn't buy one at the end..
Kobe Bryant, Lakers
Grade: A-
Stats: 29 min., 16 points (7-14 FG, 2-5 3PT, 0-0 FT), 6 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals
Analysis: Shook off pre-game boo-birds to play spirited game at both ends. Might have taken home MVP if he could have made a few of those shots in the final minutes.
Tim Duncan, Spurs
Grade: A-
Stats: 16 min., 15 points (7-10 FG, 1-1 3PT, 0-1 FT), 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 0 steals
Analysis: Good numbers (including 7-of-10 shooting) -- and he didn't even play the fourth quarter as West coach Gregg Popovich decided to rest his meal ticket. No dummy, that Pop.
Kevin Garnett, Timberwolves
Grade: B+
Stats: 16 min., 10 points (5-8 FG, 0-0 3PT, 0-1 FT), 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 0 steals
Analysis: Like Duncan, he put up solid digits despite sitting out the fourth to rest a sore knee. But a missed free throw cost him his career lead (11-of-12) in the All-Star record book.
Manu Ginobili, Spurs
Grade: B
Stats: 22 min., 8 points (3-6 FG, 0-2 3PT, 2-2 FT), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Analysis: Looked very much himself in his first All-Star appearance. Hit a wicked lefty scoop while driving right, hounded Gilbert Arenas and threw two passes into the stands.
Rashard Lewis, SuperSonics
Grade: B-
Stats: 14 min., 2 points (1-7 FG, 0-2 3PT, 0-0 FT), 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Analysis: Unlike Manu, he couldn't seem to shake those first-time butterflies as he struggled to a 1-of-7 shooting night. But he still gets to keep that $1.9 million All-Star bonus.
Shawn Marion, Suns
Grade: B
Stats: 16 min., 10 points (5-7 FG, 0-0 3PT, 0-1 FT), 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 0 steals
Analysis: Solid efficient effort (5-of-7 shooting) in limited minutes (16). Threw down two nice jams, one from Nash and one from Bryant, and set up Yao with pretty feed.
Tracy McGrady, Rockets
Grade: C+
Stats: 24 min., 8 points (4-13 FG, 0-4 3PT, 0-0 FT), 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals
Analysis: Didn't shoot well (4-of-13) and played even less D than usual. But he added new wrinkle to his All-Star trademark play with off-the-backboard pass and lay-up.
Steve Nash, Suns
Grade: B
Stats: 17 min., 2 points (1-2 FG, 0-1 3PT, 0-0 FT), 0 rebounds, 6 assists, 0 steals
Analysis: Like KG and Duncan, sat out the entire fourth quarter to rest tired legs. But did a good job early on spreading love to pals Amare, Marion and Dirk.
Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks
Grade: B+
Stats: 21 min., 10 points (4-10 FG, 1-3 3PT, 1-2 FT), 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals
Analysis: Who says he doesn't play D? Denied former teammate Jamison on one possession, and had a game-high four blocks to go with four steals (second only to Iverson's five).
Amare Stoudemire, Suns
Grade: B-
Stats: 20 min., 6 points (3-11 FG, 0-1 3PT, 1-2 FT), 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal
Analysis: First-time All-Star seemed surprised that East was actually playing defense. But his catch-and-jam reverse alley-oop from Bryant was a crowd-pleaser.
Yao Ming, Rockets
Grade: B+
Stats: 22 min., 11 points (5-9 FG, 0-0 3PT, 1-2 FT), 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 0 steals
Analysis: Leading vote-getter satisfied Chinese fans who stayed up late to watch at home. Even showed playful side with a behind-the-head pass to nobody in particular.

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