Five Stars is a series where I use the individual GameScore of each player, as calculated by me with the help of the NBA.COM Box Score. For those interested in the nuts and bolts of how they are computed, the formula is below. This is where N=points, C=FGM, D=FGA, F=FTA, E=FTM, G=ORB, H=DRB, J=STL, I=AST, K=BLK, M=PF, and L=TOV.
(N+(C*0.4)-(D*0.7)-(0.4*(F-E))+(G*0.7)+(H*0.3)+J+(I*0.7)+(J*0.7)+(K*0.7)-(M*0.4)-L) = GameScore
Using the above formula, the opening night's Five best performers are as follows:
Chris Bosh (MIA) 18.2
Bosh returned from a longer layoff than the rest of the players on the floor (with the exception of Josh McRoberts) after recovering from a serious medical issue and a grueling rehabilitation. He led the Heat with 32:19 on the floor with a game-high 21 points while making five-of-13 field goals. Despite this slightly below average showing in field goal percentage, he also made two-of-four deep bombs, a Chris Paul-like nine-of-10 free throws, and collected 10 defensive rebounds. It's no wonder that his plus-10 rating matched the win margin exactly. When asked about his long rehab, Bosh was succinct:
It's been awhile, huh? - Bosh
Kemba Walker (CHA) 17.1
Charlotte's starting point guard played 34:41 for the Hornets, leading his team with 19 points while at the same time registering a game-worst minus-14 rating. Much like Bosh, he performed less than outstanding from the field, sinking just five-of-16 shots overall and only one of his four three-pointers, but ended up converting eight-of-nine from the line for almost half of his total points. In addition, he dished out four dimes and grabbed four boards with two steals.
Those guys, they execute their plays and make some big (shots). And that cost us down the stretch. - Walker
Dwyane Wade (MIA) 15.3
Wade made seven-of-16 shots in his 29 total minutes as Miami's shooing guard. Considering his career three-point field goal percentage is just under 29%, he perhaps wisely did not try one from outside. He also made all six of his shots from the charity stripe, added three rebounds with five assists, and extended his NBA record for guards with his 718th career blocked shot. Wade was quick to push the credit to one of the newer players on the roster:
Guys made shots, but it's a testament to the ball movement and guys giving of themselves to make the shot easier for the next guy. And it helps when you've got Gerald Green on your team, too.
Al Jefferson (CHA) 12.9
Jefferson converted eight-of-14 shots, largely on the strength of his strong 13-point first quarter. He totaled 17 points and made one-of-three from the line, adding five rebounds and an assist in just under 22 minutes on the court.
The thing we had done well in preseason we refused to do, which was pass the ball to each other. The ball was sticking. - Hornets coach Steve Clifford
Luol Deng (MIA) 12.0
Deng made a strong impact as one of four Heat players above 30 minutes on the night. He made five-of-eight shots overall, including all three of his tries from beyond the arc, ending up with 13 points, three rebounds, an assist, a block, and a steal. The Heat ended up shooting from 60% from outside on the night, finishing with a 12-for-20 success rate.
A good start. I really liked the energy. - Erik Spoelstra
Mario Chalmers (MIA) 10.6
Jeremy Lin (CHA) 10.1
Cody Zeller (CHA) 9.7
Marvin Williams (CHA) 9.1
Gerald Green (MIA) 8.7
Goran Dragic (MIA) 7.3
Udonis Haslem (MIA) 6.2
Spencer Hawes (CHA) 4.4
Justise Winslow (MIA) 4.3
Brian Roberts (CHA) 2.2
Hassan Whiteside (MIA) 2.0
Nicolas Batum (CHA) 1.9
Josh McRoberts (MIA) 1.9
PJ Hairston (CHA) 0.9
Dog of the Night
Frank Kaminsky (CHA) -1.1
Kaminsky came off the bench for just over six minutes for the Hornets. He missed both of his field goal attempts (one from inside, one from outside) and secured just one rebound.