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PER Diem: Jan. 16, 2009

The NBA gives us a star-studded lineup of games Friday, with the top four MVP candidates lacing it up on the hardwood.

Updated: January 16, 2009, 4:45 PM ET
By John Hollinger | ESPN.com

Choose this season's All-NBA team, and it's pretty much cut and dried which five names you'll settle on: LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard.

Sure, you could nitpick about the lack of a true power forward and argue for Tim Duncan or Chris Bosh, and you might hem and haw for about 0.8 seconds about somebody like Brandon Roy for the backcourt, but ultimately, these are the five on which you'll settle.

They're the five best players in the league, clearly ...

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