A LOOK BACK AT NOVEMBER

November 30, 2007 Sometimes it's hard to remember that LeBron James doesn't turn 23-years-old until the day before New Year's Eve.

He burst onto the scene by becoming the youngest player ever to win the Rookie of the Year award in 2004 and really came into his own last season. He delivered a historic 48-point performance at Detroit in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals en route to leading his Cavaliers to an improbable appearance in The NBA Finals.

He followed that up with a memorable summer by helping the United States secure a spot in the 2008 Summer Olympics by winning the FIBA Americas tournament with an undefeated record.

But he has already taken it to another level with an eye-opening first month to this season. He put together an amazing six game span, averaging 37.5 points, 10.2 rebounds and 9.5 assists over that period a feat matched only by Wilt Chamberlain in 1964 and Oscar Robertson in 1965.

He recorded triple-doubles over the final two games of that span, and although he didn't deliver a third straight one, he put forth another special performance on Nov. 27. King James scored 11 of his 38 points in overtime and dished out 13 assists to hand the Celtics only their second loss of the season.

"He was fantastic,'' Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "That's who he is. He hurt us as much with his passing as he did with his scoring. When he's scoring and getting everyone involved, he's a killer. That's what he was tonight.''

LeBron's amazing run came to an end the next night when he left with a finger injury in the second quarter and although he did not return, he still led the team in scoring with 15 points. He missed Friday's game at Toronto due to the sprained left index finger for precautionary reasons.

Despite having his game cut short due to the injury, James is still putting up astounding numbers. He sits atop the scoring leaders at 30.7 points a game, over three points ahead Kobe Bryant, who is next on the list. He is also in the top 10 in assists with 8.1 a game and is hauling in 7.6 rebounds a game. He has already recorded four triple-doubles and had a streak of seven straight games with at least 30 points.

And LeBron is doing all this while constantly drawing double and triple teams. He has already established himself as one of the best in the league and is now making a strong case as the best player in the game right now as well as one of the best ever.

Not too shabby for a 22-year-old.

Let's take a look back at some of the other teams and players making news in the season's first month.

The Best of the Rest

So Much for a Transition Period

We knew the Celtics were going to be good, but not this good. After revamping their roster by bringing in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to team with Paul Pierce, Boston has quickly established itself as one of the teams to beat in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics raced out of the gate by winning their first eight games and 11 of their first 12. The "Big Three" has been better than advertised, but the team is receiving contributions from other players as well. Second-year point guard Rajon Rondo has shown poise and Kendrick Perkins has been just what the team needed in the middle. James Posey, Eddie House, Tony Allen and Brian Scalabrine have excelled off the bench when called upon. Just think with 13 wins already, the Celtics are already more than halfway to last season's win total of 24 with 67 games still left to play entering December.

Spurs Off to Sparkling Start

Talk about flying under the radar. The Spurs swept their way to the NBA title last season, are off to a 14-3 start and yet nobody is really talking about Tim Duncan and Co. The recipe is still the same for San Antonio with Duncan providing his steady presence in the middle, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili filling up the basket from the outside and the rest of the team providing trademark defense. The Spurs don't mind flying under the radar either. They aren't the most exciting team in the league and they are alright with that. As long as that formula leads to another ring in June.

D-League Stars: The Next Generation

Matt Barnes, Rafer Alston, Matt Carroll and Mikki Moore have been some of the top D-League success stories to move on and find a home in the NBA. I'm not talking about players on NBA rosters who have been assigned to the D-League only to be recalled and have success at the top level (Amir Johnson, Martell Webster etc.). I'm talking about guys who have gone to league to be discovered. Kelenna Azubuike and Jamario Moon have become the next generation of D-League success stories. The Warriors plucked Azubuike from Fort Worth last season and he has become a starter and double-digit scorer this season. Moon has emerged as a valuable player this season as a 27-year-old rookie. He is older than eight other players on Toronto's roster.

Pick Your Stars

It's that time again. No, not the holiday shopping season. It's time to vote for the NBA All-Star Game, which will be played on Feb. 17 in New Orleans. Take your pick between perennial All-Stars like Kevin Garnett, Yao Ming and Kobe Bryant or reward some of the league's top young talent. Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Kevin Martin are among some of the exciting players trying to reach the big game for the first time. The ballot is open and you can cast your vote now.

New Beast of the East

When I reviewed the preseason in this spot a month ago, I tabbed Dwight Howard as the preseason MVP. Just a month into the regular season, our resident MVP expert here at NBA.com agrees with me. Howard was already known as a beast on the boards and a dunk machine after his first three seasons and has taken it up a notch this season. His rebounding numbers (league-leading 15.0) are up nearly two points from last season and his scoring average has jumped up six points from last year to 23.8. He has already had five games of at least 33 points, including a career-high 39 points in Seattle on Nov. 28. His blocks are up as well, 2.7 a game entering December.

Have your own thoughts on the preseason that was? Disagree with my picks? Send an e-mail and let me know.