Friday, February 8, 2013

East vs. West: Predicting the Winners of the NBA All-Star Weekend.

To make this funner for everyone, instead of just listing the lineups of the All-Star weekend. Let's all predict the outcome of the event.

Friday: BBVA Rising Stars Challenge (Rookies vs. Sophomores)

The best rookies and sophomores of the season is drafted by Shaq and Chuck. These two teams will duke it out for their respective "General Managers." Winning team and GM gets bragging rights.
Team Shaq:
Damian Lillard (Portand Trail Blazers)
Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons)
Klay Thompon (Golden State Warriors)
Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors)
Chandler Parsons (Houston Rockets)
Michael Kidd-GilChrist (Charlotte Bobcats)
Tyler Zeller (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats)

Team Chuck:
Anthony Davis (New Orleans Hornets)
Kenneth Faried (Denver nuggets)
Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs)
Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)
Ricky Rubio (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Nikola Vucevic (Orlando Magic)
Brandon Knight (Detroit Pistons)
Isiah Thomas (Sacramento Kings)
Alexey Shved (Minnesota Timberwolves)

Prediction: Team Shaq. Better shooters, better offensively and has Kyrie Irving.

MVP: Kyrie Irving for the second time. He is clearly the best player out of all of them.


For those of you that don't know, there is a slight change in the State Farm All-Star Saturday Night. Every event format has been changed into a East vs. West competition. Each coast is represented by a captain, Dwayne West for the East and Chris Paul for the West. The sole purpose of the change was to raise money for charity. At the end of the night, the coast that has the most wins out of the contests will receive the money to their respective charity. Winner gets  $350,000, the runner up gets $150,000.

Sears Shooting Stars

Teams must make 6 shots in numerical order, each shot is more difficult than the other. The fastest team wins. Each team has two active NBA players, two WNBA players and two retired legends.

The 4 team format is done, it is just East vs. West. This is still the worst event of the night.

Brook Lopez (Brooklyn Nets)
Chris Bosh (Miami Heat)
Swin Cash (Chicago Sky)
Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever)
Muggsy Bogues (Retired Old Short Dude)
Dominique Wilkins (Retired Dunker)

Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)
James Harden (Houston Rocket)
Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx)
Tina Thompson (Seattle Storm)
Sam Cassell (Retired Ugly Man)
Robert Horry (Retired Old Guy)

Prediction: West. They have actual shooters and you can count on Robert Horry to hit every big shot.

Taco Bells Skills Challenge

Participants have to clear an obstacle course, the fastest wins. I chose according to speed and shooting ability. Shooting is important, because the mid range jumper could be a killer.

Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs) Defending Champion.
Jrue Holiday (Philadelphia 76ers)
Brandon Knight (Detroit Pistons)
Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
Jeremy Lin (Houston Rockets)
Jeff Teague (Atlanta)

Prediction: Jrue Holiday, East. He is probably the best pick of the bunch. He is having his best season of his young career and is high off his first All-Star selection. Making him most likely to try in the challenge. Last year, no one put in any effort, so hopefully they will change things around this time.

Foot Locker 3-Point Contest

This should be familiar. Players shoot from 5 different places spread around the 3 point line. There are 5 stations, each with 5 basketballs. 4 of those 5 basketballs are worth one point. The last ball at the end of each rack is a money ball that is worth two points. Money balls are colored to differentiate it from the other official game balls.

Paul George (Indiana Pacers) - 39%
Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavalier) - 43%
Ryan Anderson (Ryan Anderson) - 40%
Matt Bonner (San Antonio Spurs) - 42%
Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) - 45%
Steve Novak (New York Knicks) - 44%

All 3-point shooting percentages are taken from this season.

Prediction: Matt Bonner, West. I have been backing Matt Bonner from the beginning so I have to go with him. And he promised to pay homage to Larry Bird.

Sprite Slam Dunk Contest

You all know how this works. They dunk. Judges judge. Highest from their respective coast goes against each other in the final. Fans vote for the winner. 

Jeremy Evans (Utah Jazz) Defending Champion.
Eric Bledsoe (Los Angeles Clippers)
Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets)
Terrence Ross (Toronto Raptors)
Gerald Green (Indiana Pacers)
James White (New York Knicks)

You can click on each name to get a sneak peak of their dunking ability.

Prediction: James White, East. There is no competition, the man can clear the free throw line dunk and do it while putting the ball between his legs. Gerald Green is his biggest obstacle, but James has already defeated him once in the Euro-league. This contest will be great.

Sunday: NBA All-Star Game. (East vs. West)


Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)
LeBron James (Miami Heat)
Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat)
Rajon Rondo (Boston Celtics)
Kevin Garnett (Boston Celtics)

Chris Bosh (Miami Heat)
Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks)
Luol Deng (Chicago Bulls)
Paul George (Indiana Pacers)
Jrue Holiday (Philadelphia 76ers)
Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls)
Brook Lopez (Brooklyn Nets)

Brook Lopez has officially been announced to take Rondo's (knee, partially torn ACL) place in the All-Star game. Since Erik Spoelstra is coaching, it is believed that Chris Bosh will be starting.

Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers)
Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers)
Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)
Dwight Howard (Los Angeles Lakers

LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trail Blazer)
Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs)
David Lee (Golden State Warriors)
James Harden (Houston Rockets)
Zach Randolph (Memphis Grizzlies)
Tony Parker (San Antonion Spurs)
Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Unofficial Substitutes
Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies)/Jamal Crawford (Los Angeles Clippers)

Official replacements for Tim Duncan (knee and ankle) and Dwight Howard (shoulder) have not been announced. Dwight Howard did play last night, but he will probably take the weekend off. Stephen Curry and Marc Gasol are likely their substitutes. (Curry is in for sure. Gasol is a personal preference, if it is not him, Jamal Crawford should be the fill in. Even though he doesn't deserved it, he will makes things funner)

Prediction: West. I am not sure what the streak is, but I know the East haven't won in a while. West have better shooters and alley-oop opportunities.

MVP: Kevin Durant. In a game, where defense will not be played, it is safe to choose the best scorer in basketball to win the award. James Harden would be my sleeper pick, just because the event is held in Houston. Hometown favorites always have a shot.

Add your take in the comments below. The All-Star weekend starts on February 15th on Friday and will run to the end of the 17th, Sunday. If you miss it, I will have updates on the blog.

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