The 2012 NBA All-Star Game is right around the corner, which is wild considering the season started less than two months ago.
Regardless, the fans and coaches around the league did a great job—as always—of picking the rosters. Their selections are definitely going to make for a competitive and intriguing matchup between the best players in the Western and Eastern Conferences.
Keep reading to find out where to watch this epic battle, as well as which stars are involved, which stars were snubbed and predictions for MVP and the winning side.
When: Sunday, February 26 at 7:30 p.m. EDT
Where: Amway Center, Orlando, FL
Watch: TNT—Coverage Starts at 6:00 p.m. EDT
Live Stream: NBA League Pass
Spread: Line not yet set (Will be updated when available)
*Denotes First-Time Selection
G Chris Paul—LA Clippers
G Kobe Bryant—LA Lakers
F Kevin Durant—OKC Thunder
F Blake Griffin—LA Clippers
C Andrew Bynum—LA Lakers*
G Steve Nash—PHX Suns
G Tony Parker—SA Spurs
G Russell Westbrook—OKC Thunder
F LaMarcus Alridge—POR Trail Blazers*
F Kevin Love—MIN Timberwolves
F Dirk Nowitzki—DAL Mavericks
C Marc Gasol—MEM Grizzlies*
Scott Brooks—OKC Thunder
G Derrick Rose—CHI Bulls
G Dwyane Wade—MIA Heat
F LeBron James—MIA Heat
F Carmelo Anthony—NY Knicks
C Dwight Howard—ORL Magic
G Joe Johnson—ATL Hawks (Replaced by Rajon Rondo—BOS Celtics due to injury)
G Deron Williams—NJ Nets
G Andre Iguodala—PHI 76ers*
F Paul Pierce—BOS Celtics
F Luol Deng—CHI Bulls*
F Chris Bosh—MIA Heat
C Roy Hibbert—IND Pacers
Tom Thibodeau—CHI Bulls
He’s averaging 14.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and a No. 2 in the league 9.5 assists per game.
It was unwise to leave the second-best set-up artist in the league out of a game in which no defense is played and point guards are largely responsible for the breathtaking alley-oops and other crowd-exciting plays.
Though, due to the Joe Johnson injury, we will get to see Rondo in action this weekend.
The Atlanta Hawks’ versatile forward is doing everything this year and is playing huge, both literally and figuratively, now that the team is playing without Al Horford.
The surprisingly competitive Grizzlies are being held together by Gay’s play. He’s putting up a team-high 18.9 points while contributing 6.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 assists per game.
Millsap has been in the Top 15 of John Hollinger’s PER ratings all year and surprisingly having one of the most effective and efficient seasons of any PF.
Kyrie Irving/Ricky Rubio
These two are battling it out for the Rookie of the Year award and both would have been a solid choice to go their first All-Star game.
MVP Prediction: Dwight Howard
This pick is a long shot but the location of the game is going to play a huge factor in Howard’s performance.
Orlando is a city that is desperate to have their superstar stay past the trade deadline/2012 offseason, and they are going to be extremely supportive of him in this game.
Expect the crowd to explode every time Dwight makes a play and look for his teammates to feed off that and continually try to get him the ball.
It’s also mildly important to note that Kobe Bryant won it in the Staples Center in Los Angeles last year. A hometown crowd-favorite superstar definitely has the inside track for the MVP award if he plays up to his abilities.
Game Prediction: Eastern Conference
Ever since the East won back-to-back All-Star games in 2005 and ’06, the two conferences have traded wins each year.
The West took it down last season, so it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility for the East to get their revenge this weekend.
They have a loaded roster and should be the favorites when the odds come out later this week.