2012 NBA All-Star Game logo2012 NBA All-Star Game

NBA All-Star Game 2012: 5 Bold Predictions for All-Star Weekend

Charles BennettSenior Analyst IFebruary 24, 2012

NBA All-Star Game 2012: 5 Bold Predictions for All-Star Weekend

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    Well, folks, All-Star Weekend is upon us.

    The BBVA Rookie Challenge is tonight, the Slam Dunk, Shootout and Skills Competitions are tomorrow, and the main event is this Sunday in Orlando opposite the Oscars.  

    In that spirit, here are bold predictions about what could happen during the five main events of All-Star Weekend.

Charles Barkley's Personality Overshadows Rookie Challenge

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    Looking at the two teams' rosters, I would consider Shaq's team to have more talent, as his roster includes Blake Griffin, Greg Monroe, Ricky Rubio, Kemba Walker, Brandon Knight and Jeremy Lin.

    I would consider Charles Barkley (and his assistant coach, Maurice Cheeks) to have more basketball acumen, and as we know, anything can happen in the Rookie Challenge, so I am reticent to make a prediction on the outcome of the game.

    The prediction I will make is that Barkley's stupid antics and oversized personality will overshadow the game.  I'll give you better than even money Barkley does something outrageous during the event.

Slam Dunk Contest Returns to Inconsequence

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    This year, there aren't any big names in the Dunk Contest.

    Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard, Kevin Durant and LeBron James are all sitting it out.  

    Nate Robinson isn't even in it.  

    So, my prediction is the Slam Dunk Contest won't be very consequential this year.

    Besides, the Slam Dunk contest was getting too gimmicky anyway.  

    Stickers?

    Phone booths?  

    Cars?

    Really?

Kevin Love Will Perform Well in the Shootout

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    I think hometown favorite Ryan Anderson will win the shootout, but I think K-Love will be in the final three.  The prevailing story about Love and the three-point shootout is that he'll do poorly because he's tall.

    However, there's one thing that people are overlooking about Love—the fact that over the course of his career, he's played mostly on very fast-paced offenses.  

    Considering that pacing is one of the most important aspects of three-point shooting, and Love is not inaccurate from three-point land, I give him a fairly good shot at the finals.

Tony Parker Wins Skills Contest

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    One thing that irks me about the "Skills" Competition's participants is that a lot of the contests have poor assist-to-turnover ratios (Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook, and John Wall have the three highest turnover totals in the league) or are just bad passers in general.  Meanwhile, both Steve Nash and Chris Paul aren't participating.  

    Also, Jose Calderon is conspicuously absent, despite being the best international point guard in the NBA right now and leading the league in assist-to-turnover ratio.

    After my rant about assist-to-turnover ratio, it shouldn't surprise you that I'm picking Tony Parker in the competition.  

    You know why?  

    Because he has the best assist-to-turnover ratio.

Dwight Howard Wins All-Star Game MVP

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    Here are some reasons why Howard will win it:

    • The East will more than likely win the All-Star Game; Howard is the biggest positional advantage for the East.
    • The All-Star Game MVP often goes to a player who plays for or has some connection to the host city; Howard is the only home team's All-Star.
    • Howard performs exciting dunks.
    • Howard is one of the few superstars who hasn't won it.

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