NBA All-Star Game 2012: 5 Things to Watch for This Year
The 2012 NBA All-Star game has the potential to be one of the best the league has ever seen.
With rosters stacked with the top players of each conference, every player on the court will have the ability to wow the crowd with their own signature move.
Whether it is a Kobe Bryant fadeaway, or a Blake Griffin slam, these All-Stars are sure to have fans on their feet until the final buzzer sounds.
While neither the East nor the West has a clear advantage, there are plenty of things that you can expect to see Sunday night. Here are a few:
Deron Williams and Dwight Howard Chemistry
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Ever since the lockout ended, it has been impossible to log onto a sports website without seeing one person's name dominate the screen. Dwight Howard.
With his contract expiring at the end of the season, the unsatisfied center's name has appeared in trade rumors, as Orlando will look to shop the big man so he doesn't walk away for nothing.
Howard started his wish list off with three teams: Nets, Lakers, Mavericks.
If paired with Howard, Deron Williams of the Nets could become the league's best point guard. The two are already friends, and the Nets seem to be the favored suitor in terms of acquiring Howard.
Now that D-Will is playing in the East, the All-Star point guard will be paired up with Howard for a short while.
It will be very interesting to see how the two perform together during this year's All-Star game.
Kobe Bryant vs. Dwyane Wade
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Now that Joe Johnson has announced that he will not be participating, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade are the only two shooting guards left on the rosters.
Both are extremely versatile players, with strengths both in the paint and beyond the arc.
These two may find themselves with a lot of playing time, as neither has a backup at the shooting guard position.
With a lot of point guards on both teams, Kobe and Wade might find themselves with the ball in the corner many times. Expect the two guards to light it up form beyond the arc.
Kobe has always performed well in All-Star games, and there is no reason to believe that will change this year. However, with such an important matchup, Wade might too perform extraordinary as the two go at it for the entire game.
Miami Heat Takeover
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The Miami Heat are entering the All-Star break coming off of an eight-game win streak. The team is playing out of their minds, especially the members of the Big Three.
Wade's performance has been outstanding and Chris Bosh is having the best season of his career. LeBron is silencing haters as he continues to dominate both the stat sheet and opponents in his MVP-type season.
With all three of them with places on the roster, fans can expect them to bring their chemistry from South Beach to Orlando and dominate the floor.
With an All-Star point guard (Rose, Williams or Rondo) in at all times, the team will be more complete than ever.
Don't be surprised if one of them goes home with the All-Star MVP award.
An All-Star Dunk Fest
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Forget Saturday's Dunk Contest. Forget Derrick Williams, Chase Budinger, Paul George and Jeremy Evans.
If you want to see a real show, tune in on Sunday.
Everybody said they wanted Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard and LeBron in the Dunk Contest this year, but the All-Star Game may turn out to be just that.
Not just Paul/Griffin and Wade/LeBron, but everybody will be soaring through the air Sunday night. Rajon Rondo will find himself with Howard and James, while Steve Nash pairs up with Griffin, Aldridge and Bynum. Deron and Dwight will find themselves completing plenty of alley-oops. Duos will be formed that fans didn't even see coming.
With such few swingmen this year, the point guards and big men will really get things going above the rim.
If there is one thing to count on, expect a lot of dunking.
A Close Game
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The All-Star games usually are close. The first three quarters are spent having fun, while neither team takes a huge lead.
Then suddenly in the fourth, the players get serious, and they want to win. The final minutes are spent back and fourth while clutch players continue to make clutch plays.
This year will no different. Expect the fourth quarter to be filled with excitement, with the teams going at it until the final whistle sounds.
Both teams are strong, and by combining the best players in the world, stars will fill the court for the entire game.
Both teams have strong guards, big men and long-range shooters. That will help push this game into the final few seconds.