Taking Bets on Who Wins the NBA All-Star Game MVP Honors
The 2012 NBA All-Star Game is set to get underway and in just a few short hours, we'll not only have our winning team, but the recipient of this year's MVP award.
Will this year's MVP be one of the same, or will we have a first-time recipient?
Let's take a look at the candidates most likely to steal the show at this year's All-Star Game.
If Derrick Rose hadn't only recently returned from a nagging back injury, his potential to win the All-Star MVP award would be much greater.
Rose, the reigning NBA MVP, is one of the most explosive scorers in the game and isn't afraid to look for his shot, regardless of who his teammates are. His ability to create for others, though, separates him from many of the other shoot-first All-Stars.
While Rose is still a threat to steal the show, it is likely his minutes are limited. The Eastern Conference head coach, Chicago's Tom Thibodeau, is not going to want to risk his star player's well-being in a meaningless game.
Odds of Rose Winning All-Star MVP: 50:1
Dwyane Wade won the All-Star MVP honors back in 2010, and as one of the best all-around players in the game, is always a threat to win it again.
That being said, Wade typically doesn't look for his shot as much during the event. In seven past appearances, he has only scored 20 or more twice.
This year, alongside volume shooters like LeBron James and now Carmelo Anthony, it will be even tougher for him to put up an MVP stat line.
Wade is likely to have a strong game, but unlikely to take home his second All-Star MVP.
Odds of Wade Winning All-Star MVP: 15:1
Kevin Durant is perhaps the best scorer in the entire league and in his two prior All-Star appearances he hasn't disappointed.
That being said, when surrounded by other stars, Durant tends to defer more often than usual. Playing alongside a bona fide superstar in Russell Westbrook has only rendered this tendency to be more prevalent.
Durant is likely to put 20 or more points on the board, but isn't as likely to lead all scorers.
Consequently, there is only an outside chance that he takes home the MVP award.
Odds of Durant Winning MVP Award: 10:1
With Kobe Bryant having been selected to his record-tying 14th consecutive All-Star Game, the stage is set for him to blow the competition away.
Bryant has won the All-Star MVP award three times already, and would certainly love to add a fourth to his already impressive list of accomplishments.
While Bryant has only averaged a modest 18 points per All-Star appearance for his career, he has dropped 30 or more on multiple occasions.
Should the West upset the East, Bryant is a strong candidate to do what no one before him has done. And that's take home a second straight All-Star MVP award.
Odds of Bryant Winning All-Star MVP: 5:1
Like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James is no stranger to the All-Star MVP award, having won it twice before.
Given that he has a career average of 24.3 points per All-Star appearance, he has a better than average chance of taking home the honors a third time.
James is having the best season of his career in terms of field-goal percentage, and remains a triple-double threat even when playing amidst a pool of talent like tonight's.
In fact, if the East prevails over the West, it's hard to imagine anyone, even Dwyane Wade and Dwight Howard, challenging James for the honors.
James' past All-Star accolades speak for themselves, so don't be surprised if he takes home the MVP hardware should the East grind out a victory.
Odds of James Winning All-Star MVP: 3:1