Preview: NBA All-Star Game 2009

Taylor LunemannCorrespondent IJanuary 28, 2009

The 2009 NBA All-Star Game will be played in a few weeks at the US Airways Center in Phoenix. The All-Star Game has the potential to be an extremely exciting and fun game to watch as it showcases the best players in the NBA.

Many of these players have been regulars in this game throughout their careers and it is fun to see how the young and old play this game. Neither Kevin Garnett or Kobe Bryant are strangers to this game as KG will be making his 12th appearance and Kobe his 11th, while up and coming stars Danny Granger and Devin Harris each got selected for their first this year.

The game is commonly sloppy throughout the first two quarters as players do not take it too seriously and there are a plethora of dunks to be seen. As the game goes on however, the players start to step up their game and this is when it often times comes down to two players that really strut their stuff and make their case for game’s Most Valuable Player award. So how does this year’s teams match up and whom do I believe will come out victorious?

This game is extremely hard to make a prediction based on much of anything as it could go either way, so for the sake of argument, I will first compare the starting rosters.

The East has the newly acquired Allen Iverson starting at point guard for them versus Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets. This is not much of an argument as Paul is clearly the better player right now.

AI was a stud back in the day but I do not believe the game means much to him anymore and will probably give up his minutes to the new comer Devin Harris. Paul is the best point guard in the NBA in my eyes and it is only his second All-Star game, so I would not be surprised if he gets a high amount of assists like he did last year and helps his team win this.  

Next we have Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant. Both of these guys are out of this world on the basketball court so it is no easy task to decide whom I would rather have on my roster. Possibly the best argument against Wade is that he has case of injuries, but Kobe still has performed at an unimaginable level for many years so he would definitely be my pick of the two.

However in this game, playing at a high level is not always the case and I expect Kobe to improve on his zero-point performance of last year’s game, but still give his minutes to the younger players.

Next at small forward, we have LeBron James and Amare Stoudemire. Despite Amare being a very good player, there is a reason why they call LeBron, King James. Count it.

Next we have two of the most highly respected players at this game, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan. These two have been at this game forever and continue to play at a high level on the court. If I had to pick one I would definitely pick KG as he is more exciting to watch and has a respectable and normal looking shot form. Not to mention Duncan plays for the most boring team in the NBA packed with a roster that has an average age of 42.

Finally at center we have Dwight Howard and Yao Ming. Dwight Howard is an absolute force on the court. He is arguably the most ripped player in the NBA and is very entertaining to watch on and off the court.

I also do not see Yao playing in the game as he is very prone to injury, and if he does, he will be used sparingly which I am hoping for as I made the mistake of drafting the two centers most prone to season ending injuries in Yao and Emeka Okafor. So Yao hopefully gets a well needed rest. Expect Superman to shine in this game as he has a few throw downs with an unnecessary amount of power.

It was not the best thing that I wrote about the starters in this All-Star Game as it is commonly the players on the bench that decide the game and see the most action to win the game in the deciding quarters, but it was still fun to state who I think are the better players at the position.

If I had to pick the better bench of the two teams, I would choose the East, as they have Danny Granger and Chris Bosh, who are both pimps.

I might as well make some predictions, I will pick the West to win despite good performances by LeBron, Granger and Bosh, and CP3 will shine alongside Brandon Roy. Also, Nate Robinson misses 16 dunks again in the dunk contest and Superman brings home another trophy. Bold predictions? Anything can happen, it's All-Star Weekend.