How Eastern and Western Conference All-Star Rosters Stack Up
The 2013 NBA All-Star Game rosters have been set!
Per NBA.com, the NBA coaches have voted and selected the 2013 All-Star reserves. Six players are receiving their first career nomination.
The question is, how do these players match up? What individual matchups can we look forward to? Who has positional advantages?
Let's find out.
In response to the revealing of the 2013 NBA All-Star Game reserves, the NBA on TNT crew offered up their take on each roster.
For the Eastern Conference, the TNT guys compared their predictions to what actually came about.
Chris Webber and Kenny Smith won that competition with three wrong selections.
How did yours compare?
Much like they did with the Eastern Conference, the NBA on TNT crew tackled the Western Conference All-Star reserves, as well.
Believe it or not, Shaquille O'Neal was a perfect 7-for-7 on his predictions. Behind him was Chris Webber with one wrong and Kenny Smith with two false predictions.
Charles Barkley finished last with three misses. A likely reason for his shortcomings was the lack of any San Antonio Spurs on his ballot.
How did your picks stack up?
Starter: Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics
For the Eastern Conference, Rajon Rondo will make his fourth career All-Star Game appearance in his seventh season in the NBA.
Rondo presently leads the league in assists at 11.1 dimes per game. He also leads all point guards in rebounds and places fifth amongst point guards in 16-to-23-foot field-goal percentage.
The mid-range game is there, detractors.
Reserve: Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia 76ers
Jrue Holiday has been named to his first career All-Star Game appearance. This is Holiday's fourth season in the league.
Holiday has been as balanced as any in 2012-13, averaging 19.0 points and 9.0 assists per game. The former high school star will put his exhibition-style abilities on full display while attempting to post similar numbers.
Holiday can dazzle as well as any. Matched up against the West, he'll have the opportunity to make a statement while doing so.
Reserve: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
Kyrie Irving will make his first career All-Star Game during his second season in the league.
Irving has become a fan favorite due to his consistent shooting and marvelous finishing ability. This should be seen early and often against the Western Conference elite as Irving sets out to prove he's one of the true superstars in the NBA.
Look for Irving's three-point shooting to provide him with an opportunity to win a second award. Don't forget, he was the 2012 Rising Stars Challenge MVP.
Starter: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
Out West, it will be Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul. This will mark Paul's sixth All-Star selection in eight seasons.
CP3 presently ranks second in assists at 9.7 per contest, and he also leads the NBA in steals at 2.56 per game.
Paul will dazzle with his handles and make the highlight reels with his uncanny ability to facilitate a flashy finish.
Reserve: Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
Tony Parker will make his fifth career All-Star Game appearance. This comes during his 12th season.
Parker is presently orchestrating a magical season with the 34-11 San Antonio Spurs. He's done this by beating virtually every opponent off of the dribble and getting into the paint at will.
That's what we should expect to see from TP during the All-Star Game. He'll utilize his floater to pad the All-Star stat sheet.
Reserve: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
Russell Westbrook will make his third career All-Star Game appearance in his fifth year in the NBA.
Westbrook is an explosive athlete with a powerful handle. He and Jrue Holiday should match up perfectly as the two crafty finishers work their way into the paint for finishes.
Westbrook will steal the show with his jaw-dropping dunking ability, but he'll have his hands full against the likes of Holiday and Rondo.
Advantage: Western Conference
Starter: Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat will make his ninth career All-Star appearance in his 10th season.
Wade started slow while battling injuries, but he's back in his rhythm. He is scoring at will, splitting defenders with ease and making the impossible possible every time out.
Reserve: Paul George, Indiana Pacers
Paul George of the Indiana Pacers will make his first career All-Star Game appearance. This is his third NBA season.
The explosive 2-guard is a lights-out shooter and a phenomenal finisher around the basket. He has the ability to make the highlight reel and become a fan favorite.
Matched up against Kobe Bryant, James Harden and the Western Conference wings, however, George will be looking for more than fun. He will be attempting to prove he belongs.
Starter: Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
Kobe Bryant is making his 15th All-Star Game appearance in the midst of his 17th season in the NBA.
Bryant has won four All-Star Game MVP awards, including the honor in 2011. As the league's leading vote-getter, we can only imagine that Bryant will be looking to add another MVP award to his mantlepiece.
Bryant would top Bob Petit for the most all-time if he achieves such a feat.
James Harden, Houston Rockets
James Harden will make his first career All-Star Game appearance in his fourth season.
The Bearded One has been phenomenal this season, averaging 25.8 points and 5.4 assists per game. This offensive prowess will enable Harden to make waves, as he splits screens and defenders to attack the basket.
An All-Star Game performance will be no different from his play in Houston.
Advantage: Western Conference
Starter: LeBron James, Miami Heat
LeBron James makes his ninth All-Star Game appearance in his 10th NBA season.
Much like the shooting guard position, this will not be your typical battle. LeBron will be paired against an arch rival in Kevin Durant.
In turn, look for both men to take it at one another both offensively and defensively. Bragging rights and postseason momentum could be on the line in this exhibition game.
Expect LeBron to rise to the challenge.
Reserve: Luol Deng, Chicago Bulls
Luol Deng will make his second career All-Star Game appearance during his ninth year in the league.
Deng is a respected defender and versatile scorer. This should present him with the opportunity to match his length against Kevin Durant's as the Chicago Bulls forward establishes his stardom.
On defense, Deng will likely look to display his competitive edge by manning up on Durant whenever he has the chance. It will be a daunting task, but if anyone can do it, Deng is the guy.
Starter: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant is now a four-time All-Star in his sixth season.
Entering this game, Durant is the reigning All-Star Game MVP. This shows that KD does not take the game lightly and uses it as a way to gauge his own progress and development as a star.
Expect more of the same as Durant is matched up against rival LeBron James. The points will come, the effort will be present and the tenacity will be undeniable.
Advantage: Eastern Conference
Starter: Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony will make his sixth career All-Star Game appearance. This is his 10th season in the NBA.
'Melo is likely to play both forward positions as he defends and scores along the perimeter and interior. Matched up against Blake Griffin, 'Melo should have the opportunity to space the floor and put his smooth shooting on full display.
Having never won the All-Star Game or regular season MVP award, look for Anthony to make a statement on All-Star Weekend.
Starter: Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
Blake Griffin is heading to his third career All-Star Game appearance in as many seasons.
When Griffin matches up against Carmelo Anthony in the East, he will be drawn to the perimeter on defense. This could enable 'Melo to expose Griffin's lack of defensive versatility, but it also presents BG with an opportunity to shine.
If nothing else, we all expect Griffin to put on a dunk show during the defense-less All-Star Game.
Reserve: LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers
LaMarcus Aldridge is going to his second career All-Star Game. This comes in his seventh season.
Aldridge was in the All-Star Game in 2012 and finished with four points in 10 minutes. This could be a product of his fundamental over flash style, but that doesn't mean Aldridge will be without moments of glory.
He's likely to battle Chris Bosh and Carmelo Anthony both inside and from mid-range. Shootouts are entertaining enough to see Aldridge remain on the floor.
Reserve: David Lee, Golden State Warriors
David Lee will make his second career All-Star Game appearance in eight seasons.
Lee is as consistent a threat to go for 20 and 10 as anyone in the NBA. He's a dominant rebounder and versatile scorer.
That will be on display against the Eastern Conference, as Lee works the glass and his mid-range game. With Chris Bosh as his matchup, Lee should have the opportunity to shine.
Reserve: Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies
Zach Randolph will make his second career All-Star Game appearance. Z-Bo is in his 12th year in the NBA.
Randolph is not your typical All-Star Game performer. Most players are looked to for flashy finishes and fan entertainment, while Randolph is more inclined to pummel opponents along the interior.
This could create epic battles between he and the likes of Kevin Garnett or Tyson Chandler. Just don't expect any score to come easy.
Advantage: Western Conference
Starter: Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics
Kevin Garnett is making his 15th career All-Star Game appearance. This is his 18th season in the league.
KG has been labeled as a player who reached the All-Star roster by virtue of his popularity and not his quality of play. This presents Garnett, the ultimate competitor, with the opportunity to prove the doubters wrong.
Against Dwight Howard, KG will have his hands full. He will be able to space the floor, but we may also witness Garnett battle along the interior.
The Celtics big man is always up for a challenge and this certainly counts as one.
Reserve: Chris Bosh, Miami Heat
Chris Bosh will make his eighth career All-Star Game appearance. This comes in his 10th season in the NBA.
Bosh will bring an interesting dynamic to this game, as he can space the floor with his shooting. This should enable him to defend the Western Conference 4's that can spread it out.
Matched up against a bruiser such as Zach Randolph, Bosh has a chance to finally prove he's not "soft." Against veteran Tim Duncan, he can further solidify his star.
This is a big game for Bosh.
Reserve: Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls
Joakim Noah will make his first career All-Star Game appearance. This is his sixth season in the league.
Noah is one of the hardest-working players in the history of the NBA. He hustles on every possession and displays reckless abandon when chasing down anything from a rebound to a loose ball.
Noah will go toe-to-toe with Dwight Howard, which should offer a platform for him to thrive. If he outworks D-12, he may finally earn himself recognition as the NBA's top center.
Reserve: Tyson Chandler, New York Knicks
Reigning Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler will make his first career All-Star Game appearance in 12 seasons.
For a game that lacks any form of defense, Chandler may be limited in his playing time. Although he's a solid finisher, Chandler will spend a majority of his time attempting to slow down Dwight Howard.
Just don't be surprised to see him with a few alley-oops of his own.
Starter: Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers
This selection marks Dwight Howard's seventh career All-Star Game appearance in nine seasons.
Back injury or not, D-12 has been phenomenal from a statistical standpoint. That's what we can expect during the All-Star Game, as Howard will attack the glass and go for flashy finishes.
We know D-12 is a fun-over-ferocity type of player, but this could be a stage for Howard to remind the world of how dominant he is.
Reserve: Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan will make his 14th career All-Star Game appearance. This marks Duncan's 16th season in the NBA.
Matched up against Kevin Garnett, we should see a postseason level of intensity from Timmy. The bad blood between the two men should create a determined performance by the four-time NBA champion.
As a former All-Star Game MVP, we know Duncan has it in him.
Advantage: Western Conference