NBA All-Star Game 2013: Ranking 1st-Timers Who Will Put on Biggest Show

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 4, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 15: Kyrie Irving #2 of the Cleveland Cavaliers walks off the court in the second half against the New York Knicks  on December 15, 2012 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  The New York Knicks defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-102. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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The 2013 NBA All-Star game can be a great showcase for the seven players who will be making their respective debuts.

It was originally only six players who were first-time All-Stars. As a result of Rajon Rondo's season-ending injury, Brook Lopez was added to the Eastern Conference reserves.

Of the seven, three of the players—Lopez, Joakim Noah and Tyson Chandler—are big men with games that don't scream All-Star Game when you hear them.

The trio are no doubt deserving All-Stars, though. It's just that something like the All-Star Game isn't exactly the type of affair that will best showcase their abilities.

In terms of the other players, here's how they stack up in regard to how entertaining they'll be.


4. Jrue Holiday, PG, Philadelphia 76ers

Jrue Holiday has been having a fantastic year. He's on pace to set career highs in almost every category.

The problem with Holiday in regard to the All-Star Game is that his style isn't the most exciting to watch. He's not an elite shooter, and he doesn't have the game that just dazzles you.

His numbers and play warrant a selection on the East reserve team. Much like the three big men, Holiday's game won't translate well to an All-Star Game, and he certainly won't be as fun to watch as the three first-timers left on this list.


3. Paul George, SF, Indiana Pacers

The Indiana Pacers as a team aren't fun to watch. They're only averaging 92.0 points a game, 29th best in the league.

Paul George can't be blamed for the lack of excitement.

While a talented defender, George is also a very good offensive player. He's averaging 17.3 points and 7.7 rebounds a game.

Fans were also shown George's athleticism and showmanship in last year's Slam Dunk Contest. His Tron-inspired dunk wasn't the best, but it showed quite a bit of creativity.

As the All-Star Game is sometimes nothing but a glorified dunk contest, George should be right at home.


2. James Harden, SG, Houston Rockets

Being traded to the Houston Rockets allowed James Harden to step out of the massive shadows cast by Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.

It didn't take very long for Harden to put to bed any doubts that he couldn't be the star on a good basketball team. He's averaging 25.8 points and 5.5 assists so far this year.

Harden's efficiency has suffered a bit this year, but that shouldn't be a problem whatsoever in the All-Star Game. He's going to jack up a ton of three-pointers and likely make a majority of them.

Plus, it's nice to think about how Durant, Westbrook and Harden will play after being reunited on the court again.


1. Kyrie Irving, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers

This game is set up to be the Kyrie Irving Show. Irving has been spectacular this season, almost single-handedly carrying the Cleveland Cavaliers at times. His 24.0 points per game are first among the point guards who qualify.

Without him, it's easy to see the Cavs only having single-digit wins.

All-Star Weekend is not something foreign to the second-year star. Irving took part in the Rising Stars Challenge last season. He won MVP honors after going 8-of-8 from three-point range and scoring 34 points.

Irving has the kind of game where he can shine despite not being a high-flyer. His ball-handling is phenomenal and some of his layups are worthy of the highlight reel.