NBA All-Star Game 2013: Role Players Who'll Steal the Show
The 2013 NBA All-Star Game features 17 All-Stars from years of old, and only seven first timers. We know what to expect from LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, but many people have never seen some of the first time All-Stars play.
Whether it be because they play in small markets or on bad teams, certain players are not in the limelight as often as the superstars we are used to hearing about. Some of these young players are electric and the All-Star Game will be their coming out party.
Let's take a look at which under the radar players will turn heads in Houston.
The stench of "The Decision" still remains in Cleveland, but Kyrie Irving is doing all he can to make fans forget about LeBron.
He got off to a great start erasing the memories of No. 23 by winning Rookie of the Year and the Rising Stars Challenge MVP last year. The main reason Irving is primed to explode in this year's All-Star Game is because of what he did in last year's Rising Stars Challenge.
Irving went 8-8 from three point range on his way to scoring 34 points. He proved he is one for the theatrical, which is why the All-Star Game this year is a perfect platform for him to perform.
Irving has backed up his sensational rookie season by averaging 24 points and 5.4 assists per game this year. He is one of the most dynamic young players in the NBA today, and should prove that on Feb. 17th.
Paul George also performed well at last year's Rising Stars Challenge, netting 23 points alongside Irving. There is much more to George's game than scoring, though.
His full array of skills will probably not be on display, because nobody plays defense in the All-Star Game, but George is one of the best defenders in the league. His defensive game is always on point, but his shooting can be streaky at times.
Even so, he still remains an athletic wonder on offense. Although he has shot a disappointing 42 percent from the field this year, George is able to use his elite athleticism to get to the rim at any time. He is also a good three point shooter, connecting at a rate of 38 percent.
His ability to score from anywhere on the floor and play above the rim should provide us with an exciting game from the young Pacer forward.
Being stuck behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook for the past three years, many people didn't know how good James Harden was. While no one expected him to perform at the level he is currently, the talent was still there.
Harden has blossomed into one of the best young scorers in the game this year, averaging 25.6 points per game. He also leads the NBA with 10 free throws attempted per game while converting 85 percent of his chances from the charity stripe.
He will be the only player from the hometown Houston Rockets at the All-Star Game, so he will surely want to put on a show. Harden should be viewed as a dark horse candidate for All-Star Game MVP and even regular season MVP.
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