The 2013 NBA All-Star Game is rapidly approaching, and there is absolutely no excuse to miss this year’s action.
There are so many exciting participants competing in the event, as the fans and coaches have done a near-perfect job of picking the starting lineups and reserves for both conferences.
While there may have been a snub or two (Stephen Curry and Marc Gasol come to mind), the teams are absolutely loaded with talent and it should make for a riveting contest.
Let’s take a look at where you can watch the game, take a look at the complete rosters for each conference, highlight some players to keep an eye on and more.
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Tex.
When: Sunday, Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. ET
Live Stream: TNT Overtime
Listen: ESPN Radio
2013 NBA All-Star Game Lineups
Eastern Conference All-Star Starting Lineup
BC Rajon Rondo (PG, Boston Celtics)*INJ
BC Dwyane Wade (SG, Miami Heat)
FC LeBron James (F, Miami Heat)
FC Carmelo Anthony (F, New York Knicks)
FC Kevin Garnett (F/C, Boston Celtics)
East Starter to Watch: LeBron James
Coming into this game, LBJ is playing perhaps the best basketball of his already decorated career.
As of Tuesday morning, James is averaging a stout 27 points, 8.1 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game, but most impressive is his efficiency. The defending champion is shooting a scorching 56.2 percent from the field and nailing 42.1 percent of his shots from downtown.
Those numbers are out of this world and are a huge reason why King James is about to run away with his second-straight league MVP award and fourth overall. However, if the East wins and LBJ continues his streak of dominant, efficient performances, we imagine he will add a third “All-Star Game MVP” trophy to his mantle in 2013.
Eastern Conference All-Star Reserves
BC Jrue Holiday (PG, Philadelphia 76ers)
BC Kyrie Irving (PG, Cleveland Cavaliers)
FC Chris Bosh (F/C, Miami Heat)
FC Tyson Chandler (C, New York Knicks)
FC Joakim Noah (C, Chicago Bulls)
WC Paul George (SF, Indiana Pacers)
WC Luol Deng (SF, Chicago Bulls)
WC Brook Lopez (C, Brooklyn Nets) *REP
East Reserve to Watch: Kyrie Irving
Irving is perhaps one of the most underrated sophomore superstars in this league, as his achievements have gone largely under the radar playing with a mediocre Cavs squad.
The second-year man out of Duke is averaging an eye-popping 23.9 points, 5.5 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game. He’s a deadly long-range shooter, getting selected to the three-point contest during All-Star Weekend for his 42.7 regular-season percentage.
We have a feeling Irving will be even better now that he’s running with good teammates instead of the bums in Cleveland. This youngster is a solid bet for a dark horse MVP candidate, especially with Rondo’s injury leaving a shortage of true point guards on the roster.
Western Conference All-Star Starting Lineup
BC Chris Paul (PG, Los Angeles Clippers)
BC Kobe Bryant (SG, Los Angeles Lakers)
FC Kevin Durant (SF, Oklahoma City Thunder)
FC Blake Griffin (PF, Los Angeles Clippers)
FC Dwight Howard (C, Los Angeles Lakers)
West Starter to Watch: Kobe Bryant
The Black Mamba’s Lakers may not be having the greatest season, but the star shooting guard is doing his best to prove that he is still atop his game at age 34.
He’s doing a standout job, averaging 27.4 points, 5.4 assists and 5.3 rebounds through 52 games during the 2012-13 season. While there was a stretch where Bryant would take fewer shots in favor of facilitating, he’s back to volume scoring and shouldn’t be expected to pass much in the All-Star Game.
In fact, we imagine Bryant is going to take out his frustrations in this matchup, shooting whenever he has the ball and gunning for yet another ASG MVP award. If the West manages to win, we wouldn’t be surprised to see him claim the individual prize.
Western Conference All-Star Reserves
BC Tony Parker (PG, San Antonio Spurs)
BC Russell Westbrook (PG, Oklahoma City Thunder)
FC Tim Duncan (F/C San Antonio Spurs)
FC Zach Randolph (PF, Memphis Grizzlies)
FC LaMarcus Aldridge (PF, Portland Trail Blazers)
WC James Harden (SG, Houston Rockets)
WC David Lee (PF, Golden State Warriors)
West Reserve to Watch: James Harden
Harden is representing the Houston Rockets and will have the home crowd behind him in this exhibition game.
Not that he needs it, as the superstar SG has flourished as a big-minute starter after being traded from the OKC Thunder right before the 2012-13 campaign tipped off.
Through 52 contests, the bearded man has averaged a stellar 26.1 points, 5.7 assists and 4.7 rebounds per night. The Arizona State product is logging 38.2 minutes and finally getting a shot to show the world just how great he can be given the chance.
If Harden comes in and starts heating up, working the crowd into a frenzy in the process, we think he could easily be the game’s top scorer.
MVP Prediction: Kevin Durant
Despite all the great things we said about the other players in this one, KD is our pick for MVP for the second straight year.
The West roster is loaded with talent, meaning the conference’s stars should easily beat the East and claim yet another ASG victory.
One major reason why the West should waltz through is Durant’s otherworldly ability to put up points.
In the 2012 version of this event, the OKC scoring machine notched 36 points to go along with his seven rebounds and three assists. 2011 wasn’t bad either, as KD went off for 34 points plus three boards and two dimes.
We believe Durant is going to break the 40-point mark in 2013, helping his side win big and bringing home some new hardware.