NBA All-Star Game 2013: Bold Predictions for Houston Spectacle
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On Sunday night the the country's attention will turn to the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston.
LeBron James will continue his hot streak as the leader of the Eastern squad, while Kobe Bryant will take charge of the Western conference team in his 15th All-Star appearance.
As the game approaches, let's take a look at predictions that may take some NBA fans by surprise.
James Harden will be the star of the show
In his first season with the Houston Rockets, James Harden has been absolutely lighting it up.
2013 marks the first All-Star game appearance in his four-year career. Harden will come off the bench for the West, just as he did during his time in Oklahoma City.
As the Rockets' lone representative in the game, it would not be surprising if Harden puts on a show for the home crowd.
Harden comes in as the No. 5 scorer in the league, averaging over 26 points per game. He has also been productive passing (5.7 assists per game) as well as rebounding (4.8 per game) this season.
He also is averaging just under two steals a game while logging an average of over 38 minutes, playing in 53 of the Rockets' games.
The Arizona State product has been dealing with an ankle injury as of late, but since the game is in Houston it is likely that Harden will play and have a big game in front of his home fans.
Kyrie Irving will make waves in his first All-Star appearance
Another first-time All-Star is Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving.
The 2013 season has been a very productive one for the former Duke Blue Devil.
He is just after Harden in scoring, sitting at No. 6 in the NBA, averaging 23.5 points per contest. Irving has Cavs fans excited for the first time since before King James bolted for Miami.
Irving made the All-Star team in just his second year in the league. He is averaging 5.5 assists and 1.7 steals, while shooting a very productive 42.5 percent from three-point land.
With Rajon Rondo out, Irving will have an opportunity to give the East some production in the backcourt.
The West will yet again come away victorious
Last year the West got the win 152-149, secured as LeBron turned the ball over in the final seconds.
Who will win the 2013 All-Star Game?
Kevin Durant won game MVP honors, and as the league's leading scorer, he has a good chance to do so again.
The Western squad consists of Kobe, Durant and "lob city" members Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
While the East has the hottest player in the NBA (James) and Carmelo Anthony, who is having a monster year for the New York Knicks, the West has a very deep team.
The big difference between the West and East teams is big men. The West brings Griffin, Dwight Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Tim Duncan to the frontcourt.
Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh, Tyson Chandler and the Eastern team's bigs will have a tough time stopping the West. Not to mention the fact that the West brings dynamic guards Harden and Russell Westbrook off the bench.
The 2013 All-Star Game will be an exciting one, filled with highlight-reel dunks and alley-oops.
Prediction: West wins 144-140
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