NBA All-Star Game 2013: Stars Whose Reputations Will Grow Most After Event

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 23:  Jrue Holiday #11 of the Philadelphia 76ers plays against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on December 23, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. 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 Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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It has become a bit of a bore watching the likes of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and Kevin Garnett in NBA All-Star Games.

Those guys are featured in countless nationally televised games each and every season. And then there's the fact that they have all participated in at least nine All-Star Games apiece. Are they going to bring anything new to the table?

The fun will be to watch the emerging stars of the NBA get their chances to shine with the lights on bright. There are seven players who will be playing in their first All-Star Game. It's a great opportunity for somebody like Jrue Holiday.

Despite the Philadelphia 76ers' struggles, Holiday has been one of the best point guards in the league. Now he really gets to illustrate why in front of a huge audience.

Along with Holiday, these three players will be making a massive impression at the 2013 NBA All-Star Game.


Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers

This one is the low-hanging fruit, without a doubt. If you weren't aware that Kyrie Irving is the best young point guard in the league before Friday night, you are now.

Irving has already had himself a huge All-Star Weekend after winning the Three-Point Contest and putting on a show in the Rising Stars Challenge. His showdown with Brandon Knight on Friday was the kind of sequence that every All-Star Game should include. It was two guys just going right at one another.

An All-Star Game is perfect for somebody like Irving. He has great ball-handling ability and can pull off some circus layups. With the reputation he's already forging, the biggest stars in the game will certainly allow the Cleveland Cavaliers point guard to make his presence felt.


James Harden, Houston Rockets

The year that James Harden is having has been a bit overshadowed. He's averaging 26.1 points and 5.7 assists a night and has a PER of 23.3. You almost forget that some fans and experts were a bit skeptical as to whether Harden could be a star without the help of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.

With the way that he plays, Harden has a chance to shoot the lights out. If he gets hot, he won't be afraid to throw the ball up from anywhere on the court. You could easily envision the shooting guard going for 20-plus points and taking home MVP honors.

Playing in the Toyota Center will also make Harden feel very comfortable, which is good since this is his first All-Star Game.


Paul George, Indiana Pacers

With the Indiana Pacers only averaging 92.8 points a night, few players on the team are regarded as offensive maestros this year. Paul George is the leading scorer on the team, recording 17.6 points per game.

He's had an All-Star Weekend to forget after finishing last in the Three-Point Contest. George only scored 10 points and even managed to airball one attempt.

However, the forward will be able to redeem himself with a solid performance in the All-Star Game. While not a great three-point shooter, he's still good enough to knock down more than a few Sunday night. In addition, George is also a pretty solid dunker, as evidenced by his showing in the Slam Dunk Contest last year.

Much like Irving, George's game should translate extremely well to the style of play the All-Star Game dictates.