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NBA All-Star Game 2013: Point Guards Set to Dominate in Houston

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NBA All-Star Game 2013: Point Guards Set to Dominate in Houston
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Of all the positions at the 2013 NBA All-Star Game, the point guard position is by far the strongest. Featuring new talent, such as Kyrie Irving and Jrue Holiday, and the old guard, represented by Tony Parker, Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul, the position is stacked with talent that is set to dominate in Houston.

Let's take a look at each point guard, how they got here and what to expect from them come game time.

 

East

Kyrie Irving

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Kyrie Irving has already had an excellent weekend, breaking Brandon Knight's ankles in the Rising Stars game, then winning the three-point competition. What can he do for an encore?

If his on-court play is any indication, Irving can do plenty. Irving is the top scorer among point guards in the NBA, and he's doing it at an efficient 46.6-percent clip as well. His assists remain low, but to be fair, Irving has next to nothing to pass to on a poor Cleveland team.

When Irving is in the game, expect him to use his ridiculous handles to get open shots off. Breaking Knight's ankles is one thing, but watching him try to do the same on Chris Paul will be a treat.

 

Jrue Holiday

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Jrue Holiday suffers from the same disorder as Irving: He has no one to pass to. That hasn't stopped Holiday from playing some excellent basketball, though, as he does everything well.

As the Sixers' leading scorer, Holiday is shooting a solid 45 percent from the field, despite a lack of floor-spacing options. While he is a solid shooter, Holiday is at his best making acrobatic layups, something that he makes look easy.

More impressively, Holiday is averaging 8.9 assists per game. He makes his teammates better and keeps the Sixers competitive. When Andrew Bynum finally returns and Holiday has someone to pass to, this kid will become one of the NBA's best.

 

West

Chris Paul

Harry How/Getty Images
Any discussion of NBA point guards has to start with Chris Paul, who is the standard bearer at the position. He leads the league in assist-to-turnover ratio with 4.49 assists per turnover. He also averages an obscene 14.0 assists per 48 minutes, second only to Rajon Rondo.

No point guard makes better decisions with the ball the Paul, but he is also an underrated scoring threat. Because he picks his shots so wisely, Paul shoots 48.2 percent from the field, an excellent number for a point guard.

Paul should have an excellent evening tossing up lobs to teammate Blake Griffin, not to mention stars like Kevin Durant and Dwight Howard. The explosive West squad will only play to Paul's strength as the best distributor in the game.

 

Tony Parker

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
As good as Paul is, there is no more efficient point guard in the NBA than Tony Parker. He leads all point guards in field-goal percentage, and it's not even close: Parker has hit 53.6 percent of his attempts on the season en route to 20.8 points per game.

Parker is also seventh in the NBA in assists-to-turnover ratio, helped by his 7.6 dishes per game.

Expect Parker to run the point efficiently and smoothly tonight as he sets up his teammates for big games. Don't be surprised, though, when the cat-quick Parker scoots inside for an easy bucket or two as well.

 

Russell Westbrook

Harry How/Getty Images
When Russell Westbrook is on the court, he is usually the fastest player on it. That should be the case tonight, as Westbrook uses his quickness, speed and explosiveness to make plays for the West.

Perhaps the most criticized player on this list, Westbrook is often a shoot-first, ask-questions-later kind of guy, which frustrates Kevin Durant fans. Westbrook's assists, though, have actually risen this season back to more than eight per game.

The main thing to expect from Westbrook tonight is shots, and lots of them. He might not be efficient, but you can be sure he'll hit some crazy shot that few others could ever make. And don't be surprised when Westbrook pulls off one of the best dunks of the night.

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