The NBA All-Star rosters are finally official, and several prominent superstars are already expected to highlight the All-Star Game, including LeBron James and Kevin Durant, both starters.
But a few budding stars in both conferences were also announced after all 30 NBA coaches voted on who would fill out the remaining spots on both rosters. In a game that pits many of the fan favorites against one another, being an All-Star means much more to younger players than more experienced players who have grown accustomed to getting the nod.
Following the NBA's announcement of the official rosters for the 2014 All-Star Game, here are the full lineups and a few of the young stars getting a chance to shine alongside the league's best.
All-Star Game Information
What: 63rd NBA All-Star Game
Where: New Orleans Arena
When: Feb. 16 at 8 p.m.
|Kyrie Irving*||Guard||Cleveland Cavaliers|
|Dwyane Wade*||Guard||Miami Heat|
|LeBron James*||Forward||Miami Heat|
|Paul George*||Forward||Indiana Pacers|
|Carmelo Anthony*||Forward||New York Knicks|
|John Wall||Guard||Washington Wizards|
|DeMar DeRozan||Guard||Toronto Raptors|
|Joe Johnson||Guard||Brooklyn Nets|
|Roy Hibbert||Forward||Indiana Pacers|
|Joakim Noah||Forward||Chicago Bulls|
|Paul Millsap||Forward||Atlanta Hawks|
|Chris Bosh||Forward||Miami Heat|
NBA.com (*denotes starter)
|Stephen Curry*||Guard||Golden State Warriors|
|Kobe Bryant* (will not participate)||Guard||Los Angeles Lakers|
|Kevin Durant*||Forward||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Blake Griffin*||Forward||Los Angeles Clippers|
|Kevin Love*||Forward||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|Damian Lillard||Guard||Portland Trail Blazers|
|Chris Paul||Guard||Los Angeles Clippers|
|Tony Parker||Guard||San Antonio Spurs|
|James Harden||Guard||Houston Rockets|
|Dwight Howard||Forward||Houston Rockets|
|LaMarcus Aldridge||Forward||Portland Trail Blazers|
|Dirk Nowitzki||Forward||Dallas Mavericks|
NBA.com (*denotes starter)
Breaking Down Young Stars
John Wall, PG, Washington Wizards
When it comes to the best emerging point guards in the game, John Wall of the Washington Wizards is nearing the top of the list.
Kyrie Irving may have been named the starter, but Wall has a chance to outshine the Cleveland Cavaliers star. With a smooth stroke and an ability to drive to the basket at will, the fourth-year guard has always had what it takes to play in an All-Star Game.
But with a double-double in three of his last five games—including a 28-point, 11-rebound, 10-assist game against the Boston Celtics—Wall has been on fire as of late.
Two of the game's emerging stars in the East in Wall and Irving will have a chance to compete with two of the best from the West in Damian Lillard and Curry, making for one of the most interesting matchups to watch throughout the game.
Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers
It's been a breakout season for the Portland Trail Blazers, with much of that success thanks in large part to emerging floor general Damian Lillard.
The second-year starter has lived up to his lofty expectations after being named the 2013 Rookie of the Year. Lillard has averaged 20.6 points, 5.6 assists and has lowered his turnover average from 3.0 to 2.3 per game.
The first-time All-Star wasn't left speechless, but he was a man of few words after the announcement became official on his Twitter account:
Wow... Thankful— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) January 31, 2014
I probably won't be able to come back (to the Lakers) soon enough to be able to make my stamp or be able to make my mark on a game. So my advice would be to focus on younger players, the Damian Lillards of the world, because they're more than deserving to be out there and playing that weekend.
Lillard has also been a consistent force with three double-doubles this season alongside teammate LaMarcus Aldridge, forming one of the best duos in the game.
With Lillard on the roster to help back up Curry, the Western Conference has two pure shooters with the ability to thread the needle and find open shooters. That type of ability on the floor the whole game will make the West an even more complete team.
DeMar DeRozan, SG, Toronto Raptors
While Lance Stephenson was the perceived favorite to take the bench roster spot for shooting guard, DeMar DeRozan stole the spot away thanks to his great play throughout the season thus far.
In DeRozan's last three games played, he's put together an average of 28 points, including a huge 40-point game followed by another 34-point performance. Ironically enough, that was what DeAntae Price of The Sporting News believes put him over the top:
DeMar DeRozan picked the perfect time to score 40 points...— DeAntae Prince (@DeAntae) January 31, 2014
DeRozan will have to prove himself worthy of the pick on the All-Star stage with all eyes on him after not being expected to make the reserves. Alongside other young players like Wall, the Toronto Raptors guard will be given the chance to shine.
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