The 2014 NBA All-Star Game tips off in just a few hours and you aren’t going to want to miss a single minute of this thrilling contest. Fortunately, even if you are without access to a television, you won’t need one.
TNT will be airing the game live for those who plan to catch this marquee exhibition game the old-fashioned way, but the network will also provide live streaming options for those who don’t have cable or want to watch on their computer, phone and/or tablet.
Let’s take a look at exactly when and how you can tune in to the upcoming All-Star Game, plus take a look at the final rosters and make some predictions on the outcome of this matchup.
When: Sunday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. ET
Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans
Live Stream: TNT Overtime
|Eastern Conference||Western Conference|
|Kyrie Irving, G (Cavaliers)||Stephen Curry, G (Warriors)*|
|Dwyane Wade, G (Heat)||James Harden, G (Rockets)|
|Carmelo Anthony, F (Knicks)||Kevin Durant, F (Thunder)|
|Paul George, F (Pacers)||Blake Griffin, F (Clippers)|
|LeBron James, F (Heat)||Kevin Love, F (Timberwolves)|
|DeMar DeRozan, G (Raptors)*||Damian Lillard, G (Trail Blazers)*|
|Joe Johnson, G (Nets)||Tony Parker, G (Spurs)|
|John Wall, G (Wizards)*||Chris Paul, G (Clippers)|
|Chris Bosh, F (Heat)||LaMarcus Aldridge, F (Trail Blazers)|
|Paul Millsap, F (Hawks)*||Anthony Davis, F (Pelicans)*|
|Roy Hibbert, C (Pacers)||Dirk Nowitzki, F (Mavericks)|
|Joakim Noah, C (Bulls)||Dwight Howard, C (Rockets)|
|Kobe Bryant, G (Lakers)#|
NBA.com. * Denotes First-Time All-Star. # Denotes Injured and Will Not Play.
These rosters appear to be extremely conducive to a high-scoring, fast-paced, back-and-forth and—most importantly—exciting All-Star Game.
From the point guard position to the pivot spot, there is talent laden throughout both the East's and West’s starting lineups and up and down the bench.
Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving will be the primary ball-handlers for their respective conferences, with each capable of bombing away from deep and making things happen off the dribble when need be.
Coming off the bench will be John Wall and Chris Paul—some of the game’s best set-up artists whose dimes will be at the start of a number of highlight reel plays after the contest. Having guards like these prominently involved and setting the pace is what makes this exhibition match a blast for fans to watch.
Damian Lillard, Tony Parker, DeMar DeRozan and Joe Johnson will also be coming off the bench and logging significant time at the guard spots, all capable of doing damage when given the opportunity.
Dwyane Wade and James Harden will start at the off-guard spots, with the aging Wade getting a nod for his career contributions during an injury-plagued season. Harden was just recently named to the starting five, replacing Kobe Bryant—who is still nursing a right knee injury with no concrete timetable for a return.
Speaking of replacements, Anthony Davis is fortunate enough to be the only player representing the host city’s team. The league elected him to the roster after it was decided that the Black Mamba would not suit up on Sunday.
The big forward was ecstatic about the chance to represent the Pelicans, telling The Associated Press (via ESPN):
It's a great opportunity for me. I'm excited to play in the game. When coach said it, I was speechless. I didn't know what to say. I'm glad they chose me. I'll try to go out and represent New Orleans and the Pelicans.
It’s a loaded group led by a legit MVP candidate in Durant. KD will likely be the star that the West leans on most and allows to have the most shots—a wise idea considering he’s averaging 31.5 points on 51 percent field-goal shooting and 41 percent three-point shooting.
The East will look to contain KD and Co. with its solid stable of frontcourt talent, led by LeBron James and flanked by starters Carmelo Anthony and Paul George. This trio will do a lot of the heavy lifting, but forwards Chris Bosh and Paul Millsap, plus centers Roy Hibbert and Joakim Noah will be instrumental off the bench.
As you can see, there is no shortage of talent on either side and this All-Star Game may be one of the best yet.
New Orleans often provides the setting for a good time and that will be no different when the All-Star Game returns to the Big Easy for the first time since 2008.
With seven All-Stars (eight if you count Kobe Bryant, who will not participate due to injury but was voted in as a starter) who made an appearance in that contest set to be back in NOLA on Sunday, the matchup should be just as exciting as the 134-128 game that the Eastern Conference won behind LeBron James’ Most Valuable Player performance.
Which side will win?
The East is hoping to shake off a three-game losing streak, all of which have come by five points or less. While the conference as a whole is extremely weak this year, the 12-man roster that the league’s coaches and fans have selected will be able to go toe-to-toe with the West.
Don’t be surprised if this one comes right down to the wire, which would favor a clutch performance by the game’s best player. James has won an All-Star MVP in New Orleans before and could earn the honor again if he puts the team on his back and leads the East to a win over the West.
Prediction: Eastern Conference 154 – Western Conference 152