The 2016 NBA All-Star Game takes place Sunday, February 14, in Toronto. The rosters are set, barring an injury to a player on the Eastern or Western Conference rosters, and just about every deserving player will be in action.
Here's a look at the full rosters for both conferences:
|23||LeBron James (Cavaliers)||F|
|13||Paul George (Pacers)||F|
|7||Carmelo Anthony (Knicks)||F|
|3||Dwyane Wade (Heat)||G|
|7||Kyle Lowry (Raptors)||G|
|21||Jimmy Butler (Bulls)||G-F|
|10||DeMar DeRozan (Raptors)||G|
|4||Paul Millsap (Hawks)||F|
|0||Andre Drummond (Pistons)||C|
|1||Chris Bosh (Heat)||F|
|2||John Wall (Wizards)||G|
|4||Isaiah Thomas (Celtics)||G|
|24||Kobe Bryant (Lakers)||F-G|
|35||Kevin Durant (Thunder)||F|
|2||Kawhi Leonard (Spurs)||F|
|30||Stephen Curry (Warriors)||G|
|0||Russell Westbrook (Thunder)||G|
|23||Draymond Green (Warriors)||F|
|13||James Harden (Rockets)||G|
|3||Chris Paul (Clippers)||G|
|11||Klay Thompson (Warriors)||G|
|23||Anthony Davis (Pelicans)||F-C|
|15||DeMarcus Cousins (Kings)||C-F|
|12||LaMarcus Aldridge (Spurs)||F|
The West Looks a Little Better on Paper
It would appear the Western Conference has the better squad. Its backcourt features the Golden State Warriors' reigning MVP and offensive genius Stephen Curry as well as Oklahoma City Thunder dynamo Russell Westbrook.
The Sacramento Kings' DeMarcus Cousins is the NBA's best center, and the New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis is among the five best players in the game. That rundown isn't meant to slight the Eastern Conference. Despite Curry Mania, the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James is still the game's best all-around player.
The Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade has apparently found the fountain of youth, and the Chicago Bulls' Jimmy Butler is perhaps the NBA's best two-way shooting guard. Clearly, there's extraordinary talent on both sides of the ball.
That said, the All-Star Game is usually won by the team that shoots the ball better from the field. The teams don't really start defending until the fourth quarter, so if one team is making a lot of three-pointers early, it has a great chance to build a lead that stands through the final buzzer.
That profile seems to best fit the Western Conference roster.
Klay Thompson Will Steal the Show
If someone told you a Splash Brother was going to win the NBA All-Star Game MVP, you would probably guess Curry went on another of his three-point binges and shot the West to a victory. Bleacher Report's Tyler Conway is on that boat. He wrote:
Is there anyone alive crazy enough to pick against Curry for the MVP of anything at this point? The 27-year-old is the best shooter of all time playing with the confidence of Kanye West on five shots of Hennessy. He's running away with his second consecutive MVP award, is on pace to blast his own record for threes in a season and is leading a Golden State team on pace for 70-plus wins.
How about the other Splash Brother coming through with his own scoring explosion?
We know Klay Thompson is capable. Remember, he had 45 points on January 28 against the Dallas Mavericks and 27 points in the third quarter against the Phoenix Suns en route to a 43-point night on December 17. Thompson is undoubtedly a sleeper pick, but he's the player to watch in the MVP chase.