Today the NBA will host the 59th annual NBA All-Star Game of 2010. It will talke place in Dallas, Texas. Throughout the NBA's history, numerous amazing moments have taken place at this annual weekend of festivities.
This season, the All-Star game will be different, and have its own place in record books. This game will have possibly more than 90,000 people in the arena watching. That, would be the largest amount of people to watch a basketball game in person.
The weekend has already seen some of the annual festivities, such as, the shooting stars, skills challenge, 3-point shootout, dunk contest, Rookie/Sophomore game, Celebrity All-Star game, H.O.R.S.E competition, and more.
There has been good and not so good so far. The dunk contest was less spectacular in comparison to the previous few. However, the skills challenge, shooting stars, and more have been pretty fun.
The bad news for the all-star game, is that superstars Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant will not be participating, after being named starters for the East and West teams.
These two players have possibly been the two most popular players of the decade, as well as possibly the two most polarizing players of the decade and currently. They will each be missed, after all they did garner over a million votes from fans around the world. Iverson and Bryant are two of the few players to win the MVP of the NBA All-Star game more than once.
Allen Iverson's replacement will be first time all-star from the New York Knicks, David Lee. Kobe Bryant's replacement will be 10 time all-star Jason Kidd. Joe Johnson will replace Iverson in the startering lineup, while Dirk Nowitzki will replace Kobe Bryant in the starting lineup.
Brandon Roy will also be missing out after making the all-star team, and has been replaced by first time all-star, Chris Kaman.
Although some players will be missed, the game should still be a fun one. The atmosphere should be special, and the energy could make this a real fun one.
The all-star game is approaching, so I will be giving my preview of what may happen.
To add on, I had my picks correct in the Skills Challange when picking Steve Nash, in the H.O.R.S.E competition picking Kevin Durant, and in the Haier Shooting Stars picking Team Texas.
The East (if Allen Iverson played) would have been the same team from last seasons all-star game. The East has a few young and athletic players, along with some veteran players who have taken part in numerous all-star games.
They have a good coach in Stan Van Gundy, who hopefully will be more fair than Mike Brown in last seasons all-star game (being biased and giving Maurice Williams more than enough minutes, and Lebron James more than enough touches, two of his players).
The East may look to push it at first, seeing as they may have a few match-ups their way in terms of speed.
There are about 4 players making their all-star debuts; David Lee, Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose, and Al Hordford. Seeing as they are under such huge lights, they could get nervous, or, they may just be energized and put on a show.
Rajon Rondo could be more comfortable with two of his teammates by him with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, each experienced veterans.
The Eastern Conference has a variety of players:
big men like Dwight Howard and Al Hordford, speedy guards such as Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo, versatile big men like Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh and David Lee, swing players such as Paul Pierce, Lebron James, Gerald Wallace, perimeter scorers like Joe Johnson and Dwayne Wade, and a competitive coach in Stan Van Gundy.
Likewise, the Western Conference all-stars have their own injruies, but still good players to back them up.
As the East does, the West will also feature some first time all-stars, including Chris Kaman, Zach Randolph, Kevin Durant, and Deron Williams. The difference, these players not only might be better, but more expereinced, which should help the West.
Kevin Durant probably the least expereinced is being looked at to have a big game. I expect this as well. Although I am rather looking forward to other players.
One, being Jason Kidd. He is the replacement for Kobe Bryant. Some people claim he is undeserving of this spot. I personally disagree very much. Although his stats are lower in comparison to some others, his effect, leadership, and ability is overlooked and higher than some who have been argued to be put over him.
People have argued that players such as Baron Davis, Aaron Brooks, Monta Ellis, and others should possibly be in front of Kidd.
Their stats would agree, but stats are far from everything. Kidd is to me a better player (Baron Davis is a tough argument though)than those players, and is more worthy. He is the one that makes things easier for the Dallas Mavericks, and his presence and effect is huge. He calms his team down, and gets the ball to where it needs to go. His all-around ability on the court is of all-time greatness. Kidd may not be better than ever, but he remains a great player.
Like Kidd, Dirk Nowitzki is a hometown player, playing in front of the Dallas crowd. He should have a huge game, and I would guess that the West tries to make sure Dirk is the Most Valuable Player of the 2010 All-Star Game.
The West is stacked with players that fill in all different areas. They have a variety of bigs that bring different qualities: Tim Duncan, Chris Kaman, Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Amare Stoudamire, and Zach Randolph. The West also has some good swingmen scorers, such as Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant.
Those are all great, but perhaps the most exciting group is the point guards, that bring all different elements: passing, quickness, leadership, and all in all, the fun part of their games that the NBA All-Star Game needs. Those guards are Steve Nash, Chauncey Billups, Deron Williams, and Jason Kidd.
West Vrs. West
Who takes it? Of course I do not know what will happen, I am just going to give my wild take.
Winner: Western Conference All-Star Team.
Why? The experience, the savvy, the variety will outweigh what the East brings.
The West has two hometown players with Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki, and that should surely help energize them and get the crowd behind the West.
Who knows, maybe the East will be missing Allen Iverson. There has been criticism of him, fair or not. Yet he is a player looking to return among the elite, and he could have helped the East along with his scoring, expereince, excitement, passing, and more. Who knows. We will see, as the All-Star Game is upon us. I am watching the introductions as I write these words.
I see the East coming out very competitive and making it a tough game, but I am guessing that the West wins the 2010 NBA All-Star Game.
Who Might Win The MVP?
The All-Star Game will be missing Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant, multi-time Most Valuable Player winners so that could open up the field more.
Like I said previously, no one knows for sure what will happen, but we are allowed to make predictions, right? With that being said, here are some of the players I believe will have good games.
If the East wins
- Dwight Howard--I think after being more rested than prior all-star games since he did not take part in the Dunk Contest, Dwight will be more energized. Howard is an athletic and strong player which could give him and advantage, especially against the lazy defenses at first, and the probable low amount of fouls in the beginning. Dwight Howard is a fun character and he could have a good one.
- Lebron James--James has a big ego, he is overrated, he is largely marketed, he is a fan favorite, and the fans vote (if they do it as the past few all-star games). That should help him in winning the MVP. James is a great player, and likes to perform good on the big stages. After all, this will be a record breaking crowd. James could very well be energized from this and have a huge game.
- Chris Bosh--Bosh is from Dallas, and he is having a very good season. Bosh has the ability, experience, and crowd behind him, so that could help him.
- Paul Pierce--During last seasons game, or the season before that, Pierce was on fire at some point. After having a huge night on Saturday winning the three point shootout, Pierce might have an extra hop in his step, so look out for him.
If the West wins
- Dirk Nowitzki--Many seem to be edging towards Dirk having a huge game. He is the hometown guy. Nowitzki has had a great season, and the crowd could certainly start roaring behind him, especially if that jump shot is on fire. Two point guards, Kidd and Nash each have a good chemistry with Nowitzki, and that should help Dirk by getting him the ball where he likes it.
- Steve Nash--People seem to be forgetting about Nash. They are paying attention to everyone else it seems. However, Nash looks fired up. He had the honor of lighting the torch at the Olympics, he seemed excited at the Skills Challenge, joking around, and he came out winning. Nash is a former Maverick and the Dallas crowd could get behind him. The flair he brings, along with the skill, ability, and more could earn him the MVP.
- Carmelo Anthony--I see Anthony having some fresh legs, and ready to play. I see him being one of the beneficiaries of the point guards play and their flashy passes (especially Kidd and Nash).
- Kevin Durant--I see him wanting to have a huge game. He has the ability, that long body, the shooting and ability to light it up. Durant has been looked at to have a huge game, and that could happen. Or, he could get a bit nervous, since it is his first all-star game, and it is in front of possibly over 90,000 people.
- Jason Kidd/Chauncey Billups--The wild pick. He comes in as a replacement, and some claim he should not have made it. But he is in front of his home crowd, and in the practices and conversations he seemed to be enjoying himself, and that could help him have a great game. Remember that Ray Allen was a replacement in the 2008 All-Star Game and nearly won the MVP, this time it could be Jason Kidd. Chauncey Billups has the benefit of playing for his coach. he recently had a huge game vrs. the Lakers, and if his jump shot gets going, look out!
Match-Ups I look forward too:
Tim Duncan vrs. Kevin Garnett
These two have been arguably the two best power fowards of the decade and today. Seeing them go against eachother is entertaining.
Carmelo Anthony vrs. Lebron James
The two have a history since they were each drafted in the 2003 NBA Draft. The competitveness could come out.
Dwight Howard vrs. Amare Stoudamire
People have compared Stoudamire and Howard, and they each are athletic big men. Howard is a guy who looks like he likes having fun, while Stoudamire maybe is looking to have a good game with trade rumors and all.
Point Guards vrs. Point Guards
It could be fun seeing the older more experienced veterans, playing against the younger first timers. I see the youngsters getting some nice plays in, but the veterans come out on top.
I hope the 2010 NBA All-Star Game is a great, fun, and exciting one, even with some players missing. I see the West winning, with either Dirk Nowitzki or Steve Nash winning the MVP. However, if the East wins, Lebron James could get the benefit of popularity if the MVP fan voting occurs.
Well, lets sit back, and enjoy this spectacular game of stars, and hope it stays close. 2010 NBA All-Star Game is here, I hope it's great!