The starters for the 2011 NBA All-Star Game were released Thursday night.
- Derrick Rose, G, Bulls
- Dwyane Wade, G, Heat
- Lebron James, F, Heat
- Amare Stoudmire, F, Knicks
- Dwight Howard, C, Magic
- Chris Paul, G, Hornets
- Kobe Bryant, G, Lakers
- Carmelo Anthony, F, Nuggets
- Kevin Durant, F, Thunder
- Yao Ming, C, Rockets
In the East, Chicago Bulls third-year point guard Derrick Rose will start in his second selection to the All-Star Game, becoming the Bulls' first starter since Michael Jordan. Rose is averaging 24.6 PPG and 8.1 APG this season and beat out the Boston Celtics Rajon Rondo for his first All-Star start.
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade completes the Chicago native backcourt for the East. Wade averages 25.3 PPG and 6.7 RPG for the Southeastern Division leading Heat. Wade has been selected to the All-Star Game in each of his seven seasons in the league.
Wade's teammate Lebron James will start for the East at forward. James is averaging 25.8 PPG, 7.1 APG and 7.3 RPG in his first season with the Heat. James and Wade become the first teammates to start together in an All-Star Game since Wade and Shaquille O'Neal started alongside each other in 2007. Like Wade, James has been selected to the All-Star Game in each of his seven seasons. James averages 23.7 PPG in All-Star Games.
Which team has the better starting lineup?
Amare Stoudemire will start for the East at power forward in his first year with the Knicks. Stoudemire is the Knicks first All-Star starter since Patrick Ewing. Stoudemire averages 26.0 PPG and 9.0 RPG while leading the Knicks to a 23-21 record. Stoudemire narrowly beat out Celtics power forward Kevin Garnett for the start, who had started for the East the past two seasons.
Dwight Howard was the most popular player in the East with almost 2.1 million votes, and earned his fourth straight All-Star start. Howard has averaged 22.0 PPG and 13.4 RPG this season. The All-Star Game selection is Howard's fifth in seven seasons.
In the West, New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul will start for the second time. Paul averages 16.4 PPG and 9.7 APG while leading the Hornets to a 30-16 record. Paul averaged 14 assists in the two previous All-Star Games in which he was healthy enough to play.
Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant will start in front of his home fans at guard for the West. Appearing in this years' All-Star Game will give Bryant 13 career All-Star appearances, one shy of Michael Jordan's record. Bryant has averaged 24.9 PPG and 5.0 RPG this season for the Lakers.
Amidst constant trade talks, Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony will start for the West in what could be his final year in Denver and in the Western Conference. Anthony averages 23.6 PPG and 8.0 RPG for the Nuggets. In three previous All-Star Games, Anthony has averaged 21.6 PPG.
Oklahoma City Thunder fourth-year forward Kevin Durant earns his first All-Star start in his second All-Star appearance. Durant leads the league in scoring at 28.6 PPG after leading the league in scoring last season with 30.1 PPG. Durant scored 15 points in last year's All-Star Game off the bench.
Houston Rockets center Yao Ming was selected to start for the West despite playing only five games this season. Yao has been sidelined since November 10th with a stress fracture in his left ankle, and the Rockets announced on December 17th that Yao would miss the rest of the season. Yao averaged 10.2 PPG and 5.4 RPG before being injured. Yao has been selected to the All-Star Game in each of his eight seasons. West coach Gregg Poppovich will select one of his reserves to start in Yao's place.
The 2011 NBA All-Star Game will be played on February 20th at 7 p.m. ET on TNT.