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NBA All-Star Game 2015: Rosters, Injury News and Latest Predictions

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 12, 2015

Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge sports a brace on his left hand as he stretches before the team's NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards in Portland, Ore., Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015. Aldridge had said on Thursday that he needed surgery to repair a ligament in his left thumb and was expected to miss from six to eight weeks. But just hours before the game against the Wizards, the Blazers announced on Twitter that the three-time All-Star would play. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
Don Ryan/Associated Press

The ever-changing NBA All-Star Game lineups appear to be pretty much set in stone with the weekend in the Big Apple rapidly approaching.

After a couple of key switches in both the East and West rosters due to injury, once-snubbed players like DeMarcus Cousins, Damian Lillard and Kyle Korver are now heading to New York for the festivities. They're only the start of the mass influx of players to join the fold, stemming from some of the league's best going down in recent days and weeks.

Needless to say, the All-Star rosters look quite different than they did just back on Jan. 29 when the full 12-man lineups were released. Let's take a look at how they look on Thursday morning, and the latest injury news for all of the All-Stars involved.

Updated 2015 NBA All-Star Game Rosters
Eastern ConferencePositionWestern Conference
John Wall, WASStarting GuardStephen Curry, GSW
Kyle Lowry, TORStarting GuardJames Harden, HOU
Pau Gasol, CHIStarting ForwardKlay Thompson, GSW
LeBron James, CLEStarting ForwardMarc Gasol, MEM
Carmelo Anthony, NYKStarting Forward*
Jimmy Butler, CHIReserve GuardDamian Lillard, POR
Kyrie Irving, CLEReserve GuardChris Paul, LAC
Paul Millsap, ATLReserve ForwardKevin Durant, OKC
Al Horford, ATLReserve ForwardLaMarcus Aldridge, POR
Chris Bosh, MIAReserve ForwardDirk Nowitzki, DAL
Jeff Teague, ATLWild-Card ReserveTim Duncan, SAS
Kyle Korver, ATLWild-Card ReserveRussell Westbrook, OKC
-ReserveDeMarcus Cousins, SAC
NBA.com; *Final starter yet to be named for West.

All-Star Game Injury Updates

All-Star Injury Replacements
Conf.Injured PlayerReplacement
EastDwyane Wade, MIA (Hamstring)Kyle Korver, ATL
WestBlake Griffin, LAC (Elbow)Damian Lillard, POR
WestKobe Bryant, LAL (Shoulder)DeMarcus Cousins, SAC
WestAnthony Davis, NO (Shoulder)Dirk Nowitzki, DAL
NBA.com

For all of the talk about All-Star snubs this year, most of the surprising absences from the initial 12-man rosters didn't take long to see their names thrown into the mix.

Back on Jan. 29, Cousins and Lillard were staring yet another snub in the face. But with recent injuries from two Los Angeles superstars—the Lakers' Kobe Bryant and Clippers' Blake Griffin—both up-and-coming stars made it into the West roster as late additions.

Neither of those absences seemed to shake up the hype level of this Sunday's spectacle like the latest, however.

That came early on Thursday, when the NBA announced New Orleans big man Anthony Davis would miss the game with his recent shoulder injury. Replacing him is Dirk Nowitzki, who is making his 13th All-Star appearance, which pushes him higher on an all-time list, per ESPN Stats & Info:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Dirk Nowitzki named Western Conf All-Star, his 13th ASG. That's the 2nd-most by a player born outside the US. http://t.co/XMIuiKkcHg

It had to be a bittersweet invitation for Nowitzki, a chiseled veteran gearing up for a playoff push with the Dallas Mavericks. But few players understand the responsibility of the weekend more than Dirk, as told by ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon:

Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon

Dirk woulda loved week off, but as Carlisle said: "This is one of the responsibilities that comes with greatness, and he understands that."

While Nowitzki will feel right at home under the spotlight, it will be a first-ever appearance for Kyle Korver—who is replacing Heat guard Dwyane Wade. Despite carving out a big role in each of his four NBA stops, this is Korver's first time being named to an All-Star team.

No matter what Korver says, it has to feel special to be invited, per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Chris Vivlamore:

Chris Vivlamore @CVivlamoreAJC

Kyle Korver: "It was never my dream to be an All-Star. I just love the game and I love playing." #ATLHawks

What makes the invite even sweeter for Korver is that he can share it with his teammates, like he's done with so much of the Hawks' success in 2014-15. He's one of a whopping four Atlanta Hawks players—along with Jeff Teague, Al Horford and Paul Millsap—to make the cut.

When the lights come on and the ball goes up on Sunday evening, so much of the focus will inevitably be on stars like LeBron James and Kevin Durant. But some late injuries have thrown a couple of deserving names into the mix, and that should only peak the already-high level of competition.

Prediction: East Wins, 141-133

Feb 6, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) and guard Kyle Korver (26) celebrate their win over the Golden State Warriors at Philips Arena. The Hawks won 124-116. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

In the world's most glorified pickup game, the nod should go to the squad with the most star power and the most chemistry. While the first is a toss-up, there's no doubt about that second part.

It was questioned whether the East-leading Hawks would even get one or two All-Stars in the mix, but they now have four. It's inevitable that at some point, most of them will be on the floor together and should supply some serious offense.

The West will stay neck-and-neck with the East with scorers like Durant, James Harden and Steph Curry, but All-Star weekend is much more of a vacation for those West contenders who have months of slugfests ahead. When the fourth quarter arrives, they won't be able to match the intensity from James, Korver and Co. as the East pulls away.

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