The All-Star attendance in Dallas this year is projected to be over 100,000 people! I wonder how loud that building will be with so many NBA fans in a single sitting.
Let’s start off with the Haier Shooting Stars event
This year, the NBA decided to change the “Team” shooting stars to “City” shooting stars. In my opinion I like the city option better because it gives more teams to show their city talents instead of individual team talents so they can brag about it in the end. Instead of a team bragging, it can be a whole city. So everyone can get along! Let’s see the teams.
Team Atlanta: Joe Johnson (Current Hawks player), Angel McCoughtry (Rookie Atlanta Dream), Steve Smith (Former Hawk player 1995-1999)
Team Los Angeles: Pau Gasol (Current Laker player), Marie Ferdinand-Harris (Current Los Angeles Sparks player), Brent Barry (Former Clippers player 1995-1998)
Team Texas: Dirk Nowitzki (Current Mavericks player), Becky Hammon (Current San Antonio Silver Stars player), Kenny Smith (Former Rockets player 1990-1996)
Team Sacramento: Tyreke Evans (Current Kings player), Nicole Powell (Former Sacramento Monarchs player), Chris Webber (Former Kings player 1998-2005)
My Winner: Team Texas
Why? Dirk Nowitzki is going to knock down shots no doubt. With the help of Becky who has been a consistent shooter through her career and Kenny “The Jet” Smith having a pretty decent jumper for his age, I think Becky or Dirk can finish the half court shot pretty easily.
Peter’s Winner: Team Sacramento
Why? Chris Webber is not that old and can still throw it down with the best of them right now barring injury. Pair him up with Tyreke Evans and they’d make a good team. But this event is more shooting based so they might have some difficulties getting the last shot down but at least Webber can throw a ball further than Kenny Smith.
Now the Taco Bell Skills Challenge.
Last year, rookie Derrick Rose took the title with a quick finish of 35.3 seconds. Rose will be defending his title with plenty of past year winners this year in Dallas. Let’s see a few of the league’s fastest guards.
Phoenix Suns – Steve Nash (3rd appearance)
Milwaukee Bucks – Brandon Jennings (1st appearance)
Chicago Bulls – Derrick Rose (2nd appearance)
Utah Jazz – Deron Williams (2nd appearance)
My Winner: Deron Williams
Why? No disrespect to the others but Deron still holds the Skills Challenge fastest finish record with an incredibly low 25.5 seconds! Last year Williams wasn’t in the contest, but now that he’s back and 100%, I think he can take the title back.
Peter’s Winner: Derrick Rose
Why? The all-star and returning champion is going to be back to back. He’s an elite point guard and more athletic than an old Steve Nash and a Deron Williams whose beard is weighing him down. His only challenge is Branden Jennings but he was in Italy and Italians don’t know how to play.
(The percentage is how the player is shooting behind the arc this season)
Denver Nuggets – Chauncey Billups (.415%)
Miami Heat – Daequan Cook (.300%)
Golden State Warriors – Stephen Curry (.429%)
Phoenix Suns- Channing Frye (.438%)
New York Knicks- Danilo Gallinari (.403%)
Boston Celtics – Paul Pierce (.467%)
My Winner: Danilo Gallinari
Why? No one has made more threes this season than Gallinari. Frye and Gallinari are the only players hitting over the hundred mark in three point shots this season. In the final round, I believe the sophomore Knick can edge breakout player Frye by a shot or two.
Peter’s Winner: Chauncey Billups
Why? He’s not just a team leader, he’s one of the most proficient shooters in the league and can throw it down. When Chauncy is on fire, no one can touch him and he is the most experienced shooter out of all of them.
In the past years, the Sprite Slam Dunk contest has players using many props. Dwight Howard with his “Superman” cape, Nate Robinson jumping over short and tall people, and Gerald Green blowing candles out. I think the dunks should be based on three categories. Originality scale 1-10, Creativity 1-5, and Finish 1-5. Sounds a bit complicated but I feel that it would bring more fun for the dunk contest. I’m hoping to see many surprising things this year. Everyone is a new contestant besides current champ Nate Robinson. The 2010 dunkers are….
Los Angeles Lakers – Shannon Brown
Charlotte Bobcats – Gerald Wallace
New York Knicks – Nate Robinson
Toronto Raptors – DeMar Derozan*
Los Angeles Clippers – Eric Gordon*
* – will compete in dunk-in challenge
My Winner: Shannon Brown
Why? I’m an L.A. native, I watch Laker games. When I see Brown hop to dunk, it’s plain sick for a short kid getting that high above the rim. Shannon stated “I can touch the top of the backboard”. In case you haven’t heard, the last person to touch a top spot on the backboard was Dwight Howard with the sticker dunk a few years back. Though Dwight didn’t win that year, that’s still freakishly impressive for a 6’4 guard getting that high. If I picked a final round for the contest, it would be Brown with either Derozan or Wallace. Derozan gets up. Wallace shows to finish aggressive around the rim, so I’d also take him to the finals.
Peter’s Winner: Gerald Wallace
Why? Crash is going to do some crazy ish in the dunk contest. Shannon Brown has hops but Wallace will do some crazy oh my god dunks that will get everyone off their seats with gaped mouths.
|Omri Casspi (Kings)||F||6-9/225||Israel|
|DeJuan Blair (Spurs)||F-C||6-7/265||Pittsburgh|
|Stephen Curry (Warriors)||G||6-3/185||Davidson|
|Tyreke Evans (Kings)||G||6-6/220||Memphis|
|Jonny Flynn (Timberwolves)||G||6-0/186||Syracuse|
|Taj Gibson (Bulls)||F||6-9/225||USC|
|James Harden (Thunder)||G||6-5/220||Arizona State|
|Brandon Jennings (Bucks)||G||6-1/169||Lottomatica Virtus Roma (Italy)|
|Jonas Jerebko (Pistons)||F||6-10/231||Sweden|
|Michael Beasley (Heat)||F||6-9/245||Kansas State|
|Marc Gasol (Grizzlies)||C||7-1/265||Spain|
|Danilo Gallinari (Knicks)||G-F||6-10/225||Italy|
|Eric Gordon (Clippers)||G||6-3/222||Indiana|
|Brook Lopez (Nets)||C||7-0/260||Stanford|
|Kevin Love (Timberwolves)||F-C||6-10/260||UCLA|
|O.J. Mayo (Grizzlies)||G||6-4/210||USC|
|Anthony Morrow (Warriors)||G||6-3/190||Georgia Tech|
|Russell Westbrook (Thunder)||G||6-5/210||UCLA|
My Winner: Sophomores
Why? When I deeply think about it, the 2009 draft class was one of the league’s best ever.
Peter’s Winner: Sophomores
Why? They’re more experienced and this year’s sophomores is some of the best in the league
Last season in Phoenix was a fun one to watch. Shaq, Kobe, and Phil reunited for a fun performance. The starting line-up wasn’t so different from last year with the East having the same starters this year.
Let’s take a look at the team’s full roster.
|23||* LeBron James (Cleveland)||F||6-8||250||12/30/84||St. Vincent/St. Mary HS|
|5||* Kevin Garnett (Boston)||F||6-11||253||05/19/76||Farragut Academy HS (CHI)|
|3||* Dwyane Wade (Miami)||G||6-4||220||01/17/82||Marquette|
|3||* Allen Iverson (Philadelphia)||G||6-0||165||06/07/75||Georgetown, D.C.|
|12||* Dwight Howard (Orlando)||C||6-11||265||12/08/85||SW Atlanta Christian Academy (GA)|
|15||# Al Horford (Atlanta)||C||6-10||245||06/03/86||Florida|
|4||Chris Bosh (Toronto)||F||6-10||230||03/24/84||Georgia Tech|
|34||Paul Pierce (Boston)||F||6-7||235||10/13/77||Kansas|
|3||# Gerald Wallace (Charlotte)||F||6-7||220||07/23/82||Alabama|
|2||Joe Johnson (Atlanta)||G||6-7||240||06/29/81||Arkansas|
|9||# Rajon Rondo (Boston)||G||6-1||171||02/22/86||Kentucky|
|1||# Derrick Rose (Chicago)||G||6-3||190||10/04/88||Memphis|
|Head Coach: Stan Van Gundy (Orlando)|
|15||* Carmelo Anthony (Denver)||F||6-8||230||05/29/84||Syracuse|
|21||* Tim Duncan (San Antonio)||F||6-11||260||04/25/76||Wake Forest|
|24||* Kobe Bryant (L.A. Lakers)||G||6-6||205||08/23/78||Lower Merion HS (PA)|
|13||* Steve Nash (Phoenix)||G||6-3||178||02/07/74||Santa Clara|
|1||* Amar’e Stoudemire (Phoenix)||C||6-10||249||11/16/82||Cypress Creek (FL)|
|16||Pau Gasol (L.A. Lakers)||C||7-0||250||07/06/80||Barcelona, Spain|
|35||# Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City)||F||6-9||230||09/29/88||Texas|
|41||Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas)||F||7-0||245||06/19/78||Wurzburg, Germany|
|50||# Zach Randolph (Memphis)||F||6-9||260||07/16/81||Michigan State|
|3||i Chris Paul (New Orleans)||G||6-0||175||05/06/85||Wake Forest|
|1||Chauncey Billups (Denver)||F||6-3||202||09/25/76||Colorado|
|7||i Brandon Roy (Portland)||G||6-6||211||07/23/84||Washington|
|35||# Chris Kaman (L.A. Clippers)||G||7-0||265||04/28/82||Central Michigan|
|8||# Deron Williams (Utah)||G||6-3||207||06/26/84||Illinois|
|Head Coach: George Karl (Denver)|
|* – denotes starter
# – denotes first-time selection
i – denotes injured and will not participate
My Winner: East All-Stars
Why? East is the powerhouse this season.
Peter’s Winner: Doesn’t matter
Why? This is going to be a fun and entertaining game showing the best talent around the world. Lebron’s going to do something awesome, Dwight is going to do something funny, it’s going to be a good time.