Thursday, February 11, 2010
Due to personal matters, Allen Iverson will be out of Sunday's all star game, meaning everyone now deserves to be in it based on this years stats. It is unknown who will start over him, but David Lee will fill his empty spot. Due to injuries, Kobe Bryant will be replaced by Jason Kidd, and injuries probably prevented 6th-leading scorer Monta Ellis from taking the spot instead. This changes my predictions, but not significantly. I am not sure who will start over Iverson, as Lee is a power forward, so when that comes out I will update that matchup, but Dwyane Wade now wins his matchup over anyone else the West sends at him, giving the East a 3-2 advantage in the starters. However, the big men reserves prediction holds, as the West still has more and better big men. As of now, Derrick Rose is playing in the all star game, but I'll try to keep you posted
Monday, February 8, 2010
It's finally here, All-Star Weekend 2010. Following my previous article about the various other events headlining this year's all-star weekend, I wanted to breakdown the game and give my predictions.
Here are the matchups for the East and West. The matchups are organized by how good they'll be
Starters: West 3, East 2
Lebron vs. Carmelo: Melo has his coach with him, but he can't beat the King. This is going to be a storied matchup throughout both of their careers, but Lebron will always win it, but not by much
Kobe vs. D-Wade: Kobe gets the edge here. Kobe is the best player in the league, injured or not. Even with his multitude of injuries, his height gives him a slight edge, which would have been bigger if he was healthy, over the dynamic Wade. However, this is still going to be a great matchup
Amar'e Stoudemire vs. Dwight Howard: Another great matchup, but Howard is the better center. Stoudemire will make it interesting, but Howard is undoubtedly the best center in the game
KG vs. Tim Duncan: Like Kobe vs. Wade, this matchup is affected by injuries. However, in this one the injuries make more of a difference. Duncan has been outstanding this year, while KG has been hobbled by injuries. Healthy, I'll take KG over Duncan, but that is not the case, so Duncan gets the edge here.
Steve Nash vs. AI: Nash no question is the better player. A few years ago it would have been the other way around, but Nash is putting up great numbers & AI is only playing because of his fanbase
I'm breaking down the reserves by position, since I might have to end up matching up Paul Pierce on Pau Gasol, which would obviously not happen. Regardless, the reserves match up very well and it will make the game even more interesting
Reserves: West 2, East 1
Kevin Durant vs. Gerald Wallace and Paul Pierce: This is such a difficult match to decide, but Durant gets a slight edge in the closest matchup this year. Durant is having a great all-around season, and Wallace is 6-7 and one of the league's leading rebounders. Injuries aside, Pierce is having a solid season as well. If Pierce was not coming off injuries, this would result in a tie.
Deron Williams and Chauncey Billups vs. Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, and Joe Johnson: This will be a solid matchup, but the East wins it. Numbers aside, Rose and Rondo are blossoming into the 2 top point guards, if Wade is a shooting guard and noting Devin Harris' inconsistency, and Joe Johnson deserves to start over AI. Billups is old and losing his skill, but Williams is a strong player. East wins this because of the great balance they have. Rose and Johnson provide most of the offense, and Rondo provides most of the defense and assists
Dirk Nowitzki, Zach Randolph, Chris Kaman and Pau Gasol vs. Chris Bosh and Al Horford: There are guys in the east who had better stats than Horford, i.e Brook Lopez, but the same goes with Pau Gasol with Al Jefferson having superior numbers. Horford and Pau are still solid big men, but regardless, the West would still win this category, with Nowitzki continuing his brilliance, and Kaman and Randolph having career years. Individually Chris Bosh is the best of all of these, but the east is just overmatched by sheer numbers.
Overall Predition: This going to be a great game, and another high-scoring game, but the West will win by 4, and despite Kobe's 35-point performance, Steve Nash will win MVP with 25 points and 12 assists
All-star weekend this year is packed with a lot of fun and exciting events. Some will be interesting, some will be blowouts. Here's the schedule and my predictions for the winners of the events.
Celebrity Game: 2 teams of famous people trying to play basketball. It's Dr. Oz, Chris Tucker, Anthony Anderson, Pitbull, Joel Moore, Anthony Kim and 4 Harlem Globetrotters vs. Mark Cuban, Robert Horry, Rick Fox, Chris Mullin, Common, and Nancy Lieberman. The former NBA players are too old to matchup against the young Globetrotters, but they do have a significant height advantage over the 1st team. Basketball is a game of height, but the globetrotters can jump & are younger. Team 1 wins by 6
Dunk-off: I believe this will be at halftime of the Rookie Challenge, but Eric Gordon and Demar Derozan will have a mini dunk contest to see who is the 4th dunker in the dunk contest the next day. Gordon may be the better player, but he just doesn't seem like a high-flyer, & the fact that he's in the rookie game doesn't help much. Derozan will win here to try his luck in the big show.
T-Mobile Rookie Challenge: The Sophmores usually win this game, & this year will be no different. The only 2 sophmores who I do not think will be among the best players in the NBA in the future are Anthony Morrow and Danilo Gallinari, but both can shoot the 3 very well. Although the rookies have an advantage in the backcourt, the rookie bigs do not have the talent to contend with the likes of Brook Lopez, Kevin Love, Marc Gasol and Michael Beasley. Sophmores by 15
H.O.R.S.E: Kevin Durant defends his title at last years inaugural competition against Omri Casspi and Rajon Rondo. Durant started off slowly against OJ Mayo and Joe Johnson last year, and still won. Both of those players have better abilities to create shots than Rondo or Casspi. Durant will win again, Rondo will finish 2nd and Casspi 3rd
Haier Shooting Stars Competition: To kick off All Star Saturday night, NBA players and Legends and WNBA players will team up to try and shoot some tough shots. Texas has Dirk Nowitzki, Becky Hammon and Kenny Smith, Los Angeles has Pau Gasol, Marie-Ferdinand Harris and Brent Barry, Sacramento has Tyreke Evans, Chris Webber and Nicole Powell, and Atlanta has Joe Johnson, Angel McCoughtry and Steve Smith. Texas takes it for the hometown crowd by 3 seconds, with the best-shooting combination among the younger stars
Taco Bell Skills Challenge: Derrick Rose defends his title against some of the best Point Guards in the game today, Steve Nash, Deron Williams and Brandon Jennings. Williams and Nash are both former champs, with Williams setting a course record in 2008. Will anyone beat that record? No, but Nash will beat everyone here, with Rose finishing 2nd.
3-Point Contest: Daequan Cook will have a tough time defending his title in this star-studded field with Paul Pierce, Chauncey Billups, Stephen Curry, Channing Frye, and Danilo Gallinari. Although Cook ran away with the title last year, he has not been close to as hot as the other competitors. In Chauncey Billups will win by 2, but the other great shooters here will make it an interesting competition to watch
Dunk Contest: As usual, all-star Saturday will end off with an exciting dunk contest. With my prediction of Demar Derozan beating Eric Gordon in the dunk-off, Derozan will help Gerald Wallace, runner-up to Jason Richardson in a close 2002 contest and Shannon Brown try to stop Nate Robinson from his 2nd-straight, 3rd ever, dunk contest victory. In a deep field, Shannon Brown will use his 44.5 inch vertical to rise above the competition and be the 7th player to win the dunk contest in his rookie year
Note: There will be a follow-up article about the all-star game