Thursday, February 14, 2013

NBA All-Star Quick Picks!

Greetings! It's time for the NBA's All-Star festivities, and, of course, I have to weigh in on the Saturday night slate. This year, there is an East vs. West feel to everything (I have no idea why), but I don't care about that. Let's go!

Participants - Jrue Holiday, Jeff Teague, Brandon Knight, Tony Parker, Damian Lillard, Jeremy Lin
  • First, I don't care at all about the skills challenge, but it's at least semi-interesting. I don't understand the fascination with Brandon Knight (why is he here!?) so let's remove him now. Then, Jeremy Lin is only in this competition because his name is Jeremy Lin. I'm not blown away (at all) by his "skills" or speed, so let's take him out too. Jrue Holiday's biggest value is on the defensive end, and he doesn't strike me as a pure skills guy. Tony Parker has won this before, but is he going to go hard? He's old, after all. In the end, I'm saying this is between the speedy Jeff Teague and rookie Damian Lillard. Teague is faster, and while Lillard is the far superior shooter, I don't think that plays. Call me a homer, but it's really about taking the fastest guy with the ball. That's Teague. Winner: Jeff Teague
Participants - Paul George, Kyrie Irving, Steve Novak, Ryan Anderson, Matt Bonner, Stephen Curry
  • My first reaction (written here) is that Kyle Korver is a glaring absence in this competition, but after that, this is a really nice field. I think it's pretty unlikely that either George or Irving wins this thing. Both guys are high-level players who can really shoot, but they aren't shooters along the lines of the other 4 guys. Steph Curry is the lone small guy, but that does that hurt him? Is the "effort" higher for him? Basically, I think one of the bigs win it. Bonner has been openly yelling to be included, so I think he performs, and Novak is one of the worst players in the league who doubles as one of its best shooters. Anderson is the darkhorse because he can bomb, but I'm taking the guy who desperately wants to be there. Winner: Matt Bonner
Participants - Gerald Green, Terrence Ross, James White, Eric Bledsoe, Jeremy Evans, Kenneth Faried
  • Let's start with the guys who have no chance. Kenneth Faried isn't winning this competition unless he comes up with a gimmick that is beyond all things. He's a pure power guy who I can't see doing enough. Eric Bledsoe is explosive and athletic, but I've never seen him do anything spectacular/flashy so I'm taking him out. Evans is the defending champ, but it was more of a consistent performance than anything else, and he's not the purely explosive wing player like the Eastern conference guys. He could win it with consistency again, but it also hurts him that he doesn't play, at all, anymore. Gerald Green is back, and the 2007 winner is about as explosive as it gets. He's got one of the best dunks that no one ever talks about (throwing it down in socks!) to go along with his cupcake gimmick. Terrence Ross has been one of the best game dunkers in the entire league this year, and he's reportedly got some tricks up his sleeve. And finally, James White is here. White is now 30 years old so I'm not positive that the James White that I know will be in Houston. But I'll say this: James White is the best dunker (not named Vince Carter circa 2000) that I've ever seen. This guy has earned the "flight" nickname since high school, and his free throw line dunks are the stuff of legend. I don't care that he doesn't play. I don't care that he's 30. I'm picking him, and you should, too. Winner: James White
Enjoy the festivities!

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