February 14th, Cowboys Stadium, Dallas, Texas – The 2010 NBA All-Star game. The results of the voting won’t be known till January 21, but the recent meantime results published earlier this month show that Kobe Bryant leads all players in votes while Dwyane Wade leads the Eastern conference in votes. The funny thing is Tracy McGrady currently being on pace to start in the All-Star, despite hardly playing this season. Here are who we think should start and play in the All-Star game in Dallas –
Dwayne Wade, Miami Heat
Not on the scoring rampage he was last season, but still, his numbers are as impressive as they get – 26.9 points, 6.1 assists, 5.2 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 1.3 steals for the Miami Heat star who has already been to five All-Star games. His team are currently third in the Southeast division with a 15-12 record.
Joe Johnson, Atlanta Hawks
Joe Johnson continues being the best player on an Atlanta Hawks team that has suddenly blossomed into one of the league’s best, at least going by the win-loss record (21-8). While the question of the Hawks being the real deal or not is still a bit early to answer, there’s no doubt about Johnson being among the league’s best guard. Scoring 21.4 points with 5.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.1 steals should be enough to get Johnson into his fourth consecutive All-Star game. Maybe not as a starter (Carter is the second guard right now according to the votes) but it’ll be outrageous not to have JJ at Dallas.
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
No need to flaunt the numbers, but we will anyway – 28.7 points, 7 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 1.3 steals per game, with LeBron leading the Cavs despite their slow start to a 23-8 record so far, second best in the East. Not even a question he’ll be starting in his sixth All-Star game in a bit more than a month. The big questions are if he’ll have a title in six months and where he’ll play next year.
Chris Bosh, Toronto Raptors
The RuPaul of big men as Shaq once put it will be playing in his fifth All-Star game this year while Shaq will probably be in the crowd. Bosh (23.4 points, 11.1 rebounds per game, both career highs) is having a fantastic year with the mediocre Raptors (14-17), and might not be there if they don’t make it to the playoffs this season. Even if they do, there’s a good chance Bosh is leaving Canada.
Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
The best center in the league doesn’t really have any competition in the voting department in his position. Howard’s numbers – 17.4 points, 13.4 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game, and this will be his fourth All-Star appearance.
David Lee (C, New York Knicks), Gerald Wallace (F, Charlotte Bobcats), Josh Smith (F, Atlanta Hawks), Danny Granger (F, Indiana Pacers), Rajon Rondo (G, Boston Celtics), Gilbert Arenas (G, Washington Wizards), Mo Williams (G, Cleveland Cavaliers).
Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets
The best point guard in the NBA had a rough start this season with the injury that DL’d him for about 3 weeks, but he’s back doing his thing, which is practically everything – 20.4 points, 10.7 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 2 steals per game. From the looks of things Paul won’t be a starter in Dallas, as McGrady and Nash are behind Kobe in the guard voting. Paul will still make it, I’m pretty sure, making it his third All-Star.
Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
The league leader in votes isn’t stopping this season as well, looking focused on winning his second MVP and his fifth NBA title. Kobe’s numbers – 29.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 2.2 steals per game, as he leads the Lakers to a league best 24-5 record so far, despite all the injuries he’s accumulating and surrounding him. This will be Kobe’s 12th All-Star game.
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
The greatest player in Mavericks history is up to his usual tricks this season, with 25.9 points, 8 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 1.3 blocks per game while leading the Mavs to a 21-9 record and another attempt at winning the franchise’s first NBA title. Nowitzki,who probably won’t start, will be playing in his 9th All-Star and probably will be the only home player that night.
Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets
The best scorer in the league will probably be starting for the second time in his third All-Star appearance as he seems to continue to mature and improve, leading Denver to a 20-10 record. Anthony is scoring 30.4 points per game while grabbing 6.1 rebounds per game.
Amare Stoudemire, Phoenix Suns
A position that has been monopolized by Yao Ming in recent years, so it’s suddenly hard to choose someone else as a starter. Although a few guys have been performing quite well out West under the baskets, Phoenix’s Amare will probably get the voters spot and he deserves it. Amare’s main success this season is coming back healthy from the eye surgery that finished his season early in 2008-2009, and so far he’s been doing well, with 20.1 points and 8.6 rebounds per game in what will probably be his 5th All-Star appearance.
Tim Duncan (F, San Antonio Spurs), Pau Gasol (F, Los Angeles Lakers), Kevin Durant (F, Oklahoma City Thunder), Steve Nash (G, Phoenix Suns), Deron Williams (G, Utah Jazz), Marc Gasol (C, Memphis Grizzlies), Brandon Roy (G, Portland Trailblazers).