The National Basketball Association’s annual All-Star game will take place in New Orleans in 2014. After three successive victories for the Western All-Stars, can the East redeem themselves?
The All-Star teams are not easy to predict by any stretch of the imagination, for example, nobody would have had veteran big man Kevin Garnett in the starting five for this years inclination. With that being said, it’s time to look into the crystal ball. Here are the ten players I predict will start the 2014 All-Star Game.
Guard: Kyrie Irving
There’s an argument to be made that Kyrie Irving should have started the 2013 All-Star Game. Nevertheless, Irving has already shown that he has the potential to be a perennial all-star. It’s vital the Cavaliers surround the young guard with some pieces if they are to keep Irving around past his rookie deal. They can’t afford to lose another young stud. If the Cavs were better, Irving would be in the MVP race. He’s that good.
Guard: Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose is expected to return some time before the 2013 playoffs. While that may be a little soon for Rose to reproduce some of his MVP-caliber form, expect the Chicago-born guard to be back for the 2013-14 season. With Rose at the helm, the Chicago Bulls will challenge the Miami Heat in the playoffs. Not only that, but Rose will once again challenge LeBron James for the MVP trophy. A backcourt of Rose and Irving is awfully exciting.
Forward: Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony has taken his game to another level this season, and I can’t see him missing out on next year’s All-Star Game either. The linchpin of New York’s success, Melo will probably be in the MVP race next season. Whether he wins it or not, there’s no question whether Anthony will be taking the floor in New Orleans for the 2014 All-Star Game–he will.
Forward: LeBron James
Center: Andrew Bynum
This is obviously injury permitting. Bynum can’t be injured for two seasons … can he? When healthy, he’s the best offensive center in the league. Bynum’s array of post moves are unmatched in the NBA. Should he stay in Philadelphia, he’ll get plenty of chances to flourish. Expect to see Bynum against Dwight Howard in the All-Star Game once again
Guard: Chris Paul
I expect Chris Paul to re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers this off-season. If so, the best point guard in the league will once again make the All-Star Game. Chris Paul is often described on the Internet as a “point god” … and this description fits like a glove. There is no one that balances scoring and facilitating as good as Paul.
Guard: Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant is one of the most popular players in the league. That’s without mentioning his enviable talent. He’s a lock for the All-Star Game every single year until he retires. It’ll be interesting to see whether he can once again remain at the high level Kobe sets for himself.
Forward: Kevin Durant
If Kevin Durant doesn’t win the Most Valuable Player award this year, he’ll win it next year. KD is on course to join the 50-40-90 club (50 percent shooting, 40 percent 3-point shooting, 90 percent free-throw shooter) this season and is one of the most likeable players in the league. A humble young man, that loves his Mom dearly, it’s impossible to hate Durant. Oh, and he’s quite good at this basketball thing. A scoring machine … it’s time for Durant to win some rings.
Forward: Blake Griffin
The second forward spot is more open in the West than the East. Because of his crazy athleticism and showtime dunks, Blake Griffin will be voted in. His offensive game is constantly growing; expect a big year from Griffin next year. Chris Paul will re-sign and the partnership in LA can continue to flourish.
Center: Dwight Howard
Howard is thought to be leaning to re-signing with the Los Angeles Lakers this off-season. Should he do so, he’ll make the All-Star Game in 2014. The best big-man in the game. Despite the back surgery of 2012, Howard has been able to lead the league in rebounds and put in some decent performances. With a full training camp, expect Howard to be back to his Orlando Magic self next season.