As the New Orleans All-Star Weekend approaches, I am going to take the time to give some of my thoughts on the event, from the possible victors and to results. Basketball fans are generally split over feelings toward the mid-season event, with some enjoying the spectacle of the best of the best playing together but others saying it is a waste of time and doesn’t give necessary respect to the game. I am somewhat in the middle. I feel the All-Star game is somewhat of an all offense, no defense joke but still enjoy watching the extremely talented athletes on the court together. I very much enjoy the extra events such as the three-point challenge and the slam dunk contest to see the best in both fields go to work. With the new dunk contest format of freestyle rounds and battle rounds, this year could present a new opportunity for beyond-exciting showings.
This format allows the three east and west dunkers to work as teams, creating an array of ideas that were never before possible. All said and done, there will still only be one winner and many question as to whether the challengers can take down reigning champ Terrence Ross. Even though he holds the title, it seems Ross is not the favorite this year, as the noise created by Indiana Pacer Paul George this year is too loud to ignore. His in-game imitation of Vince Carter’s 360 windmill dunk gave a taste of what George has the ability to do. Although he is no Vince Carter, who in my opinion and the opinion of many others is the best dunker of all time, I don’t see any of the contestants beating out the high flying powerhouse George.
If there is anyone who can top George, it is either renowned dunker Ross or my dark horse selection, Harrison Barnes. I believe the Warrior Barnes has the hops and the power to create some monster dunks.
We have yet to see what trick ability he has but from the countless rim rattlers over big players like Pekovic, I take him as a serious contender. Speaking of Warriors, I put my money on Golden State point guard Stephen Curry to take home the three point title.
Although surrounded by great shooting contestants, I feel he is simply the best. Even Kevin Durant, arguably the best player in the league and current frontrunner for MVP, said he wouldn’t beat Curry in a three-point contest, calling Curry the “best in the game.” In terms of the big game itself, I have to believe that the Western Conference will take the win.
Although there are big names on both teams, I believe the West has a much better bench. This is simply due to the fact that the West has better teams with better players, and the league records reflect that. If I were picking a team myself I would take Lamarcus Aldridge over Paul Millsap, James Harden over DeMar DeRozan, and even Anthony Davis over this season’s Chris Bosh.
I think my point is rather clear, the West has the talent and the depth to take this game and I believe they will. All in all, the weekend should prove to be an exciting break and give fans and players some off time before returning to the challenging grind of the regular season.
Eber is a member of the class of 2016.