The NBA will announce the starters for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game tonight on the NBA tip-off show on TNT at 7 p.m.
Usually those that are picked are not a huge surprise. Your Kobes, LeBrons, D-Wades and Durants all have enough popularity to ensure they will be in the starting five. Sometimes fans screw things up in getting Allen Iverson in there past his prime or voting in Shaquille O'Neal when he can barely move his way up and down the floor. Vince Carter still has a fair amount of popularity for some reason.
Barring a surge of voting for Jeremy Lin, there is not much doubt about who will start in the annual exhibition.
The real question is who DESERVES to start. That is always a little bit trickier to answer. Particularly when you try to construct a whole roster. The coaches will have that problem in the next few weeks. There should actually be a number of guys who get their first call-up to the big game.
Again, we ask: Who should be starting? Josh Burton and I took our turns trying to answer that very question.
The East seems pretty straightforward. We both agree that LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Rajon Rondo will get the starting nod tonight. And I think most of us would say all three deserve. Josh believes Kevin Garnett and Dwyane Wade will take the other spots. Their popularity will propel them into the starting lineup. And, I honestly do not have a problem with those two in the lineups (they would make my team anyway).
Again, the question is should they start.
Tyson Chandler does not quite fit the All-Star Game mold, but is undoubtedly one of the best centers in the league. As a "post" or forward or whatever it was called on the ballot, there seems to me no doubt he makes it in. He is a difference maker for the Knicks.
I would also argue that Kyrie Irving should get the nod over Dwyane Wade for the start. Wade is averaging 19.9 points per game, his lowest scoring output since his rookie year. He has taken a secondary role for the Heat behind LeBron's mastery. Irving has been an absolute stud for the Cavaliers in averaging 23.3 points per game. But I can see the argument that a player for a team with such a bad record should get a start. Plus he missed a lot of time.
Josh believes Jrue Holiday should get the starting nod at guard. Holiday is averaging 19.0 points per game and 8.8 assists per game. He has been very under the radar for the Sixers but those numbers pass the sniff test for sure.
Enough to pass Rondo and Wade on fan's ballots? Not so much.
Out West, there are a ton of guards to pick from and James Harden and Russell Westbrook might deserve it in any other year. But Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul are the right choices. The fans have that right.
Kevin Durant is a safe bet too. Blake Griffin has expanded his game too although his scoring and his rebounding are down. The fans will vote him in, but he could be pretty shaky with some of the players pushing him behind him.
Josh believes Kevin Love will defeat Dwight Howard to get a starting spot. It seems likely that one will start and the other would make the roster with the coaches.
Again, that does not mean they should be there. Some could argue that neither Love (because of injuries) nor Howard (because of his team's poor play and his contribution to it) should be in. Especially when you have forwards like Tim Duncan and Zach Randolph, David Lee and LaMarcus Aldridge playing so well.
Someone is going to get left out in that bunch. And someone is going to get upset.
Tonight after 7 p.m. the questions of who will start will be answere and the debate can really begin.