The 2011 NBA All Star Game will be played on Sunday, February 20, 2011 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. This game will feature two hometown stars in the Lakers Kobe Bryant and the Clippers Blake Griffin. Let’s preview the teams and give our expert pick after we check the odds.
Eastern Conference Preview
The Eastern Conference team has one definite advantage that the West does not have. Four players from the Boston Celtics are on this team and when it is time to win and finish the game, it will mean an advantage to have four players from the same team on the court all at once. The Celtics are Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. The team is coached by the Celtics skipper Doc Rivers. The starters are Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard and Amar’e Stoudemire. Also on the bench is Chris Bosh, Al Horford and Joe Johnson.
Western Conference Preview
The starters for the Western Conference team include Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Tim Duncan and Carmelo Anthony. Riding the pines will be Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobilli, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Russell Wetbrook, Deron Williams and Dirk Nowitzki. This is a formidable team
For the West, starters are Tim Duncan (SA), Kevin Durant (OKC), Carmelo Anthony (DEN), Kobe Bryant (LAL), and Chris Paul (NO). Yao Ming (HOU) was selected to start by the fans, but will be unable to play due to injury. Bench players for the West are Manu Ginobili (SA), Pau Gasol (LAL), Blake Griffin (LAC), Kevin Love (MIN), Dirk Nowitzki (DAL), Russell Westbrook (OKC), and Deron Williams (UT).
Pick and Prediction
The East team has no rookies on the team. They are all veterans and have been to an All Star Game before. The West team has three players making their first appearance in an NBA All Star game. The odds have the East at -1 for this game. We like that with the Celtics all on the floor at one time. Griffin and Bryant are playing in front of a home crowd so that should enhance their play. However, Kobe Bryant is a veteran and he will conserve some energy for the playoffs and might not give an all-out performance. Our expert pick is the East -1 to win the game. Check the over/under at 268.5 and remember the over has only hit twice in the last seven games.
Our pick: East -1