Sunday, February 17, 2008

2008 NBA All-Star Game Review

This year's All-star game from New Orleans featured plenty of starpower and playmakers looking to showcase their talents. Prior to the game Kobe Bryant spoke about his injured right pinkie and having to play despite his coach or GM not wanting him to. Kobe has a torn ligament in his finger but will play the remainder of this season and wait to get surgery. Jason Kidd told TNT reporter David Aldrige he expects to be in Dallas within the next 48 hours. TNT's Ernie Johnson added in that Keith Van Horn may be part of the deal and have to come out of retirement to sign a $4 million contract with the Mavs.

First Quarter:
Kobe Bryant came out within the first 3 minutes of the 1st quarter with no points scored. The East squad jumped out to an early lead. Chris Bosh had a ton of dunks early on and J-Kidd threw an impressive lob to Lebron for a throwdown. At one point all three Detroit Pistons were in the lineup along with the lone 2 Bost Celtics. Crowd members shown included Alyssa Milano, Gabrielle Union, Governor Schwarzenegger, Terell Owens and Ludacris.

Second Quarter:

The East continued to maintain its lead thanks to the West's turnovers. Lebron and D-Howard had several alley oop exchanges for dunks. An interesting stat flashed about Dwight Howard as well. He has 145 dunks total this season which is more than 4 different NBA teams have for total dunks. East closes out the first half up 74-65, on pace for one high scoring game.

Third Quarter:
The West narrowed the gap several times, but the East continued its lead by 13. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen of the Celtics scored the last several points of the quarter. During the quarter Chris Paul continued to display why he's such a great floor general in New Orleans.

Fourth Quarter:

This game got good in the 4th Quarter making for one of the better finishes to an all-star game in recent history. Ray Allen had 27 points as did Lebron. Ray hit a flurry of three's in the 4th quarter to help his team out, and Lebron had a strong key jam. There was also a critical foul called on Chris Paul where he caused Ray to hit the deck. Brandon Roy hit a late 3 to bring the West within 3 with under 10 seconds to play, but Ray Allen kept his team ahead with free throws. Allen was 1 shy of tying Mark Price's previous record for 6 three pointers made in an All-star game.

Overall impressions:
A little disappointing to see Lebron win the MVP over Ray Allen. Not that Lebron had a bad performance, but Allen's always been a deadly sharpshooter and three point shooter in the league and should have been rewarded for his great shooting in the game. Still Lebron's performance was just as deserving as he had just about every stat possible excluding popcorn sales.

There didn't seem to be the high flying razzle dazzle that All-star games of the past 5 years may have had. Notably, Kobe Bryant was out with a pinkie injury and high flyers like Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady weren't present. Two other guys missing who add a great deal of personality to the game are Shaq and KG (injury). However it was a great showcase for the Best of the rest of the NBA this year in New Orleans and an exciting fourth quarter finish.

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