Saturday, February 13, 2010

All-Star game 2010 roster changes

Kobe's out. So is AI. Chris Paul's on crutches. So who exactly is playing in Sunday's game? Starting for the Eastern Conference will be Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard and recent addition, Joe Johnson of the Atlanta Hawks. On the Westside of the equation, Dirk Nowitski gets the start in place of the injured Kobe Bryant (sprained ankle). He'll be the hometown hero since the game is to be played in Dallas, Texas. Joining Dirk will be the familiar All-Star faces: Carmelo Anthony, Steve Nash, Amare Stoudamire and Tim Duncan.

As for reserves we've got Derrick Rose, Chris Bosh, Al Horford, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Gerald Wallace and yes last minute replacement, David Lee of the New York Knicks. Lee received a call earlier this past week that he had just 20 minutes to go catch the NBA charter flight to Dallas so he could play in his first ever All-Star game on Sunday.

On the Western bench will be MVP candidate Kevin Durant of the OKC Thunder, Pau Gasol from the Lakers, and the Clippers Chris Kaman replacing the injured Kobe. Other reserves include Derron Williams of the Jazz, Zach Randolph (Memphis), and Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups (replacing Paul).

The big stories are the fact that Kobe and Iverson won't be part of the game. Kobe's got a legitimate injury he's been sitting out with from regular games. Iverson has been missing games recently due to an undisclosed family matter. Some are starting to speculate that Iverson will officially retire soon due to the fact he was a no-show for the big game after the fans voted him to start.

Other news is that Derrick Rose will battle through injury to play because this is a dream of his. There's been some contentions that Jason Kidd doesn't deserve a spot on the reserves with his current stats, while maybe rookie star Tyreke Evans does. The best reasoning for the Kidd inclusion is the fact the game's in Dallas where the fans will root for Kidd, and he's been amongst the All-Stars for several years, with league-leading assist numbers. Also, the Kings aren't exactly getting it done record-wise, while the Mavs are among the playoff contenders in the West. The best case for Tyreke Evans may be the fact he picked up the MVP award in today's Rookie's vs Sophomores game to prove just how good he is as the Rookies actually won.

Could this be the year Dirk picks up the All-Star MVP award? Or will a newcomer like Kevin Durant or Brandon Roy snag the honor? Don't count out the East either with Lebron and the rest of the crew.

Feel free to leave your comments about the new additions to the All-star game lineups, and your predictions on who will win the game and MVP award below.

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