The West, winners in three straight years, have opened as four-point favorites at the sportsbooks. The game's total is at 292.5 – the last time we saw that many points was in 2012 when Kevin Durant was the MVP in a 152-149 win for the Western Conference.
It all starts with LeBron. He's in the midst of another stellar year and heads into the All-Star Break feeling mighty good after arguably his best performance of the season at Golden State, a performance that included the game-winning three with 0.1 seconds remaining.
James will look to good pal Carmelo Anthony (27.3 PPG) for help offensively, and should also feel incredibly comfortable out there alongside teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
The East only really has two point guards on the roster and those are Kyrie Irving and John Wall. Both are having great statistical seasons, though Wall's Wizards have been performing much better as a team so far.
There's some good talent inside for the East as well, including Roy Hibbert, Joakim Noah and Paul Millsap. Millsap has quietly been having a very productive season.
We're also excited to watch two young budding superstars in Paul George and DeMar DeRozan, a couple of athletically very gifted players, showcase their talent on this kind of stage. DeRozan has been tearing it up, averaging 22.4 points per game for the surging Raptors.
So stacked. That's all you can really say.
Kevin Durant is the current favorite for the MVP and will be out there trying to prove a point, regardless of the lack of intensity that's become a mainstay in the All-Star game. He's carried the Thunder on his back with Russell Westbrook out and leads the NBA in scoring at 31.5 points per contest.
But it gets better. In the frontcourt the Western Conference will be able to call on the likes of Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Dirk Nowitzki, Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard, all of whom have been terrific this season.KD is joined by a ridiculous crop of players. Point guards include Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Tony Parker and Damian Lillard, with James Harden the other guard on the roster. Not a bad list there.
With so many star talents on the squad, it's hard to imagine the Western Conference losing for the first time in four years. They've dominated this series in recent history and should be able to keep it going behind one of the most loaded rosters we've ever seen.
All-Star Game Pick
So, obviously the East isn't too shabby, with LeBron, Melo and Paul George likely to dominate the touches. However, the Western Conference is just jam-packed with superstars and it's hard to fade them here.
With nine different players (the Eastern Conference has five) who are averaging at least 20 points per game, we feel it's in our best interest to roll with the favorites to get the job done once again this year.
The West also has a considerable advantage on the glass, with five different players that average at least 9.8 rebounds per contest – Joakim Noah is the only player on the East who's averaging double-digit boards. Scott Brooks' team also has the deeper (and simply better) group of point guards, led of course by a healthy-again CP3.
When push comes to shove, take the more talented team and back the Western Conference for your NBA pick.
Pick: Western Conference -4