Tip-off is scheduled for Sunday,8:00 pm ET at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. This game can be seen on the TNT Network
5 Dimes Sportsbook lists the Western Conference as a 2.5 point NBA betting odds favorite and the total for the game is 291.5.
This is all that you basically need to know. Along with players avoiding getting injured, superstars like to showcase their talents with a barrage of dunks and alley-oops. You look at the betting total and don’t be alarmed. This game has the best of the best in the NBA and points are scored at a rapid pace.
West is Best?
Odds makers list the Western Conference as the favorite because the West has more quality teams in the conference, but this is a game of ego.
With LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony on the same team, the East will give the West a run for their money. Some players that are established veteran stars with little ego like Tony Parker, will be happy just to participate and not steal the show. There are show stealers, young upstarts, and hard workers in this game.
The Kobe Factor
Do you all remember when Kobe Bryant was daring LeBron James to shoot as they were one on one at the end of the last All Star Game? LeBron lacked the confidence to shoot the game winning shot and was known for “hiding” in the 4th quarter.
That all has changed now since LBJ and the Miami Heat won a championship. LeBron James is the best basketball player on the planet and full of confidence while Kobe Bryant is on a disgruntled, under-performing Los Angeles Lakers team that will have to fight to make the playoffs.
Kobe Bryant is getting older and although I expect him to get his points in this game, I also expect him to leave the brunt of the work to the guys that want to shine in the spotlight such as Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. The West is simply loaded and it will be interesting to see if players like Kyrie Irving and Jrue Holiday can make an impact in helping the East.
What to Expect?
There are going to be some players looking to win the MVP award; That’s the ego aspect of the game. Expect LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Kobe Bryant, and Carmelo Anthony to be seeing a lot of playing time and displaying a lot of offense. This is more of a show than a game.
You will see players like Kevin Garnett, Tony Parker, Blake Griffin, David Lee, CP3, Dwight Howard, Brook Lopez, Joakim Noah, Zach Randolph, and Luol Deng who are there to do what they do during the regular season and that’s put on their hard hats and bring their lunch pails and “do work”.
Finally, there are the young upstarts such as Kyrie Irving, Jrue Holiday, and Paul George that will have a fresh impact on the game.
The Real Game Begins in the 4th Quarter
Although this is more of a show, once the 4th quarter hits, it becomes serious business and it becomes a real basketball game. There’s less flashy plays and more teamwork.
The West has the better roster, but I’m not going against any team with LeBron James on it for my free pick. This game is known for going OVER the total and I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t go OVER here.
NBA Picks: NBA All Star Game East/West OVER 291.5