The lights will be shining bright Sunday night In New York City as Madison Square Garden will play host to the 2015 NBA All-Star game. "The Mecca" of basketball has not hosted an All-Star game since 1998 when Michael Jordan took home MVP honors in his last season with the Chicago Bulls. The ASG is always packed with plenty of story lines, so let us first get acquainted with each squad.
Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors | Guard *Starter
Klay Thompson Golden State Warriors | Guard *Starter
James Harden Houston Rockets | Guard *Starter
LaMarcus Aldridge Portland Trail Blazers | Forward *Starter
Marc Gasol Memphis Grizzlies | Center *Starter
Damian Lillard Portland Trail Blazers | Guard (Replaced Blake Griffin)
DeMarcus Cousins Sacramento Kings | Center (Replaced Kobe Bryant)
Russell Westbrook Oklahoma City Thunder | Guard
Chris Paul Los Angles Clippers | Guard
Dirk Nowitzki Dallas Mavericks | Forward (Replaced Anthony Davis)
Tim Duncan San Antonio Spurs | Forward
Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder | Forward
Steve Kerr Golden State Warriors | Coach
John Wall Washington Wizards | Guard *Starter
Kyle Lowry Toronto Raptors | Guard *Starter
Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks | Forward *Starter
LeBron James Cleveland Cavilers | Forward *Starter
Pau Gasol Chicago Bulls | Forward *Starter
Al Horford Atlanta Hawks | Forward
Paul Millsap Atlanta Hawks | Forward
Jeff Teague Atlanta Hawks | Guard
Jimmy Bulter Chicago Bulls | Guard
Kyrie Irving Cleveland Cavilers | Guard
Kyle Krover Atlanta Hawks | Forward (Replaced Dwyane Wade)
Chris Bosh Miami Heat | Forward
Mike Budenholzer Atlanta Hawks | Coach
Brothers Pau and Marc Gasol are set to become the first pair of siblings in NBA history to start an All-Star game. While the duo have five combined All-Star appearances between them (four selections for Pau and one for Marc), this will be the first time the Spaniards will both play in the same All-Star game.
Another pair of brothers will be playing together in a All-Star game for the first time come Sunday evening, but these brothers don't actually share parents, rather a transcendent skill that his lofted them into the national spotlight and on the radar of basketball fans across the globe. These brothers are Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, and they are better known by DubNation as the Splash Brothers, as the two deadly shooters share a bloodline of ice water that runs fluidly throughout their veins.
The Splash Bros. will become the first pair of guards from the same team to start an All-Start game since Earl Monroe and Walt Frazier completed the feat in 1975 while playing for the Knicks. Both Curry and Thompson have the advantage of playing for their coach Steve Kerr, who will certainly give them the green light throughout the game. Although it is not like any player in NBA history has ever been given anything but the green light in the ASG. Regardless, Curry and Thompson's cohesiveness and up-tempo style of play could result in fireworks throughout the game Sunday night.
Hawks Well Represented
No matter which event was being held this All-Star weekend, an Atlanta Hawk was surely participating, if not close by. Sunday night will be no different, as four players from the Eastern Conference's best team including the coach will in action. It will be interesting to see how head coach Mike Budenholzer utilizes his own players throughout the game. The 2011 Boston Celtics had a similar situation, when Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo all made the All-Star team and were coached by Doc Rivers, who played all four players in the same lineup, but only sparingly.
New Faces in the Crowd
The average fan will have the opportunity to learn some new names this weekend, as a quarter of this season's All-Stars are first time selections. The loaded Western Conference has two first timers in Klay Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins, while the Eastern Conference has four of their own, in Jimmy Butler, Kyle Korver, Jeff Teague and Kyle Lowry. While new faces in the ASG is valuable to the growth of the association, the NBA is still a star driven league and that is what this game is all about. While Kobe Bryant will miss his second All-Star game in a row, Steph Curry, Lebron James, James Harden, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony round out the favorites to win this years MVP per Bovada.Lv.
So let us all sit back tonight and enjoy plenty of offense, a little bit of defense, and zero injuries.
Final Score: West 160 East 149
MVP : Stephen Curry