Players Slam, Launch, and Score at NBA All-Star Weekend
Pro Basketball All-Star Weekend

NBA All-Star Weekend is upon us and the best in the league are ready to slam dunk, launch three-pointers and score points on the court in Orlando. The basketball sportsbook is going to be alive with wagering action for most events this NBA All Star Weekend. That includes offering odds on who will win the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, the Three-Point Contest, and the actual NBA All-Star.

With so much going on in the sportsbook, why shouldn’t basketball betting fans expect to score like a CP3 alleyoop to Blake Griffin?

BBVA Rising Stars Challenge

When: Feb. 24 at 9pm ET

Team Shaq

Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
Jeremy Lin, New York Knicks
Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves
Greg Monroe, Detroit Pistons
Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns
Kemba Walker, Charlotte Bobcats
Landry Fields, New York Knicks
Norris Cole, Miami Heat
Brandon Knight, Detroit Pistons
Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers

Team Chuck

Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings
Paul George, Indiana Pacers
Derrick Williams, Minnesota Timberwolves
MarShon Brooks, New Jersey Nets
John Wall, Washington Wizards
Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
Tiago Splitter, San Antonio Spurs
Evan Turner, Philadelphia 76’ers

Analysis: Chuck, that would be Chuck Barkley, and anybody who doesn’t feel that Jeremy Lin deserves to be on this team because “he’s only been playing for a couple of weeks” is nuts. Lin has scored 20 points or more in the Knicks’ last 9 games. He’s racked up 7 assists or more in 9 out of the Knicks’ last 10 games. More importantly, he understands coach Mike D’Antoni’s system. Even though the Knicks lost versus the Nets in Carmelo Anthony’s first game back after an injury, all 5 of New York’s starters did score in double figures. The kid is awesome and the NBA is all about expanding their fan base. Lin, no doubt, will help them do that by playing in this game.

The rest of Shaq’s squad doesn’t look to bad, either. We all know about Blake Griffin and Rubio, but Kemba Walker is pretty good as well. The problem with Shaq’s squad, though, is that it simply isn’t as deep as Barkley’s. DeMarcus Cousins is having a bang up year over at Sacramento (17 points and 11 boards a game) and Derrick Williams has the ability to defend Griffin. Hayward (10 points and 3 assists), Wall (17 points and 5 assists) and Irving (18 points and 4 assists) are all talented guys that, although not as flashy as Rubio and Lin, could expose Lin and Rubio’s defensive failures in this game.

I’m actually with the Chuckster’s team to cut Big Daddy’s fellas down to size!

Pick: Team Chuck

NBA Slam Dunk Contest

When: Feb. 25 at 8pm ET

The Dunkers

Derrick Williams, Minnesota Timberwolves
Paul George, Indiana Pacers
Jeremy Evans, Utah Jazz
Chase Budinger, Houston Rockets

Analysis: After jumping over a car last year, was there any doubt that then rookie sensation Blake Griffin was going to take home the NBA Slam Dunk Contest trophy? I didn’t think so. Griffin is a full time All-Star nowadays and will start in Sunday’s game. Before Blake took home the slamma jamma trophy in 2011, small but mighty Nate Robinson won it back-to-back in 2009 and 2010 reminding fans of 1986 when diminutive Spud Webb, at 5’ 7”, sat in the middle of bookend winners Dominique Wilkins in 1985 and Michael Jordan in 1987.

There are no Robinsons or Webbs in this group. But, there is a soon to be Blake Griffin clone, and three length dunkers, now that Imam Shumpert, whom I picked to actually win the contest earlier in the week, is out. Jeremy Evans from Utah will replace Shumpert meaning that the only power dunker of the bunch, Derrick Williams, has little to worry about.

Williams, is, obviously, the Griffin clone. He’s also one of two former University of Arizona alma maters (Bear Down, baby!). Chase Budinger, who plays for the Houston Rockets, is the other one. It’s going to be tough for the judges to separate Evans, Budinger and Indiana’s Paul George. I know that I can’t based on watching the dunks from those three. Williams should stand out simply because of his ferocity at throwing down the ball.

So, who takes home the trophy now that my dark horse won’t be whirling and twirling his way to fantastic slams? It should be apparent that I’m going with the chalk, Derrick Williams. Hey, at least a Williams’ victory gives us Arizona Alums a chance to party it up!

Pick: Derrick Williams

Three-Point Contest

When: Feb. 25 at 8:30pm ET

Participants

James Jones, Miami Heat
Joe Johnson, Atlanta Hawks
Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
Ryan Anderson, Orlando Magic
Anthony Morrow, New Jersey Nets
Mario Chalmers, Miami Heat

Anaylsis: Jones scored 20 points in the final round of this event in order to beat out two Celtics, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, for the trophy. It’s going to be tough for Jones to repeat on Feb. 25. Jones averages 43% from behind the arc. Johnson averages 34%, Love 35%, Morrow 41%, Anderson 44% and Chalmers 46% from three-point land.

Obviously, Chalmers is the guy to look at because of that gaudy percentage from down town, but I’m with Ryan Anderson. I like big dudes whose jump shot only requires them to rise two inches off of the floor. Okay, maybe, 6 inches? No, seriously, because Anderson and Love are closer to the hoop from no man’s land, they’re taller than all of the other contestants, and because they’re stronger than their competition, it’s likelier that they’ll be less tired than Chalmers, Jones, Johnson and Morrow in the final round. Out of the two, Anderson’s the guy.

Pick: Ryan Anderson

 

2012 All-Star Game

When: Feb. 26 at 6pm ET

East Starters

Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
LeBron James, Miami Heat
Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
Dwayne Wade, Miami Heat

West Starters

Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
Andrew Bynum, Los Angeles Lakers
Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

Analysis: Unless the West decides to simply lie down and catch some Orlando rays, this one should be all over by halftime. Sure, the starting five of Rose, James, Howard and Anthony, might look formidable on paper, but the East’s bench of Chris Bosh, Luol Deng, Roy Hibbert, Andre Iguodala, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce and Deron Williams, pales in comparison to the West’s bench of LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol, Kevin Love, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook.

Since the East won back-to-back in 2005 and 2006, it’s gone West, East, West, East, West. So, the East should win, right? I don’t think so. Look at the matchups and it’s obvious that West coach Scott Brooks, from Oklahoma City, has a lot to work with. Want to run the pick-and-roll with Westbrook and Durant, no worries, we do it every day in practice! How about Paul and Blake, uh, okay! What about Nash and Nowitzki? Yeah, why not?

Over heard by some writer on Sunday: “Hey, Kobe, I almost got the chance to play with you this year! I’m going to throw alleyoop after alleyoop to you to show Commissioner Stern exactly why it was dumb not to let me wear the gold and purple,” said Chris Paul shortly before tip off.

The West should roll in this game unless they’re flat out not taking it seriously, which is a possibility, but the Black Mamba is an angry man. Not only is he going through a divorce without a prenuptial agreement, but he’s officially, in the mind of many NBA fans, lost the “best in the world on the court” moniker. He’s mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore, just like Peter Finch in Network from 1976.

Plus, the West has a ton of speed with Westbrook, Nash and CP3 at the point and Durant, Griffin and Love running the court. I like the West and I love over the total even if the basketball betting line does end up at over 265 or so. Last year’s score was West 148 and East 143.

Pick: West All-Stars and over the total