QUICK THOUGHTS ON SOME LONG SHOTS
Dirk Nowitzki (+1400) Could seriously light up from range and has been playing at an unreal pace for much of the first half. Could also sit on the bench for ninety percent of the game.
Paul Pierce (+1200) Los Angeles’ most hated son (for loyalty reasons) always thrives when he comes home. A very, very, very, very, VERY tempting take especially with 12-to-1 odds to win the NBA Betting All-Star Game MVP and his head coach primed to put him in a position to win the game if the situation demands.
Joe Johnson (+1400) He’ll only care if there’s serious money involved and there isn’t so forget it.
Blake Griffin (+1000) Doesn’t have the street cred to win the MVP award over the bigger names, and will probably have trouble banking enough playing time.
Ray Allen (+1400) Again, it’s a playing time issue. Allen won’t bother asking head coach Doc Rivers for enough minutes with Dwyane Wade on the floor.
Chris Paul (+900) Greg Popovich will take one look at his knee brace and ask, “You want the weekend off?” CP3 will nod appreciatively.
JUST AN OBSERVATION…
Dwight Howard (+900) and Amar’e Stoudemire (+800) Worst case scenario for the Orlando Magic is Stoudemire and Howard throwing a block party defensively and having an absolute riot together. Raptors fans were cringing last year when Bosh was having a blast playing with LeBron. Magic fans will know how they felt when they see Howard and Stoudemire standing next to each other.
Dwight wants out of Orlando and I don’t blame him, and I could really expand on this but he’s already given the team what was required. The city got a new stadium because of him. The team went to the Finals, and since then he’s watched Otis Smith continually blow up his team to try and hit the lucky combination of problematic head cases. I’d be sick of it too.
Howard is a force of nature defensively and offensively. Amar’e is a freaking beast. They might not like each other now, but if they were teammates, they’d re-invent the “Two Towers” moniker once carried by David Robinson and Tim Duncan. I mean, they’d just DEVOUR guys who drive the lane wouldn’t they? New York fans will be praying that Howard and Stoudemire enjoy being paired together as much as I enjoy thinking about it. And I’m not even close to being Knicks fan.
THE +800 CLUB
Carmelo Anthony (+800) There’s a part of me that feels for Melo considering the strain he’s under. But when a player has banked over $100 million in his career, is beloved by players and fans alike, and in a position to be traded to his dream team in the greatest city on the planet, then I don’t have a lot of sympathy.
Dwayne Wade (+800) Huge potential, but something tells me that this just isn’t his game this weekend. Don’t feel silly if you bet on Wade because it’s a smart play with great value. I’m just not feeling it.
Kevin Love (+800) – You know who’s skill set doesn’t translate in a game that doesn’t really matter, where people prefer chucking up alley-oops and playing zero defense? This guy.
THE YOUNG GUNS
Kevin Durant (+600 odds to win NBA All-Star Game MVP)
Tons of potential to explode amidst his peers to prove just how dominant he is. Durant has never really had a chance to go after LeBron and considering the talent surrounding him, he could be more reckless than usual against the game’s best player.
Derrick Rose (+600 odds to win NBA All-Star Game MVP)
People have been underselling just how amazing Rose’s first-half has been, and he seems a bit angry about it. Actually, he just seems angry all the time period. Rose is a monster when he decides to drive the lane, and the West doesn’t have the beef under the paint to stop him. And that’s what I actually really like about Rose in this game. He’s had to carry an injury riddled Bulls team.
When he gets the best of the East, it’ll be bananas.
THE (WAY TOO OBVIOUS) FAVORITES
Kobe Bryant (+400 odds to win NBA All-Star Game MVP)
Leading the NBA All-Star Game MVP odds is obviously Kobe Bryant, and it’s hard to argue that Kobe wouldn’t want to submit some sort of performance that reminds us of exactly who he is.
When you consider that this game is on his home court of the STAPLES Center, he fits the bill.
The issue with taking Kobe Bryant to win the MVP is that he really hasn’t played at an MVP caliber for the entire season. Questions about his health, and more so his age, have somewhat dogged Kobe as he and the Lakers try to find a semblance of proper chemistry and rhythm this season. He’s the tempting, almost sentimental favorite in this race but I just don’t think he has it in him to open up and dominate this game.
And that inevitably leads to talking about the next, logical choice…
LeBron James (+500 odds to win NBA All-Star Game MVP)
LeBron James and his 5-to-1 odds are a tempting take. LeBron is perhaps the safest bet to take when betting the odds tow in NBA All-Star Game MVP. I don’t necessarily have anything against him in this game, and he’d certainly love to stick it to Kobe on his home floor. A lot of this just depends on how he coexists with his Eastern teammates not named Bosh or Wade.
I’m following two courses of logic here. One is that the Eastern Conference is more motivated to prove their worth as a whole against a Western Conference team that just doesn’t seem like it’s going to care about winning or losing. The East is so dysfunctional as a band of natural born enemies that it’s almost laughable. They’re like a comedic sitcom idea or something. Half of me just thinks the camera’s going to pan to the bench and Kevin Garnett is going to be head butting Chris Bosh for no particular reason.
So I’m going with a double pick, because of the value and also because it makes sense to me on a large degree. The first pick is Derrick Rose at +600 to win the NBA All-Star Game MVP because he’s the starting point guard, and he has proven to be a lethal scorer with an edge for taking over betting games. Of all the game breakers in the East, he’s likely to have the ball in his hands most of the time and boy does he love to take shots and hog the glory when he can.
It’s the All-Star game. Nobody will care or judge him to a fault. He’ll be out to prove once and for all that he is the best point man in the game today, especially with CP3 on the opposite team.
However, the second hedge I’ll take is the field at +700 because of Rajon Rondo. I know he’s not the best player in this game. I know he’s not even starting. But if this game gets testy, it’ll be hard for Doc Rivers to not side with Rondo down the stretch because he’s his guy. That gives Rondo a lot more opportunity to be special on the floor. It’s going to be either Rondo or Rose, and since both have great payout on either side, I’ll gladly throw money at both and hope for a decent return on their odds to bag the NBA All-Star Game MVP.
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