Tag:Amar'e Stoudemire
Posted on: February 16, 2011 11:14 pm
 

Game Changer: Lakers lose to... Cleveland!?!

Posted by Royce Young

Each game is made up of elements that help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the previous night's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what led to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.  

THE BIG ONE: CLEVELAND DID WHAT?

The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Lakers 104-99. That's not a joke lede. That's real.

Remember the last time these two teams played? The Lakers won by a measly 55 points. Less than a week ago, the Cavs had just lost their 26th straight game, an NBA record.

And in come the Lakers to Quicken Loans Arena as the defending champions to play the lowly, nine-win Cavs. If you say you saw this coming, you're probably also telling me you totally saw Esperanza Spalding beating out Justin Bieber.

How in the world did this happen? Basically, two things: 1) The Lakers were in a coma for the first 47 minutes and 2) the Cavs played with some serious fight.

First, let's look at the Laker situation seeing as people in purple and gold are probably questioning their existence right now. Los Angeles followed up its stinker in Charlotte by dropping a game to the Cavs. That's reason to be upset for sure. Reason to panic? Not really. It was the game before the All-Star break and right in the middle of a big seven-game road trip.

Kobe Bryant went just 8-22 from the field and had seven turnovers. Ron Artest scored a single point. Andrew Bynum was 2-12 for six points. Lamar Odom had only six points. Pau Gasol was solid with 30 points, but other than that the only reason L.A. was even close was because of Derek Fisher and Shannon Brown. Think about that. Shannon Brown and Derek Fisher kept the Lakers in it.

It's been a season of freak outs for the Lakers. They lost three straight. They lost on Christmas. And now they've dropped a game to the lowly Cavaliers. Up and down, the NBA season is.

On the other hand, you've got to give credit to the Cavs, no matter how poorly the Lakers played. Remember, the Lakers beat the Cavs by 55 last time. But from the start, the Cavs were playing with a point to prove. Ramon Sessions was terrific with 32 points and eight assists (how about that, Atlanta?). Antwan Jamison had 19. Anthony Parker, 18.

Seriously, what a moment for the Cavs in a season full of disaster. For one night, they had back that old feeling.

See, who really needs LeBron James when you have Ramon Sessions?

SO WHAT DID LEBRON SAY ABOUT IT?

Of course for some reason we all wanted to know what LeBron would say about the Cavs big win. LeBron, following his team's win over Toronto said, "Good for the Cavs."

BOSH RETURNS

It didn't have near the hype that LeBron's return to Cleveland had, but Chris Bosh returned to Toronto for the first time since leaving in free agency to Miami.

Fitting too, because Bosh went from the focus for the Raptors to the oft-forgotten third wheel for the Heat. Something he's fine with, but definitely a change.

And like LeBron, Bosh heard boos, saw signs and took some hate. But also like LeBron, he showed up big and his team walked to an easy win, beating the lowly Raps 103-95. Bosh had 25 points on 7-16 shooting and while he wasn't terrific like LeBron in Cleveland, he was solid in his role and his team won.

After the game, Bosh blew some kisses to the crowd as he left the floor. The was a splattering of cheers, but mostly boos. Bosh said of the booing, "I hope they do it the next time I come back."

DON'T TALK ABOUT AMAR'E

Referring to Amar'e Stoudemire, Al Horford told reporters before his Hawks took on the Knicks, "Like we're supposed to be scared of him. Ain't nobody scared of him." (via Alan Hahn )

What happened next? Stoudemire led all scorers with 23 points and the Knicks beat Atlanta 102-90. New York has a bit of momentum heading into the break with back-to-back wins, this one over the Hawks who they're chasing in the Eastern standings.

GO-GO-GADGET LINES

Pau Gasol: 30 points and 20 rebounds, but oh yeah, his team lost to the Cavs.

Andrea Bargnani: 38 points on 15-26 shooting in a loss to the Heat.

Dwight Howard: 32 points and 10 rebounds in a blowout win over the Wizards.

Ramon Sessions: 32 points and eight assists for the Cavs.

Kevin Love: Another ho-hum night with 18 points and 18 rebounds in a loss to the Clippers.

EYENGA OF THE TIGER

Christian Eyenga played a part in the Cavs stunning win over Los Angeles with 10 points. But these two over Pau Gasol were definitely his two best.


PARTING THOUGHT

The Pacers took a setback in Detroit, dropping to the Pistons 115-109 in overtime. That makes Indiana 7-3 under interim coach Frank Vogel and while it's finally a loss to a below average team, all's not lost. The Pacers were down late in the game and fought back to force overtime. And keep in mind, this is a building process for them. There's no denying that they're playing much better and despite a loss, keep an eye on this team.
Posted on: February 14, 2011 6:15 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2011 6:53 pm
 

Pretenders or Contenders? The MVP candidates

As we head into the All-Star break, who's are the pretenders and contenders for the NBA MVP award?
Posted by Matt Moore



Before we get to our list of MVP contenders and pretenders, check out Adam Aizer, Greg Urbano, and Ben Golliver as they discuss the most underrated and overrated teams in the NBA and more in our weekly CBSSports.com NBA podcast:  



This season likely features the closest MVP battle we've seen since 2006. The list of worthy candidates is phenomenally long this season, and every candidate has a strong resume and clear question marks which is why this will end up as a hotly contested race down the stretch. 

To be honest, I'm loathe to write this. Anyone whose candidate is excluded will be outraged, but not as much as those listed in the pretenders category. It seems like a direct slap in the face, as if not saying a player is among the very most elite, just the generally elite, is a huge insult. It's understandable. Everyone loves their guy. Worse will be those outraged by my inclusion of certain contenders. Just as some are passionately certain that "their guy" is the MVP, there are candidates that just rub people the wrong way. Some are Chris Paul fans who can't understand all the fuss about Derrick Rose when CP3 has been around for years. Others are livid over Amar'e Stoudemire being in the conversation when Dwight Howard is a force at both  ends of the floor.

The answer to all this? If I had my way, we'd have a ten-way split for Co-MVP. It would be like that episode of "Oprah." "You get an MVP! And you get an MVP! And you get an MVP!" only instead of screaming middle-age stay-at-home moms it would be shrugging 25-30 year old basketball players who don't understand why you're giving them a car when they make over $16 million a year in most cases. The point is that all of these players deserve tremendous respect just for being included in the conversation. And it's entirely possible that some of them really do deserve to win it, or don't deserve to be considered, were there some sort of objective measure. But there isn't. It's a purposefully vague award voted on often by people who have not seen anything close to the entire body of work of all the acceptable candidates. The following is merely meant to be a roadmap based on the likelihood of the voters, featuring the common compliments and detractions for each.

To sum up: don't shoot the messenger. We're all winners in my book.

Contenders

LeBron James: If there's a favorite, it's got to be LeBron.  The reigning two-time MVP is averaging 26 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists per game. He's the best player on the second best team in the East, and has shown the abilities that still consistently cause objective observers to label him as the best overall basketball player on the planet. His candidacy continues to improve each month, as he averaged 30 points in January, and is averaging 8.6 rebounds since the start of 2011.  Furthermore, Cleveland's horrific turn lingers in many eyes, despite the injuries to Mo Williams and Anderson Varejao wreaking havoc on Byron Scott's lineups. It's hard to argue against James when his former team went from the best regular season record in the East to arguably the worst team in the league. But there are reasons why James may not get the vote. His numbers, particularly his assists, are down, despite having his superstar teammates. We expected the scoring drop when put alongside Bosh and Wade, but he's having a harder time creating for teammates despite having far superior ones. His efficiency is also down considerably, with a 26.7 PER this season down from 31.1 last year. He may also suffer from the  "Jordan effect" where writers get tired of votiing for the same guy over and over again. But the biggest reason, sigh, is of course his image. No one wants to reward James' preseason preening, and considering the enormous expectations put on the Heat, it's hard to reward James when he hasn't blown everyone away despite the All-Star teammates he shares the floor with. 

Chris Paul: Paul has been the most efficient point guard on the planet this season. While Rajon Rondo leads in Assists, Weighted Assists, and Assist percentage, Paul isn't far behind in any of those categories, and has a lower turnover ratio. He's also better offensively. His (near) return to health has taken the Hornets from a lottery team to a team looking at homecourt advantage in the first round in a tough Western Conference, and may have single-handedly pushed the attendance where it needed to be to avoid the lease agreement issue. Paul is still strongly considered by many to be the clear-cut best point guard in the league, in an era where that position is filled to the brim with outstanding talent. The knocks on Paul seem like nit-picking. He simply hasn't been dominant in closing stretches of close games. Too often he defers, and not in the "pass to the open man off the double" way. More in the "here, David West, here's the ball, I'll be in the corner, good luck" way. He seems to be struggling to regain his explosivness that he showcased in his near-MVP season in 2008, and has not trusted his floater enough. Paul has had a phenomenal season and is definitely a contender, but the voters will need more in order for him to walk away with the trophy. 

Dwight Howard: Oh, Dwight. If Howard were to play every game on the offensive end as he did Sunday against the Lakers, the award could be thrown at his feet during All-Star Weekend. Howard is an extremely divisive figure in the conversation, arguably even moreso than LeBron. LeBron's detractors don't like him, and have good reason not to like him, but finding fault with his game is pretty tough. With Howard, finding fault with his game isn't difficult, but neither is finding evidence that he's the single most impactful player on both ends of the floor. He's still the monstrous defensive presence he has been for the past three seasons, even if Kevin Love's astronomical rebound rate has stolen the top spot statistically. Howard is still the most dominant rebounding force in the league. He's able to influence play mechanics and shot selection, he rotates, blocks shots into the ninth row, has terrific awareness and is the biggest reason why the Magic are still hovering around homecourt advantage in the first round. Howard has also featured a more expanded offensive repertoire, showing off a mid-range jumpshot to go with his array of dunks. He leads all centers who play 30 minutes a night in FG% at the rim , at 75.5%. So what's the hold back? In short, if you absolutely need a bucket in the fourth quarter of a contested game, Howard is still not the best place to go. With all the improvements made to his offensive game, he's actually shooting his second worst free throw percentage of his career. That alone wouldn't take him out of the running, but with the Magic having made several trades to improve the squad and still struggling, Howard isn't supporting them enough on his own to make him the favorite in some eyes. His footwork remains inconsistent, his offensive repertoire still the basketball equivalent of the menu at a baked potato restaurant. You can get it loaded with whatever you want, it's still a baked potato. Howard may be the candidate who suffers most from perceptions rather than facts about his game, and that's saying something with LeBron James in the conversation. 

Derrick Rose: If Howard is most often punished based on feeling rather than fact, then Rose is his mirror image. The point guard who's not an elite passer, the scorer who's not the model of efficiency, but the player who "wows" voters night in and night out. Rose has shown a phenomenal ability to take over games, particularly in the fourth quarter, and with extended injuries to both Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, the Bulls' second and third best players respectively, it's been Rose that has pushed the Bulls to be in contention not only for homecourt advantage in the Eastern Conference, but possibly a top-two seed. He's improved in nearly every aspect of his game, from defense, to scoring, to creating contact and getting to the line, which was a concern early this season. He's quite simply been a phenomenal basketball player, even though he's not necessarily dominant in any one area. Rose has found a way to make the necessary play more times than not when the Bulls have a chance to win the game, and his athleticism and explosiveness simply blows you away. All that said, he's a third-year player on a third-place team who's only shooting 45% from the field. Rose being considered a candidate is either a testament to the immeasurable impact his play has on the game, or a case of big-market bias combined with a sentimental affection for a outstanding highlights insteads of empirical evidence. 

Pretenders:

Kobe Bryant: Kobe Bryant doesn't care about this award. Could not give a flip. He cares about the sixth ring, catching Michael, cementing his legacy, sending Phil out on top (or perhaps more importantly, not failing him), and doing it his way. Which means lots and lots and lots of shots. Whether you agree or disagree that Kobe's the source of the occasional Lakers' stalling mid-flight offensively, to argue that Bryant doesn't like to shoot is beyond reason. He leads all players in FGA per 40 minutes . All players. Even the end-of-benchers who like to toss it up so as to say they made a few buckets in an NBA game before heading off to the D-League again take fewer shots than Bryant. And that's acceptable. He's the singular best offensive talent of his time. So he'll continue doing what he wants, and scoring, and winning more often than not, in part because he had the unimitigated gall to demand to play for the Lakers before the draft, and has been rewarded with teams of unfathomable talent and a Hall of Fame coach, and in part because he may very well be the second best ball player to ever lace up shoes on an NBA floor. So for Bryant to be considered a pretender should not be taken as some sort of grand insult the way so many consider his exclusion of the award from 2005 to 2007 to be. He's older, he doesn't shoot as well, he doesn't have to try as hard, and Pau Gasol is just as much a part of what makes the Lakers great. Bryant is a phenomenal player on the West's second best team, as well as the star of the defending NBA champions who many expect to repeat. None of this makes him worthy of the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award, just as none fo the accomplishments of the contenders listed above make their legacies in any way comparable to what Bryant has accomplished. Bryant's past a silly regular season award. He's playing for points in the game of immortality. 

Dirk Nowitzki: If physically pains me to place Nowitzki here. Did you know that Nowitzki is shooting 51% from 16-23 feet ? Think about that.  As the number one offensive threat for a Western Conference contender, in the most difficult place to shoot from (three-pointers are often set, catch and shoot opportunities with reasonable space from a closing defender), Nowitzki makes more than he misses. That's incredible. What will really shock you, however, is Dirk's defense. He's allowing just 29% FG shooting in the post. He's certainly not defending top-level post players, but that's still incredible for a guy often criticized for his defense. Same with isolation, where he's allowing just 36.4% shooting. (Numbers courtesy of Synergy Sports.) All this and he's helped lead the Mavericks to the second best record in the Western Conference. So what's the knock on Dirk? Nowitzki suffers more than any other candidate from the "What have you done for me lately?"card. Nowitzki has already won the award, his team isn't blowing everyone away in their conference, and they're still not taken seriously as a title contender. It's impossible to find an argument with Dirk's play, it's that once again, he doesn't seem to "feel" like an MVP. 

Amar'e Stoudemire: Stoudemire energized New York in the first quarter of the season and was blasting his way through the Eastern Conference. It looked every bit like Stoudemire was going to be a legit MVP candidate this year. But the Knicks have fallen off, and as a result, Stoudemire's contributions no longer seem as sterling. Yet he's still averaging 26 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game, at or near career highs, and certainly is the most valuable player on a Knicks team that's a lock for the playoffs, even as homecourt slips further and further away. The biggest knock on Stoudemire? Defense. His defensive numbers are average in the post according to Synergy Sports, and there's a widely held perception that he's a terrible defender. It's probably an exaggeration, but without any signature wins over the top defensive teams outside Chicago (ironically the top defensive team), Stoudemire will be hard pressed to get the vote, even with the New York advantage. 

Kevin Garnett: Can a player average only 15 points and win MVP? Probably not, which is why Garnett will likely fail to get many, if any votes for MVP. But he deserves to at least be in the discussion. Garnett shoots 74% at the rim this season, and 46% from 16-23 feet . He's the unquestioned defensive leader of the most trusted defensive unit in the league, and his work has somehow been even better than usual this year. His explosiveness has returned after last year's recovery from a knee injury, and he has been dominant at both ends of the floor at times. If LeBron James is excused from statistical dips because of his teammates, how about Garnett who plays on the deepest team in the league? Not to mention, how many other candidates can hit someone in the testicles and not get suspended for it? Garnett means more to the best team in the East than any other player. That alone should get him in the room for this discussion. But he's still not individually brilliant enough to warrant the award. The Celtics without Garnett could conceivably still be a top three team in the East. Thats' how stacked they are. And much like Bryant, Garnett's presence isn't most felt in the regular season, but in April, when the toughest part of the season comes into play.
Posted on: February 12, 2011 6:28 pm
 

Amar'e Stoudemire out with sprained toe

Posted by Royce Young

Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire will not dress tonight against the the New Jersey Nets because of a sprained right big toe.

In his place, expect Anthony Randolph to potentially fill his spot or even for Danilo Gallinari to slide up to power forward and Wilson Chandler into the starting lineup.

Stoudemire injured the toe against the Lakers Friday but played through. It shouldn't be the kind of injury that lingers or keeps him out much longer than a game or two.
Posted on: February 10, 2011 11:26 am
Edited on: February 10, 2011 11:28 am
 

Chris Paul isn't out of the question for New York

Posted by Royce Young

Over the summer, it wasn't about Carmelo Anthony. It was all about Chris Paul. And the feeling was that CP3 had his eye on the Knicks.

That notion was bumped up a notched at Carmelo's wedding. Chris Paul toasted to a new Big 3 in New York. Amar'e Stoudemire had just signed there, Carmelo would be a free agent this summer and Paul one in 2012.

Most saw it as a joke, playing off Miami's brand new Big 3. Even the players involved said it was. But a source told ESPN New York, that it wasn't all kidding.

"Go back to the wedding toast," the source said. "Nothing's really changed since that night. The feeling is that Carmelo will be here this year, and Paul will be here in 2012."

While CP3 appears to be happy in New Orleans right now, that summer of 2012 certainly looms large.

The Hornets franchise is in a major state of uncertainty, you know, with the NBA owning it and all, so what happens with Paul is unknown. By all appearances, the Hornets will be faced with the same situation in 2011 that the Nuggets are going through now.

Another question mark around building this superteam is whether or not Donnie Walsh with be with the Knicks to pull it off. As Ken Berger reportd, Walsh's contract is up this season with owner James Dolan having the option to extend it one more year. But past that, it's unknown if Walsh will be in New York much longer.

But none of this happens until the Carmelo situation gets solved. You can't have a Big 3 without at least a Big 2. So getting Anthony is the priority. After that, getting CP3 would just be icing. And pretty awesome.
Posted on: January 29, 2011 1:12 pm
Edited on: January 29, 2011 1:19 pm
 

Amar'e Stoudemire has knee sprain, questionable

Posted by Royce Young

Amar'e Stoudemire has a sprained right knee and is questionable for Sunday's game against the Pistons.

Stoudemire has been pretty much injury free so far this season, but tweaked his knee after Marvin Williams landed on the back of his leg during last night's game. Stoudemire stayed in the game but did tell reporters it was sore after.

Of course last night's game against Atlanta had a lot of other things going on including a brawl at mid-court between Williams and New York's Shawne Williams. The league hasn't made a determination at this point of any suspensions, so right now, the Knicks will only be possibly missing Stoudemire.

If Stoudemire is unable to go, Ronny Turiaf will get the start and rookie Timofey Mozgov will likely see a little time.
Posted on: January 28, 2011 11:31 pm
 

Video: Knicks, Hawks fight leads to ejections

Members of the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks exchanges punches during a fight on Friday night. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Members of the New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks got into a fight that involved the exchanging of punches during the final minute of the fourth quarter of their game Friday night. 

Hawks forward Marvin Williams and Knicks forward Shawne Williams got tangled up during a Hawks possessions. Marvin Williams shoved Shawne Williams with two hands in the back, and then again in the chest, which led Knicks forward Landry Fields to attempt to restrain Marvin Williams from behind. Unfortunately, this just made Marvin Williams a sitting duck for a Shawne Williams punch attempt, which Marvin Williams ducked and then threw a counter punch, which also missed. 

Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire hopped in the middle and attempted to play peace-maker and, pretty soon, both teams rallied around the combatants as they continued to square off near the free throw line. Marvin Williams kept on with the shoving and was eventually restrained by teammate Al Horford, while one of the game officials and Raymond Felton managed to get Shawne Williams out of the fracas.

Both Marvin Williams and Shawne Williams were ejected. The Hawks went on to win, 111-102.

Here's video of the fight, which will surely result in fines and suspensions for both Marvin Williams and Shawne Williams, courtesy of YouTube user TylerMC17.

Posted on: January 27, 2011 7:24 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2011 12:23 am
 

All-Star teams announced; how do they look?

Posted by Royce Young

The starting five for the East and West All-Star teams were announced Thursday night and nothing jumped out as a huge surprise. Kobe Bryant was the top vote-getter overall, with Dwight Howard leading the East.

There weren't any major surprises since the last batch of results were releaed a few weeks ago. The East has Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Amar'e Stoudemire and Dwight Howard while the West features Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Andrew Bynum (Yao Ming was the top vote-getter, but of course is injured).

The question though that always comes with these sort of things when fans have the power is, did they get it right?

EAST

G: Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls

Did the fans get it right? Yes. Rajon Rondo was really the only other candidate and Rose only recently took him over for the starting spot. But with the numbers Rose has put up plus the with just how exciting he is, he's the correct choice. Rondo would've been a fine pick, but Rose is emerging as an MVP candidate and is the only player in the league averaging 24 points and eight assists a game. Rose is the game's youngest starter by a few days over Kevin Durant. 

G: Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat

Did the fans get it right? Yes. Wade is one of those guys that really will be a starter for life. Some worried when he teamed up with LeBron that his numbers might dip. They haven't. Wade's still awesome. So again, a good pick by the fans.

F: LeBron James, Miami Heat

Did the fans get it right? Yes. Let me tell you, these Eastern voters are smart people. But then again, it's not hard to be when all the top players are also the biggest fan favorites. It helps in the East that there really wasn't an alternative either though. LeBron hasn't suffered any kind of drop-off in popularity or production, pulling in a huge number of votes while also making yet another All-Star team as a starter.

F: Amar'e Stoudemie, New York Knicks

Did the fans get it right? Yes. Stoudemire becomes the first Knick starter since 1997 when Patrick Ewing was named to the team. This is really the most debatable position in the Eastern Conference. Kevin Garnett was on top for a good part of the year but Amar'e overtook him in January. Tough call really and neither guy is a bad pick. But Stoudemire has helped restore basketball in New York has put up huge numbers and is establishing himself as an MVP candidate. Garnett, while excellent, was injured for a few weeks and doesn't have the same numbers as Stoudemire.

C: Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic

Did the fans get it right? Yes. When your other options are Shaquille O'Neal an injured Andrew Bogut and I don't know Nazr Mohammed (seriously, who else is there?) Howard is a pretty easy pick. He's got this spot locked up for a while and as his total votes showed, he's one the league's biggest names around the world.

WEST

G: Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets

Did the fans get it right? Yes. This was a close one. The Western guards is the deepest position in the league. Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker, Steve Nash, Monta Ellis and on and on. But Paul has been good all season and across the board in statistical categories, Paul is at the top or very near it.

G: Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

Did the fans get it right? Yes. Kobe led the way in votes again and anchors the West squad. There's no question that as long as he's still bouncing a ball that he's earned a spot in this game. And with the biggest name across the world in terms of basketball, he'll have a starting spot for a long time too.

F: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

Did the fans get it right? Yes. The league's leading scorer and the youngest starter for the West. At just 22, Durant is probably just now starting a very, very long run as an All-Star starter. A lot of people wondered that if in small-town Oklahoma City that he'd gain the national recognition needed to become a big-name star, but evidently that wasn't a problem. Durant was the second-leading vote-getter in the West behind Kobe.

F: Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets

Did the fans get it right? No. A tough call but first of all, Melo isn't really a power forward. And since Durant beat him out in the forward vote, Carmelo is the one that's cut. No doubt Melo is having a nice season, but with Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol and Kevin Love playing the ACTUAL position, it's hard to justify Melo being a starter. One of those guys is more deserving of this spot based on what they've done this year.

C: Yao Ming, Houston Rockets

Did the fans get it right? Um, no. Yao has only played in five games and trust me, he wasn't that amazing in those five games. Yao is the poster child for what's wrong with fan voting. Other than Yao, you can really make the case that the other nine starters are justified. But because of China, Yao is voted in again while other more deserving players sit behind him. The commissioner will fill this spot and it'll likely be with the runner-up Andrew Bynum, a pick that's still not that good.

Posted on: January 27, 2011 7:14 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2011 7:15 pm
 

NBA announces 2011 East, West All-Star starters

The National Basketball Association has officially announced the starters for the Eastern and Western Conference All-Star teams. Posted by Ben Golliver.

The NBA officially announced the Eastern Conference and Western Conference starters for the 2011 NBA All-Star Game on Thursday.

For the Eastern Conference: Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, Miami Heat forward LeBron James, New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire, and Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard.

For the Western Conference: New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant and Houston Rockets Yao Ming.

Of the 10 names selected, there were no real surprises, as all had established themselves fairly strongly during the balloting process. The biggest snubs? For the East: probably Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, although Rose is difficult to argue. For the West: Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki should be there, as should every center that actually played more than five games this season.

Bryant was the leading vote-getter for the Western Conference; Howard was the leading vote-getter for the Eastern Conference.

Here's a look at the jerseys this year's All-Stars will be wearing. 

The 2011 All-Star game will be played in Los Angeles, California, at the Staples Center on February 20.
 
 
 
 
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