Tag:All-Star Game
Posted on: January 27, 2011 6:58 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2011 12:23 am

Numb#rs: Kevin Love's all-star campaign video

Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love has debuted a new All-Star campaign video. Posted by Ben Golliver.

A few weeks back, we noted Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay's All-Star campaign video, a twist on the Dos Equis commercials starring the "Most Interesting Man In The World." At the time, we praised the ad's comedy and self-aware styling. On Thursday, NBA fans were treated to another All-Star campaign video done right. This time, Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love riffs on melodramatic cologne commercials in a spot called "NUMB#RS by Kevin Love." 

The minute-long spot is shot in black and white, with a piano background, and opens with Love walking past adoring fans wearing a suit, sunglasses and a scarf.  Love then enters a club, where he sees a mascot wearing a suit and a dress hat, drinking with beautiful women. The mascot shows Love some love by raising his glass, and Love takes it in stride, with a slight smirk and look of confusion. The shot then cuts to a face-on look at Love, as his voice delivers his pitch in classically man-sultry voice. "Who has the numbers? You tell me."

A narrator's voice then intones: "Numbers. A fragrance by Kevin Love. Part of the 612 All Star Collection." The spot then pushes a link to 612allstar.com , a site that references Minneapolis's area code and further expounds on Love's All-Star credentials.

Have a look at the video.

Love's pitch obviously center around his stats, which are ridiculous. The 10-35 Timberwolves are terrible, so there wasn't much choice in the matter, but the handling of the numbers angle is quite deft. Love is currently averaging 21.6 points and a league-best 15.7 rebounds per game.

Like Gay's spot, Love's video is self-aware and tongue-in-cheek, a must for a self-promotional ad of this nature. Love comes off as funny and personable, even though he's bigging up his own stats on a terrible team, which would usually be looked upon with skepticism and possibly derision.

Posted on: January 27, 2011 3:03 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2011 3:04 pm

Fans to vote on Skills Competition participants

Fans to vote on Skills Contest participants. Derek Fisher one of the candidates. We're not sure why.
Posted by Matt Moore

Did you know that this year, you, yes, you get to choose the participants of the most random, boring competition in the All-Star Saturday Night festivities?

Taco-Bell is giving fans a vote on which players they want to see in the Skills Competition. Chris Paul is the "spokesman" and therefore automatically in, but the rest will be chosen by vote. The list of candidates includes:  and...
  • Derek Fisher?

Let's take a look at the candidates, and what we think their odds are. 

Derrick Rose (-150):  He's got youth, speed, experience as a former winner, and oh, yeah, he did this. Rose is a massive favorite in our opinion, considering he's arguably the best point guard in the league, and the best point athlete of this bunch. He's got the competitive streak to want to win, and the skills involved are specifically suited to his game. Hence the previous pwnage. Being a huge star this league in a major market, he'll have no problems securing selection.

Chris Paul (-140): Nearly the favorite Rose is. Paul's a more accurate passer, more precise with this movements, nearly as fast, and the best overall point guard in this competition. The only reason he's behind Paul at all is injury questions and Paul being in the competition for the fourth time.  

Tony Parker (+150): Parker's a sexy dark horse pick here.  Solid in all areas of competition, healthier than he's been in years, a former Finals MVP, and he's a Spur. Toppling more flashy competition is what they do. His odds of getting voted in aren't as strong, considering the flash and shine of the other candidates, but he might make it off international recognition and veteran respect. 

Russell Westbrook (+250): Westbrook isn't the pure passer a lot of these players are but his handle and speed could be enough to put on a show. When in the zone he's as precise as any player in the league, and he's got a killer instinct rarely found in this league.  He could also go for the dunk approach Derrick Rose did when he won the event, only Westbrook can leap from the free throw line to cut down on time. Even playing in OKC, likely to be selected based off of star power and name recognition alongside Kevin Durant

Tyreke Evans (+450): The dribbling and passing could give him issues, and that's before the three-point shot. Reke's chances aren't great here as he excels based on athleticism. He's simply not the pure skill competitor that some of the other players are. Playing in Sacramento who's having a terrible year and having been forgotten about in a slump following a historic rookie season, Reke's chances at election aren't great. Small market, disappointing season, and bad team. Not a great combo for election, but he's still more likely to make it than some.

Stephen Curry (+200): Curry's a nice, sleek moneymaker to take here. He's an underdog based on name recognition and not being a top level point guard, but in terms of skill, he's got it to win this thing. A terrific passer with excellent control, fast and light to get through the cones, and range for miles, Curry could wind up shocking everyone with this thing, as long as he can make it in. With five of the eight expected to make it, he's got good odds. This is smart money.

John Wall (+500): Wall has been injury-prone this season, has been turnover prone, is a rookie on the big stage for the first time, and isn't a great shooter. BIG GIGANTIC RED FLAGS. Wall could get in based off of popularity, market, and name recognition. But his odds of stepping up and beating the rest of the competition are low. 

Baron Davis (+600): Injury prone? Check. Older? Yup. Inconsistent? Uh-huh. Not a great point? Surely. Biggest star on his team? Third, if we're being generous. Davis is very unlikely to make the vote, and should he somehow get in through the Clipper faithful, it's not likely he'll walk away with the trophy with so many faster guards he's up against. 

Derek Fisher (+7,858): No. Not at all. Not in any situation. Not a great passer. Aged like a German cheese. Not awesome on the dribble, either. I mean, there's no way this guy gets voted in, right? That would be like voting in Andrew Bynum to the All-Star game when he missed 3/4 of the season so far...oh. Never underestimate the power of the Lakers to get in to these things, but Fisher will not win, unless there's some sort of horrific banana peel accident. 

Posted on: January 26, 2011 6:23 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2011 6:24 pm

Poor Coach Popovich has to coach the All-Stars

Posted by Matt Moore

You know who has two thumbs and doesn't give a crap about the All-Star game?

This guy. 

Unfortunately, for Pop, he'll be coaching the All-Star Game after his team locked up the best record in the West at the deadline. From the San Antonio News-Express
Monday’s victory at Golden State ensured the Spurs will have the Western Conference’s top record by the Feb. 6 deadline to select All-Star coaches, meaning Popovich will be drafted into working the Feb. 20 midseason extravaganza in Los Angeles.

It marks the second All-Star nod for Popovich, who also coached the 2005 West squad. He is 0-1, having lost to the East that year 125-115.

Nobody seems giddier at the prospect of seeing Popovich prowl the Staples Center sideline than Spurs star Tim Duncan.“He’s been talking all season about how he wants to make sure he gets that position,” Duncan said, with tongue planted in cheek.“I think he’s really excited about it.”

So far, Popovich is saying all the right things, calling his All-Star selection, “a great honor.”
via Spurs Nation » Popovich gets seat on All-Star bench.

Somehow you have to think if you ask him about going to the dentist he'd call it "a great honor." Since he probably has as much enthusiasm. Popovich isn't one for platitudes or pageantry, which is most of what the All-Star game is. There's not only no concerted need to effort towards victory, there's a distinct demand to avoid contact in order to prevent injury. It's pretty much the opposite of what Popovich likes to teach, like to preach, what he brings to his team. And with Duncan only a slight favorite to make the team out of respect, and both Parker and Ginobili longshots, he won't even be coaching his guys. Not that there's much coaching to be done. 

Can't you imagine Popovich walking into practice on Saturday morning, waiting till the press leaves, sitting down, opening a paper, and waving his hand dismissively. "Shoot, or whatever." 

But hey, I'm sure the gift bags are nice, and the wine selection's probably killer out there. 
(HT: Basketball Jones)
Posted on: January 25, 2011 1:16 am

Video: Derrick Rose: "My back is killing me"

Posted by Matt Moore

Derrick Rose is hopeful that having three days off will benefit his body, which is undergoing some stress with the amount of offensive load he's having to shoulder. In an interview with reporters after the Bulls' 92-83 victory over the Bucks, Rose admitted his back was "killing" him. Comcast Sportsnet in Chicago caught his comments on video. Rose comments on the injury at the 1:50 mark:

Not what you want to hear as a Bulls' fan. But of course, that kind of injury is to be expected with the load Rose is managing. Rose is fifth overall in usage this season (the percentage of possessions used by a player while on the floor), and at point guard, the playmaker, as well as primary scorer, Rose is "everything" to the team. 

There's no indication of the injury being anything more than just the wear and tear of having the team on his back, so to speak. But the rest is still important, as will his time off during the All-Star break, outside of his time on the floor during the actual All-Star game. Rose will need to soak up as much rest as possible. As rough as things are now, it'll only get worse once the second season rolls around. 

No pain, no MVP gain, I guess.
Posted on: January 13, 2011 1:32 pm

Rose jumps Rondo in fourth All-Star returns

Posted by Royce Young

New All-Star returns are in again and this time there's some actual movement. Derrick Rose has passed Rajon Rondo and is now second in Eastern guards behind Dwyane Wade and Amar're Stoudemire has ovetaken Kevin Garnett at forward in the East.

Rose leads Rondo by about 50,000 votes and Stoudemire now leads Garnett by more than 100,000, which is kind of incredible. Somebody must of done some votin'.

Dwight Howard still tops the Eastern Conference in total votes.

No real change in the West as Kobe Bryant still leads everyone, with Kevin Durant trailing. Blake Griffin has actually gained some ground, now trailing Carmelo Anthony for second place at forward by a little over 250,000 votes. And as we saw with the others, there's always the chance that someone is going to stuff the ballot box. Pau Gasol is also ahead of Griffin by 150,000 votes. So if Carmelo is traded and heads East, it'll be a race between Griffin and Gasol for that starting 4 spot.

Other than that, more of the same. Right now the starters in each conference:

G: Derrick Rose
G: Dwyane Wade
F: LeBron James
F: Amar'e Stoudemire
C: Dwight Howard

G: Chris Paul
G: Kobe Bryant
F: Carmelo Anthony
F: Kevin Durant
C: Andrew Bynum (top vote getter Yao Ming is injured)

Starters will be announced live on TNT on Jan. 27.
Posted on: January 7, 2011 2:37 pm

JaVale McGee might be a pretty good contest bet

Posted by Royce Young

Blake Griffin is the clear favorite in this year's dunk contest. Everyone knows that. He has the hype, the big name, the homecourt advanatage and the ability. Everyone assumes he's going to walk easily to the crown.

In fact, he's a pretty big favorite. According to the betting site Bodog, Griffin is a 1/2 favorite to win the dunk contest. Brandon Jennings, who some have questioned even being in the contest, is next at 5/2. JaVale McGee is at 5/1 and Serge Ibaka is the longshot at 7/1.

But check out JaVale McGee practicing for the contest via CSN Washington. In one dunk, he folds a piece of paper and puts it in the net, jumps and bites it out of the net and dunks. Not bad. With his length, size and ability, surely McGee is going to have something good in store. So at 5/1, he might be the best bet out there.

The key to being successful is being quirky and clever without being corny and overly proppy. Blowing out a candle on a cupcake? Clever. Coming out of a phone booth in a cape? Corny.

The line isn't very wide between the two, but something like a piece of paper in the net is pretty good. It accomplishes what you want. It shows just how high you can jump, how skilled you are and how creative you can be. Turn that paper into something better ($100 bill? A replica of the new CBA? An autographed picture of David Stern?) and you've really got something good.

Each player is going to have a "dunk coach" which I guess it supposed to help them come up with ideas. Griffin has Kenny Smith working with him, McGee has Chris Webber, Jennings gets former great dunker Daryl Dawkins and Ibaka has teammate Kevin Durant helping him. Smith said last night on TNT that Griffin will have at least one prop dunk for the contest. Let's hope it's more clever and not corner.
Posted on: January 6, 2011 1:37 pm

Kobe Bryant leads the All-Star voting, again

Posted by Royce Young

The third batch of All-Star returns are in and nothing much has changed. Kobe Bryant is still leading everyone, Dwight Howard still leads in the East and the snubs are pretty much the same. But here I am to update you regardless.

In the Western Conference, Kobe leads with 1,391,597 votes and is followed at guard by Chris Paul (724,605). Kevin Durant, a member of last year’s All-NBA First Team, tops all forwards in the West (945,944), with Carmelo Anthony (742,284) second.

Yao Ming (754,583), despite being injured, is the leading vote-getter among Western Conference centers, with the LakersAndrew Bynum (493,237) placing second who has also been injured most the season.

Howard, the leading vote-getter in the Eastern Conference with 1,205,159 votes, leads centers in the East, followed by Shaquille O’Neal (506,621). LeBron James leads all Eastern Conference forwards with 1,194,091 votes, followed by Kevin Garnett (850,687).

Dwyane Wade, last years All-Star Game MVP, paces all guards with 1,167,649 votes; the CelticsRajon Rondo is second among guards in the East (929,781).

Two races worth keeping an eye on:

1) Amar'e Stoudemire isn't far behind Kevin Garnett. Stoudemire trails by about 25,000 votes and with Garnett injured, there's real opportunity to gain ground there and win the starting spot.

2) Derrick Rose is only about 12,000 votes behind Rajon Rondo for the starting point guard spot. It'll be tough seeing how Rondo has returned and put up a huge triple-double against the Spurs, but Rose certainly could put up a few big games and catch up to the Celtic star.

Other than that, it's all pretty much decided upon.

Starters will be announced Jan. 27.
Posted on: January 5, 2011 6:19 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2011 6:26 pm

A closer look at the 4 dunk contest competitors

Posted by Royce Young

So the NBA has made it official. Your four dunkers in this year's Slam Dunk Contest are Blake Griffin, Serge Ibaka, JaVale McGee and Brandon Jennings.

Some see it as a bit of a lackluster crowd and while sans Griffin it's missing a big name, I see it as an intriguing group. Griffin and Ibaka are power finishers, McGee is a stupid athletic seven-footer and Jennings is your classic small guard that can leap. Plus he's left-handed which always makes dunks look a little cooler.

One thing that's somewhat interesting to be is the dunking resumes each bring in though. According to CBSSports.com's very cool tool the Dunk-O-Meter, Griffin leads the league with 81 slams. McGee has 55 which puts him seventh. Ibaka, who plays less, has 41 finishes putting him 13th. And then there's Jennings who on the season, has only two, yes two , dunks.

A dunk contest participant with just two actual dunks. Seems a little strange.

Now Jennings is at a disadvantage because of where he plays. When you're a point guard, you don't have the luxury of standing under the rim just waiting for a guard to set you up for a dunk. So it's natural his number is lower. Russell Westbrook is the top dunking point guard with 25. After that it's Monta Ellis with 17, then John Wall with 10. So it's not like the point guard position really lends to a lot of high-flying finishers.

Plus, the contest isn't about in-game dunking. It's about flying high and showing off, something Jennings is very good at. For instance, Nate Robinson who has taken home the crown a record three times only has one dunk this season. Granted, a lot of people feel like Robinson was a problem in the contest but still, we all know he can dunk. He just hasn't had a lot of opportunity in games.

Consider some of the league's top dunkers. LaMarcus Aldridge is third with 64 crams. Roy Hibbert is in the top 20. I don't think anyone would be all that excited to see either one of those guys in the contest. So obviously it's not about how many dunks you have, it's about how good they are.

Griffin is going to be disappointing. People are expecting so much from him that no matter what, he's not going to be able to live up to their expectations. I think unless he jumps over the jumbotron or makes a dunk from the 3-point line, fans won't be satisfied. This isn't to say Griffin won't be absolutely awesome -- because he will be -- but I'm not sure he's going to give the performance people hope for.

McGee is going to impress people and will most certainly go for a free throw line punch. With his size and length, he'll easily pull it off. Ibaka already has accomplished a free throw line yam and also has one dunk contest title under his belt. Those three come with a pretty good pedigree. It's Jennings who people are wondering about.

But don't let the stats fool you. Jennings may just have two aerial attacks to his name this season but that doesn't mean he won't hold his own.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com