Smoothie King Center Hosts 2017 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday
By Martin Springall
NBA All-Star weekend festivities culminate on Sunday night, with LeBron James (entering his 13th All-Star game) and the Eastern Conference All-Stars visiting early favorite for league MVP, James Harden, and the Western-Conference All-Stars.
Helmed by Brad Stevens, the East will be looking to continue it's all-time domination of the West, which stands at 37-28. Stevens became the de facto Head Coach of the conference with the Cleveland Cavaliers' Tyronn Lue ineligible (having led the charge in 2016). The East hopes that the city of New Orleans will serve as good luck to their squad, as the last time they won the match-up was at Smoothie King Center in 2014. Joining james will be starters Kyrie Irving, DeMar DeRozan, Jimmy Butler and Giannis Antetokounmpo. DeRozan, serving as a reserve in 2016, finished last year's contest with 18 points and a pair of assists. Carmelo Anthony will be present in a reserve capacity on Sunday, standing in for Kevin Love, who is out with a kne injury. Anthony will be starring in his 10th All-Star Game, finishing a year ago with 13 points, seven assists and four rebounds as a starter.
If the West are to knock out a trifecta, they will need to return to the man who has finished as game MVP for two years running, Russell Westbrook. Making a case alongside Harden as 2016-17 league MVP, Westbrook will look to improve on 2016's 31 points, eight boards, five dimes and seven three-pointers. The six-time All-Star has been a dominating force on both ends of the court this season, and will be joined in the starting line-up by Stephen Curry, Harden, Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis. DeAndre Jordan will be coming off Saturday night's Dunk Contest to make an appearance in his first ever All-Star game, a defensive presence the West could turn to as a difference maker down the stretch. The Western All-Stars will be represented by Steve Kerr as Head Coach.
Posted on February 18, 2017 at 10:19 PM ET
Updated on February 19, 2017 at 4:26 AM ET