Kobe Bryant’s sprained ankle, which has kept him out of the last three Lakers games, will keep him out of the All-Star Game Sunday in Dallas. ESPN’s Marc Stein (based out of Dallas) broke the news on Twitter then followed it up with a story.
Likewise, the personal family matter (a sick daughter) that has kept Allen Iverson out of the last five Philadelphia games will have him sitting out the All-Star festivities as well.
Replacing Kobe will be hometown favorite Jason Kidd for the West — he will be making his 10th All-Star appearance and this season is averaging 9.3 points and 9.3 assists per game, plus has become a good three-point shooter (41%) in Big D.
In the East, New York’s David Lee will get to be in his first All-Star game — a spot he earned scoring 20 points and pulling down 11 rebounds a game this season, with 30 double-doubles. Although, Atlanta’s Josh Smith — 14 points a game on a top team, plus a superior defender — would have been the better choice.
Still, that is two fan-voted starters out of action on Sunday — Kobe was the highest vote getter in the West. He has been out since Lamar Odom stepped on his foot in a win over Charlotte. As a side note, the Lakers and Sixers are a combined 8-0 with those two out of the lineup.
Khris Middleton has more expectations and more pressure on him after a breakout season in Milwaukee, followed by him getting him PAID this summer.
Well, he looked pretty good on this play against the Bulls, making the steal then throwing down despite Jimmy Butler‘s efforts to stop him.
Middleton finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Bucks. However, Butler had the last laugh as he went off for 23 points on 12 shots and led the Bulls to the (meaningless) preseason win.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.