The 2013 NBA All-Star starters were announced just after 7 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, and in the both the Eastern and Western conferences, there were no surprises.
In the east, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Kevin Garnett were the frontcourt players voted in by the fans, and Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo were selected to start at the two guard positions.
Out West, Kobe Bryant edged LeBron James as the leading vote-getter overall, and will start in the backcourt alongside Chris Paul. Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, and Dwight Howard round out the frontcourt selections.
That’s four players who play in Los Angeles representing the West starters, in case you didn’t notice.
All 10 starters were the same who held the lead for these spots when the most recent voting returns came in, and only Garnett’s spot was truly in jeopardy. But Chris Bosh was apparently unable to make a last-minute push strong enough to overtake the veteran Celtic.
In the West, there was an outside chance that Jeremy Lin might have overtaken Chris Paul, but it was a longshot at best, especially given the fact that Lin himself has said that he doesn’t deserve a spot on the team this season.
There will likely be some actual surprises when the reserves, who are selected by a vote from the league’s coaches, are announced in the weeks that follow.
The All-Star game will be played Sunday, Feb. 17 in Houston, Texas.
Dwyane Wade is secure in his legacy. He’s an all-time great, and an extra missed 3-pointer during his farewell tour won’t change anything. (It doesn’t hurt that his resumé already includes subpar 3-point shooting.)
So, when many players would hold the ball, Wade heaved in a halfcourt shot to end the third quarter of the Heat’s 110-105 win over the Spurs on Wednesday. It wasn’t the biggest shot of Wade’s season, but it still mattered plenty.
Miami’s lead when San Antonio began intentionally fouling late? Three.
The Grizzlies blew a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter and a five-point lead in the final 30 seconds of overtime. James Harden scored 57 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter and all 10 of the Rockets points in overtime.
But Jonas Valanciunas saved Memphis from total collapse. He drew a foul on his putback and hit the game-winning free-throw with 0.1 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a 126-125 win Wednesday.
Jimmer Fredette remains a fascination because he scored a ton at BYU eight years ago and… other reasons.
He has been lighting it up in China, and his season there just ended. Now, the former No. 10 pick could return to the NBA after three years away.
John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7:
Phoenix still needs another point guard, and the 6-foot-2 Fredette looks like one. But he hasn’t shown the playmaking to play point guard regularly. He’s better, and sometimes even effective, off the ball.
Fredette could have stuck in the NBA with a different attitude. His long-distance shooting was an asset.
But he’s also now 30 years old. A new approach likely won’t be enough. His shortcomings, particularly defensively, will be even more pronounced as his athleticism has declined.
The Suns are bad and will remain bad, with or without Fredette. But their younger players have shown signs of progress lately. Fredette’s high-usage style could interfere with their development.
It’s hard to see the upside here other than a brief uptick in attention.
Marcus Smart recently bemoaned the lack of physicality in the NBA.
After Joel Embiid dropped his shoulder into him on a screen, Smart brought some to tonight’s Celtics-76ers game.
Smart shoved Embiid in the back, sending the center to the floor. A cheap shot? Yes. Embiid wasn’t looking. But Smart would surely argue Embiid started it. I also doubt Smart intended to push Embiid from behind. Smart just wanted to get at Embiid as quickly as possible, and Embiid happened to be facing the other way when Smart arrived.
Smart got a flagrant 2 and the accompanying ejection. Embiid received a technical foul.