Monday, January 13, 2014

Rising Stars

All-Star Game 2013 in Houston


Within the hype of the competition for the top seeds in both the West and the improving East, the All-Star Game is slowly sneaking up. Scheduled to be on Sunday February 16, the voting has been quite competitive with a lot of new players in the top ranks. But none beats the familiar faces: Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony, just to name a few. Still, the competition remains tough for the lower spots as many young stars are looking to play this year.

Here are the votes for the All-Star selection as of Dec. 26, 2013:

* The red dot means that player is currently injured

As shown, many of the usual All-Star players have been injured, which leaves an opportunity for new youngsters to take their place. These are my picks for NEW All-Stars this year.

1. Stephen Curry

It is clear that this kid HAS to become an All-Star in his career. His crazy 3 pointers and ball handling skills have clearly shown this season he has reached an elite level in the league. Averaging 23 points also shows that he is a leader for his team, and that he can put up amazing numbers. And a career 3 point percentage of .437 won't hurt as well. I think that when he gets selected to become an All-Star, he is going to put up quite a show.

2. Anthony Davis

With a huge transformation from last year's game, Anthony Davis has been really taking control of his league. Bumping up all his stats from last year, Davis has been averaging 18.8 ppg, 10.2 rpg, and an astounding 3.6 bpg, as he is the leader for blocks per game in the NBA currently. The setting of the All-Star game right in his hometown will also make him the unofficial 'host' of this years game, and will certainly be another step in his ladder of growth.

3. John Wall

The new, proud face for the strengthening Washington Wizards, John Wall is having the best year of his career. The Wizards, who are finally in playoff contention at 6th seed, are finally getting their stuff together and they have really improved from the last 2 seasons. Wall, currently in his best season, averaging 19.9 ppg, and 9.1 apg, and he has been continuously working on his deficiencies. If he gets chosen, he will not be disappointing.

4. Damian Lillard

Who can deny the progress of the Trailblazers? The young team has been 29-9, and is pretty much a recipe for success. Damian Lillard, a key ingredient has been performing like an All-Star already. The reigning Rookie of the Year has been averaging 21.4 ppg this season, and he's not planning to stop. Its going to happen one day, but I think this year is the year Lillard will become an All-Star.

And sadly, here is someone who is not going to make it this year:

5. Josh Smith

Josh Smith has never been an All-Star, surprisingly, as he was the franchise face of the Atlanta Hawks for all of his career (except this year where he joined the Pistons). And unfortunately, he will not be an All-Star this year. Josh hasn't been having the the best season, and he has been in All-Star consideration a few times, but there is always someone who is better than him. Either that or he cannot fulfill his expectations, or anyone else's for that matter. He might be an All-Star later in his career, but not this year.

What are your predictions? Leave them in the comment below!

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