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NBA All Star Weekend 2014 Recap
The city of New Orleans was a very humbling experience for myself and the NBA this weekend. The grounds of Hurricane Katrina still have work that need to be done and with the NBA gracing the city of jazz and live music it really helped generating some revenue. This weekends festivities were very successful especially when it came to the All Star Game. The weekend lived up to the hype that everyone thought it would unlike the NBA Dunk Contest.
RISING STARS CHALLENGE
The Rising Stars game was very entertaining and lived up to the moment. No one expects anything epic to come out of the Rising Stars but, it actually did when Drummond was playing. Andre Drummond controlled the paint on friday night and had a monster stat line of 30 points and a Rising Stars Game record 25 rebounds. That was very impressive and lead him to the game’s MVP but the the highlight of the night was Tim Hardaway Jr. vs Dion Waiters as they went back and forth in the clip seen below. Both said “They just wanted to put on a show for the fans” and thats exactly what they did. Notable mentions Jared Sullinger had 13 points and 2 rebounds and Kelly Olynyk had 9 points and 1 rebound for Team Webber. That was the only event the Celtics had any players apart of as they look to make that push for the second half of the season.
SHOOTING STARS CHALLENGE
Team Bosh came out on top in the Shooting Stars Challenge beating out Team Curry,Team Durant, and Team Hardaway. This contest was very impressive as it came down to Team Durant and Team Bosh but, at the end Chris Bosh had the last laugh as both rounds he hit the half court shot for his team to win. After the event Bosh was asked if it is skill how he was making the shots his reply “Straight Luck” as his team went on to win back to back Shooting Stars Championships in Houston and New Orleans as shown below.
The Skills Challenge format was switched up this year as it was East vs West and with teams. Lillard and Burke teamed up together this year to go up against some steep competition. This year in the final it was MCW-Oladipo vs Lillard-Burke which came down to .1 seconds thats how close it was. The contestants were having some trouble hitting the 3 pointer after the pass and it made it a lot more tougher but also made it more interesting. Lillard won the event back to back and said “I’m gonna give this one to Trey or the young girl” and also they made it known that knowing that you win the skills boosts your confidence going into the 2nd half of the season. Damian has shown promise through this event and Trey hopes that he can follow in the footsteps of Lillard and try to become an All Star at a young age just like he did.
The 3 point contest was in the bag for Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving until everyone saw how good of a round Bradley Beal and Marco Belinelli had scoring 19 and 20 to advance them to the final round. The money ball was a huge factor this year as they would allow you to have a money ball rack with 5 balls and put the money ball rack anywhere you wanted too. Marco put his as the last spot and Bradley put his money ball rack after the first rack. They went to sudden death and Marco Belinelli shinned in the moment he needed to shine the most beating Bradley Beal by 1 point. Marco locked in and made all 5 of the money balls and made sure that he put the pressure on Beal as he succeeded and became the 3rd international player to win the 3 point contest behind Dirk and Peja.
SLAM DUNK CONTEST
The Dunk Contest was a different format it was East vs West with a freestyle round and a battle round. The freestyle round is where all the teammates can use each other to do different dunks or they can do individual dunks as well. Damian Lillard did an under the leg dunk off the bounce that was pretty exciting. For the East they used each other as they bounced and threw the ball off the shot clock followed by a monster jam from Paul George. The next round was the battle round as Terrence Ross beat out Damian Lillard with the help of Drake on an hand off alley oop. The next battle was Paul George vs Harrison Barnes which was clearly a mismatch in a half as Paul George did an incredible 360 under the leg dunk that even Dr.J said he was impressed by to beat Barnes by a slaughter. The last battle was Ben McLemore vs John Wall as we saw Ben use Shaq and jumped over the big man sitting in the chair but, the dunk of the night belonged to John Wall. John Wall did a double pump dunk from the mascots hands as seen below that had the whole place going crazy. Watch It Below
63rd ALL STAR GAME
The stars were out for the All Star Game including Lebron,KD, and CP3 to name a few but it would be a different star in the making that would steal the spotlight. Kyrie Irving earned his 1st All Star MVP in his second straight All Star appearance and has made it clear that he belongs with the big names and proved it last night with his huge stat line. Kyrie had 31 points and 14 assists bringing the East back from an 18 point deficit late in the second half. Kyrie was balling out of control crossing up anyone that came in his way, this was a great sign for Cavs fans and also for the NBA showing that the young players can step up just as much as the older players with the experience. Another person that could of won the MVP was Carmelo as he broke the record for most 3 pointers in an All Star Game with 8 and finished with 30 points as well. The West was doing everything in its power to try to stop the East from gaining the momentum but it just wasn’t enough. The West were lead by Durant and Griffin who both had 38 points as it was too much from Kyrie and Carmelo that put this game out of each late as the East won 163-155.