2014 NBA All Star Weekend: Predictions

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With the 2014 NBA All-Star Break upon us, we at the Hoop Group are very excited for the All Star Weekend festivities, which includes many #HGAlum. The weekend starts tonight with the Rising Stars Challenge, continues tomorrow with All Star Saturday Night, and finishes with the 2014 NBA All Star Game on Sunday from Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.

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Hoop Group Alumni Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Paul George headline this year’s All Star Game

With recent success of #HGAlum during this weekend, including last year’s 3 Point Contest Champ Kyrie Irving, we here at The Hoop Group are taking notice, and definitely feel opinionated enough to throw in our own two cents. So without further adieu, let’s take a look at this weekend’s slate…

BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge: Friday, 9pm

Team Hill:
#HGAlum Contestants- Damian Lillard, Andre Drummond, Dion Waiters, Miles Plumlee

Other Contestants- Bradley Beal, Harrison Barnes, Terrence Jones, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jonas Valanciunas

Team Webber:
#HGAlum Contestants- Michael Carter-Williams, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke, Jared Sullinger, Mason Plumlee

Other Contestants- Anthony Davis, Victor Oladipo, Steven Adams, Kelly Olynyk

My Prediction: This game tends to be very entertaining, but often lopsided as there is no such thing as defense on this weekend(say, they should do a competition for that). The first half of the game is usually fast breaks and easy, highlight reel buckets, and the second half is basically 5 games of 1-on-1 basketball. In terms of winning this game, I think Grant Hill has drafted the better team suited for this competition, and will win it running away. Final Score: Hill-185, Webber-163

Damian Lillard is primed for a BIG weekend, participating in the Rising Stars Challenge, his first ever NBA All Star Game, and three competitions on the Saturday Night slate(Dunk Contest, 3 Point Contest, and Skills Competition). I think he jumps on his All Star weekend early, capturing the MVP Award with over 30 points!

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Sears Shooting Stars, Saturday Night, 1st Event

#HGAlum Teams:

West: Kevin Durant, Karl Malone, Skylar Diggins

East: Tim Hardaway Jr., Tim Hardaway Sr., Elena Delle Donne

East: Chris Bosh, Dominique Wilkins, Swin Cash

Other Teams:

West: Steph Curry, Dell Curry, Becky Hammon

My Prediction: One of the overlooked competitions of the weekend, the Sears Shooting Stars often depends on who can nail that half court shot the fastest. While Team Curry looks to have the best shooters, it isn’t always that easy. My prediction for the winning team is Team Durant, because I wouldn’t be surprised if Kevin Durant hits that half court shot on the first attempt, at least going by the way he’s been shooting recently!

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Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Saturday Night, 2nd Event

The Teams:

#HGAlum Damian Lillard(defending Champ) & #HGAlum Trey Burke

#HGAlum Michael Carter-Williams & Victor Oladipo

Giannis Antetokounmpo & DeMar DeRozan

Goran Dragic & Reggie Jackson

My Prediction: In the ironically named Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Speed is the most important factor in going through the obstacle course. I think this will be another very entertaining drill, but when one team has the defending Champ and another fast NBA rookie, I like to lean that way. That is why I think the point guard duo of Damian Lillard and Trey Burke will win the competition!
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Foot Locker 3-Point Contest, Saturday Night, 3rd Event

#HGAlum Contestants- Kyrie Irving (defending Champ), Damian Lillard, Arron Afflalo

Other Contestants- Kevin Love, Steph Curry, Marco Belinelli, Bradley Beal & Joe Johnson

My Prediction: In my personal favorite event of the weekend, we will see some of the best shooters in the NBA duke it our for the 3 Point Crown! Former Champion Kevin Love, Weekend Superstar Damian Lillard and Defending Champ Kyrie Irving highlight this group of shooters this year, which offers a special twist of an entire money ball rack located at the shooter’s discretion! I think it will be another tight year, with a possible shift back to the big man Kevin Love, but I think Kyrie Irving will ultimately hold off the competition and take home his second straight 3 point contest victory!

Kyrie Irving and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at Hoop Group Skills Camp

Kyrie Irving (left) & Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (right) both coached by Kevin Boyle are seen playing at Hoop Group Skills campground.

Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, Saturday Night, 4th Event

#HGAlum Contestants- Damian Lillard, Paul George & John Wall

Other Contestants- Terrence Ross(defending Champ), Ben Mclemore and Harrison Barnes

My Prediction: In the final event of Saturday Night, and everyone’s favorite event, the Dunk Contest has some very intriguing talent that should show why the event is wide open. Last year, Terrence Ross won the competition as practically an afterthought. This year, three Hoop Group Alum headline the show. Damian Lillard will be in the 3rd event of the night, and after what I believe to be a Skills Championship and a Rising Stars MVP, Damian Lillard will be too tired to take the cake. I think this battle will come down to Paul George and John Wall, with the Great Wall of Chinatown taking home the hardware. The Washington Point is in his first All Star game as well on Sunday, and I think he will have something up his sleeve to drop the jaws on Saturday night! John Wall is my choice for Slam Dunk Champion!

John Wall Hoop Group Jam Fest

63rd NBA All-Star Game, Sunday, 8pm

Hoop Group Alumni NBA All Stars 2014

 NameNBA TeamCollege
Dwight HowardHouston RocketsSW Atlanta Christian HS GA
chrisbosh2100Chris BoshMiami HeatGeorgia Tech
John WallWashington WizardsKentucky
Paul GeorgeIndiana PacersFresno State
Roy HibbertIndiana PacersGeorgetown
Carmelo AnthonyNew York KnicksSyracuse
Kobe BryantLos Angeles LakersLower Merion HS PA
Chris PaulLos Angeles ClippersWake Forest
Kevin DurantOklahoma City ThunderTexas
Kyrie IrvingCleveland CavaliersDuke
LaMarcus AldridgePortland Trail BlazersTexas
James HardenHouston RocketsArizona State
DamianLillard100Damian LillardPortland Trail BlazersWeber State
Joakim NoahChicago BullsFlorida

My Prediction: In the 63rd Annual NBA All Star Game, The Hoop Group has 14 representatives that have proven to be at the top of the NBA Latter. With plenty of talent on both sides, it is hard to predict which team, if either, has a distinct advantage over the other. The way I look at it, the West is loaded with talented scorers. Kevin Durant, James Harden and Lamarcus Aldridge are having excellent seasons, their best as scorers in the NBA, and I think those three scorers at three separate positions will eventually be the difference. This year thus far has been dominated by Kevin Durant, and I truly believe that the Thunder Superstar will be the Most Valuable Player on Sunday Night! West-136, East-128.

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Well those are my picks for this weekend, Tweet me @JakerBaker58 your picks or post them to Facebook on The Hoop Group’s Facebook Page for this weekend’s All Star festivities!

Follow the Hoop Group:

Jake Brahney @JakerBaker58
The Hoop Group @TheHoopGroup

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