This week in the NBA: All-Star rosters revealed
Charlie Dear | 28 January 2019
Odds and preview of NBA action
The action came thick and fast again this week as, Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers, the top two point-scorers in the league locked horns.
76ers came out 121-93 winners to consolidate their top-four position in the East.
But after praising Indiana Pacers in recent weeks, their play-off hopes have been rocked by the season-ending injury of shooting guard Victor Oladipo.
However, all the talk has been about the All-Star game next month. The starting fives were revealed on Friday so we dig a little deeper into who’s in and who’s out.
The Western Conference has a star-studded cast including Kevin Durant – who won enough respect from by players and coaches to grab the spot over the impressive Anthony Davis.
The remaining starting five is made up of the irrepressible MVP favourite James Harden – who edged out fan favourite Derrick Rose.
Rose’s renaissance has been a real feel-good factor this season, but couldn’t oust one of the league’s most imposing players.
In the back-court we find the back-to-back MVP Steph Curry. His importance to Golden State Warriors can’t be underestimated and his spot in All-Star game was near on guaranteed.
Oklahoma City Thunder’s Paul George secured his spot in the prestigious game. George has shot himself to MVP candidacy this season averaging 26.7 points in his last ten games.
The big omission, or the one that divides opinion, is Luka Doncic.
We’ve discussed the rookie’s explosive game already, but he had a serious case for inclusion after hitting an average of 20.2 points and 6.8 rebounds this season.
But not even this season’s captain LeBron James made the All-Star team in his rookie season – so Doncic will have to wait to earn his stripes.
The East’s famous five could really give them a run for their money this time though.
They are skippered by this season’s outstanding man Giannis Antetokounmpo. The ‘Greek Freak’ is second in line for regular season MVP right now.
Joining him are Kawhi Leonard of Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid. Both men have looked a sure thing for a spot in the starting line-ups.
This will be Embiid’s second experience of the game after forming a dynamic-trio alongside Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler at the Sixers.
The fans may have voted in favour of Dwyane Wade but Kemba Walker’s inclusion shows how much he’s rated in the game.
The diminutive point guard has held it down for Charlotte Hornets this campaign and with the game in his backyard, he’ll draw a big crowd.
Alongside Walker is 2016 NBA champ Kyrie Irving. After leaving Cleveland Cavaliers for Boston Celtics in 2017 – Irving has been the main man.
Irving’s handles have been on point this season and showed he can do it on the big stage again against the Warriors on Sunday.
Tips for Tuesday’s action
New York Knicks @ Charlotte Hornets – Hornets to win -12 – 20/23
Golden State Warriors @ Indiana Pacers – Warriors to win -8.5 – 10/11
Brooklyn Nets @ Boston Celtics – Celtics to win on the money line – 1/7
Denver Nuggets @ Memphis Grizzlies – Nuggets to win -6.0 – 10/11
Atlanta Hawks @ LA Clippers – Clippers to win on the money line – 10/27
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing