Leading up to the highly anticipated All-Star Weekend, I will be predicting the winners of the most well known events from Friday to Sunday. From picking the most skilled shooters, to the highest of flyers, I’m going to be giving you my picks and opinions on all of the festivities in The 6ix. This should be fun.
World Team: Bojan Bogdanovic, Clint Capela, Andrew Wiggins, Mario Hezonja, Emmanuel Mudiay, Trey Lyles, Nikola Jokic, Raul Neto, Kristaps Porzingis, Dwight Powell.
USA Team: Jordan Clarkson, Rodney Hood, Nerlens Noel, Karl-Anthony Towns, Marcus Smart, Jahlil Okafor, Jabari Parker, D’Angelo Russell, Elfrid Payton, Zach LaVine.
Prediction: Though the Rising Star game is usually deemed as a lesser version of the actual All-Star game on Sunday, I have a feeling this year’s game will not disappoint. Neither team has a huge advantage when you put them side by side. The World team has the ball dominant Mudiay running the offense, with a vastly improved Andrew Wiggins by his side. While the USA team has the high flying LaVine, the physical floor general in Smart, the passing wizard in Payton, and the two young Laker guards with Clarkson and Russell. While this may seem like a large advantage for the guard heavy USA team, I believe the World team’s frontcourt will be the equalizer in this showcase. Although USA team’s frontcourt is headlined with some high scoring big men, Okafor and Towns both averaging over 16 points per game, I have a feeling the size and defensive capabilities of Porzingis and Capela will help slow the American born ballers down. When it comes to the swing men on each side, I definitely see the Hezonja Hood matchup as a good one. Both players with smooth shooting strokes and the ability to slash into the lanes, I hope we see them light it up from all over, and having Jabari Parker doesn’t hurt the USA either. Finally, in a good game filled with plenty of slams and swishes, I have team World coming out with a surprising win.
All Stats Via ESPN.com
All Images Via Google.com