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Recapping the All-Star Weekend

Posted on February 20, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Rookie Challenge:

Nobody really came to play Friday night on the Sophomores. But, we can give them a break because they didn’t have Derrick Rose, last years’ far and away Rookie of the Year winner. I liked the way the Rookies actually controlled the ball well and settled for open jump-shots and not contested ones. A result of this game-plan was recording five less turnovers than the Sophomores and attempting fewer three-pointers. Even though it is a pick-up game, who wouldn’t want to make history by winning?



The dunk-in on Friday could be compared to an 800-meter cycling race in which a cyclist attempts to go slower than their opponent. Therefore, he can be shielded from the wind behind their challenger and save energy for the last stretch. In the Dunk-In, DeRozan and Gordon were competing to see who could win with the worst possible dunks so they could save ideas for the actual contest.

This new idea that was supposed to spice things up was so anticlimactic, that the only entertaining part was Cheryl Miller excitedly screaming the name of the winner into the microphone while nobody else cared. I thought the contest was a stale-mate with no clear winner, but DeRozan was obviously the correct choice by the fans since he would put on a better show the following night because he is simply a better jumper.



There were not a lot of tricky trick shots in this year’s trick shot contest. However, I’d always wondered how well NBA shooters actually shoot when there’s nobody guarding them. The answer is very well. Kevin Durant and Rajon Rondo were forced into a cheesy three point shootout in the H.O.R.S.E. contest where misses equal letters since TNT ran out of time and needed to move on to other events. Kevin Durant won the contest by shooting 11 of 12 in the shootout, while Rondo shot 10 for 13, which is amazing for a non-shooter.


Shooting Stars:

The only real pleasure us fans get out of watching 50-year-olds chuck up 50 foot shots is the sigh of relief when the ball finally goes in. But, the contest this year was fun and Texas clearly had the best team. It was also exciting to hear Kenny Smith gloat about his victory once he returned to the broadcast booth.


Skills Challenge:

I must say, it was an interesting contest from Jennings’ flat-top hair-do with a ski slope shaved into it to Nash trying to block Deron Williams’ lay-up attempt in the final round. After all that, it has been proved that Nash is so skilled, that he can win an obstacle course event without being a speedy or young guy. Nash became the first player ever to record two times under his age in the same contest. I like Nash because his techniques are perfect and he is fun, and showed it when he tried to block Deron Williams’ meaningless lay-up at the end of the contest.


Three Point Shootout:

The result in this event was surprising since Paul Pierce won the trophy. Pierce is more known as a scorer in the NBA as opposed to a shooter. The two league leaders in threes (Gallinari and Frye), and last years champion (Cook) all failed to make the finals.

Paul Pierce has disappointed in his last two appearances in the shootout including a round of eight points. I think it’s a little cheap that Pierce keeps asking for another chance to play until he wins it. However, he did live up to his nickname Mr. Clutch, making all five money balls in the finals, while Billups didn’t live up to his nickname Mr. Big Shot, only making two money balls.


Slam Dunk Contest:

There were 12 dunks completed in this year’s contest and these dunks were: a left-handed dunk, two two-handed windmills, two reverse alley-oops, a windmill, three normal alley-oops, a between-the-legs, a reverse, and a dunk pushing off a teammates’ shoulder. These dunks don’t seem so original, right? Actually they are, since they’re so simple that nobody ever bothers to attempt them in a dunk contest. Nate Robinson won the event with the best bunk dunks out of the four competitors.

All NBA fans were expecting something great in this years’ contest but they sure didn’t get it. This years contest was the lowest scoring competition since 1997. Usually the Sportscenter top 10 plays of the day after the dunk contest mostly consists of dunk contest dunks. However since there were no good dunks to choose from, this year, the top 10 consisted of golf shots and hockey saves. We can blame basically everyone involved for this disaster except Nate, who shouldn’t be blamed as much as the other competitors for being 5’9 and trying his best to perform at least respectably.


All Star Game:

The game was exciting and came down to the last few seconds. It featured a lot of high flying dunks, players successfully playing out of position, and nice passing from the Skills Challenge champion, Steve Nash. Lebron James had at least two dunks that would have won the dunk contest hands down, but for some odd reason, wasn’t in the contest. This is actually because Shaquille O’Neal said when Lebron was asked to compete, ‘I will only allow my client [Lebron] to join the dunk contest if Kobe and Vince Carter join.’ One, Kobe and Vince were in it a while ago and won, and two, why does Shaq think he can control whatever he wants? He also said that Dwight Howard shouldn’t be called Superman because Shaq has the rings and D-How doesn’t. Well, D-How rightfully earned the nickname in the contest “Shaq's client” refuses to compete in!

Anyway, the last 30 seconds of the game were disgusting. Deron Williams tried to dribble out the clock because he thought his team was winning as opposed to tied, and he turned the ball over. Then, he fouled Dwayne Wade with no fouls to give and Wade made two free throws. Following the free throws, Nowitzki was fouled and made two free throws. Billups was then called for a foul because Chris Bosh flopped like he was performing a Jackie Chan stunt and made two free throws. George Karl, the West coach, and the king of bad out-of-bounds plays, drew up a play. The West barely got the ball in bounds in time and Carmelo Anthony air-balled a deep three pointer.

What’s with the ref calling a weak foul in the final seconds of the All Star Game? I want to see one of the world’s best players go 1-on-1 and shoot a buzzer beater, not 80% free throw shooters shoot free throws. I shoot about 80% from the line, so why don’t I go to the gym right now and have 108,713 people watch me? That ending was so anticlimactic.


In the end, the All-Star Weekend was a negative for the NBA. The fact that there was an extremely entertaining All Star Game with the largest attendance ever to watch a basketball game included, really shows how bad the Dunk-Contest, the other main event, was.


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Reply Lev to Shoshana
10:45 AM on February 27, 2010 
True, Amare can do a normal dunk because Nash can make a cool pass.

If you think about it, being taller doesn't help you jump over something because you still need the same vertical leap.
Reply Shoshana
10:06 AM on February 27, 2010 
I totally agree with most of this analysis. The dunk contest was pathetic. Jumping over people? It's been done by someone a foot and a half shorter! There should never be a normal alley oop (unless the assister does something interesting - see Nash and Amare) much less three of them!

The shooting stars and HORSE are pretty bad, but the other events are starting to get worse, which is embarassing. Maybe they should take those events out.


Besides William fowling when he shouldn't have, the end of the game wasn't that bad. The east was ahead for most of the game and clearly played better....Otherwise, good analysis!