GUARDS: Chris Paul (LA Clippers), Kobe Bryant (LA Lakers)

FORWARDS: Kevin Durant (OKC Thunder), Blake Griffin (LA Clippers)

CENTER: Andrew Bynum (LA Lakers)

Pretty predictable, yet incredibly amazing. Four out of five starters from Los Angeles make up this extremely well-rounded team that should have chemistry right from the start. How much fun is Chris Paul going to have running the point for this team? — that is, until Kobe decides he wants a fifth All-Star game MVP and starts shooting (and making) fadeaway corner three-pointers with 20 seconds on the shot clock.

RESERVES: Russell Westbrook (G, OKC Thunder), Monta Ellis (G, GS Warriors), Pau Gasol (F, LA Lakers), Kevin Love (F, MIN Timberwolves), LaMarcus Aldridge (F, POR Trail Blazers), Dirk Nowitzki (F, DAL Mavericks), Marc Gasol (C, MEM Grizzlies)

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Kyle Lowry (G, HOU Rockets), Steve Nash (G, PHO Suns), James Harden (G, OKC Thunder), Danilo Gallinari (F, DEN Nuggets), Rudy Gay (F, MEM Grizzlies), David Lee (GS Warriors), Marcin Gortat (PHO Suns)

It was hard to leave Lowry ­— who is having a huge breakout year — off the roster, but I just couldn’t give him the nod over Ellis, who seems to be overlooked every year. He could make the roster over one of the power forwards, and it would seem to be Nowitzki’s spot he would take. Dirk is having a down year for the Mavs, but I have to believe he will begin to turn it around. I think Nowitzki gets voted in partly based on his resume, and the fact that his team would be complete garbage without him.


GUARDS: Derrick Rose (CHI Bulls), Dwayne Wade (MIA Heat)

FORWARDS: LeBron James (MIA Heat), Carmelo Anthony (NY Knicks)

CENTER: Dwight Howard (ORL Magic)

The East starters (and these will be the starters) might as well call themselves “The Monstars.” Five hall-of-famers, and five of the best eight players in the league make up the group. Can you say, fast break?

RESERVES: Rajon Rondo (G, BOS Celtics), Deron Williams (G, NJ Nets), Ray Allen (G, BOS Celtics), Chris Bosh (F, MIA Heat), Josh Smith (F, ATL Hawks), Amar’e Stoudemire (F, NY Knicks), JaVale McGee (C, WAS Wizards)

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Brandon Jennings (G, MIL Bucks), Jose Calderon (G, TOR Raptors), Joe Johnson (G, ATL Hawks), Andre Iguodola (F, PHI 76ers), Ryan Anderson (F, ORL Magic), Greg Monroe (F, DET Pistons), Tyson Chandler (C, NY Knicks)

The East All-Stars were not too difficult to pick, apart from deciding who would back up Howard at center. The spot would normally belong to Al Horford of the Atlanta Hawks, but he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury last week. I decided to give the spot to JaVale McGee over Tyson Chandler and Spencer Hawes. Chandler has the name recognition (and will probably get the spot) and Hawes is in the midst of a breakout year for a breakout team, but McGee has the athleticism and motor to thrive off the bench for the East. After all, the All-Star game is all about entertainment, and McGee averages a league-leading 3.2 blocks per game, and a respectable 2.5 poster dunks a game.



First off, look at those completely fake and totally not official starting lineups … And reserves, for that matter. WOW. The talent level in the NBA may be at an all-time high, and the days of Jamaal Magloire, Wally Szczerbiak and Mo Williams making the all-star team are clearly over. A young influx of superstar talent (Rose, Durant, Griffin, Love and Bynum) is currently fusing with an already thriving superstar crop (LeBron, Wade, Howard, Durant and Carmelo), while both groups battle with an aging class of all-time greats (Kobe, Allen and Nowitzki) who are refusing to pass the torch just yet. This All-Star game has the potential to contain as many as 12 hall-of-famers in it.

The West has a much deeper team than the East, starting with its big men. This team may boast the conference’s scariest frontcourt since Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Chris Webber and Dirk Nowitzki combined in their respective primes in the 2002 All-Star game.

On the other hand, the East holds an advantage in athleticism and speed. With several players to run the lanes — and Rose, LeBron, Rondo and Wade to feed them the rock — we are sure to see several highlight dunks. But highlights don’t win games (although maybe they should in the All-Star game).

Final score: West 144, East 139