Despite the Dud that was All Star Saturday Night, Sunday’s NBA All Star game was an extravagance that was well worth the wait. Cowboy’s Stadium proved to be an awesome venue to host the game as a record 108,713 fans packed into the stadium and witnessed the Eastern Conference come away with a 141-139 victory.
Joe Johnson appearing in his fourth straight All Star game got the start in the place of Allen Iverson for the East. He played 18 minutes scoring 10 points. Al Horford was his usual efficient self scoring 8 points in 14 minutes on 4-5 shooting. As a fan it was awesome to see two Hawks in the All Star game for the first time in a long time and to see them do well. Hopefully this All Star appearance with energize Johnson and Horford as I would would love to see them go on a roll coming out of the break.
While the All Star Game was Sunday’s crown jewel for the NBA, All Star Saturday night needs to be reworked. The Horse game, despite a strong showing from Kevin Durant and a surprising shooting touch from Rajon Rondo, needs star power or needs to be in the arena with the other contests or something. There just wasn’t a buzz about it and when players are shooting from the stands, there aren’t going to be a lot of made shots.
The Shooting Stars competition I thought was ok but could have used another team or two and maybe another round of competition. I was bummed that Team Atlanta flopped the way that it did. Note to Angel McCoughtry, if you are going to call out Steve Smith then try not to miss your first 8 shots of the competition.
I thought the Skills Challenge and Three Point Contest went well. Didn’t the Three point shoot out used to have 3 rounds in it though? I thought it would have benefited from a one on one showdown in the final and maybe 8 competitors over all. My hat is off to Paul Pierce. He shot it well just like he has all year.
Enough is enough with the Dunk Contest. People complain that it is sub par but that is what you get when you put sub par players in it. First and foremost it needs to go back to the old way of one dunk at a time and being able to replace one dunk per round. You need 6 to 8 competitors in it as well. The bad things is right now it seems like the NBA has to beg and plead to get 4 players in it. It is a sad day when the D-League dunk contest is a lot better than the NBA’s. This year’s contest lacked star power. That was what Dwight Howard brought to the competition the last two years. The bottom line is, that if you can’t get the stars in it then it is time to retire the contest. The great thing about Dominique Wilkins and Michael Jordan was they were game dunkers that embraced the contest. Dominique was doing the same dunks in a game that he was doing in the contest. That made it special.
I’m not sure what the answer is for the NBA on Saturday night. Might be time to scrap the dunk contest and put the Rookie/Sophomore game headlining Saturday night.