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The 2014 NBA All-Star Game will take place on Saturday, February 16, with starters to be announced in a few weeks. A new set of rules for selecting the teams is in place, and the league’s stars are ready to put on a show for fans everywhere. The Seminole gets in on the All-Star action with an early look at who’s in and who’s out of basketball’s star-studded showcase.

Players on pace to be voted in as starters will be included.  Injuries may change the participants, since some projected starters, Kobe Bryant for example, may not be ready to return.   The new format will feature two backcourt players starting with two backups (denoted as G or guard) and three frontcourt starters with three backups (denoted as F or frontcourt).  Two wild cards will also be selected for each conference with no regard to positional limits.

Eastern Conference:

G:        Arron Afflalo, Orlando Magic

While his team has struggled to just stay out of last place, which could easily kill his All-Star bid, Afflalo has quietly posted the best numbers of his career on extremely efficient percentages.

G:        DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors

DeRozan has helped lead the Raptors, historically one of the league’s worst teams, to a respectable division lead in a very weak Eastern Conference. DeRozan has done so while posting a career high in points per game.

G:        Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers

Irving continues to post great statistics after being chosen as an All Star last season. They are slightly down, though, and the Cavaliers are still sitting on the outside of the playoffs.

G:        Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat

Wade, while having sat out more often than usual to prevent any further injuries, is having one of his most efficient seasons, shooting over 50% again, good for his tenth All-Star appearance.

G:        John Wall, Washington Wizards

Wall is finally starting to live up to expectations after being taken with the top pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

F:        Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks

Anthony is posting a high points-per-game average for his disappointing Knicks team, but his statistics are still deserving of yet another appearance in the All-Star game.

F:         Chris Bosh, Miami Heat

Although Bosh has played third-fiddle for the defending champion Miami Heat, he continues to play an important role in the team’s success.

F:         Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons

Drummond has made a great leap from his rookie to sophomore year, vaulting to the top of the NBA leaderboard in rebounds per game.

F:         Paul George, Indiana Pacers

George has quickly become one of the NBA’s best players after becoming a household name in last year’s playoff meeting with the Miami Heat.

F:         Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers

Hibbert anchors one of the NBA’s best defenses and looks to be in the running for Defensive Player of the Year yet again.

F:         LeBron James, Miami Heat

James brought home his second NBA title and fourth MVP award last season.  He continues to play well, largely due to his “great efficiency,” as senior Sruthi Selvakumar put it.

F:         Paul Millsap, Atlanta Hawks

Millsap’s spot likely would have gone to teammate Al Horford, before Horford was injured in December.  Since then, Millsap has stepped up in leading his Hawks to a top-three seed in the East.


Western Conference:

G:        Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers

Bryant has only played in 6 games for the Lakers but leads Western Conference guards in the All-Star voting.  He has “that kind of legacy” that will win him votes “whether he plays or not,” senior Mahdi Kassam remarked.

G:        Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

Curry has once again made a huge leap, drastically improving his assists totals from last season, good enough to have him as a likely starter in his first All-Star game.

G:        James Harden, Houston Rockets

Harden has posted amazing numbers on offense, despite an increasing amount of skepticism about his effort on the other side of the ball.

G:        Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers

Lillard has helped Portland to shock the world by putting the team in contention for the division lead along with the Thunder.  Lillard has posted impressive totals of more than 20 points and 5 assists a game.  His late-game heroics prompted sophomore Neil Krishnan to compare Lillard to “Reggie Miller in the clutch.”

G:        Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers

Paul is once again posting the totals that have made him a consistent All Star, although an injury has put his chances of playing in the game in jeopardy.

F:         LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers

Aldridge is also largely responsible for the Portland Trail Blazers’ success, posting an impressive 20/10 in points and rebounds per game.

F:         DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings

The Kings have struggled to win, but this is largely due to the competitive nature of the Western Conference and a lack of talent surrounding Cousins.  The former Kentucky star is leading all centers in points per game and is in the top 5 in rebounds.

F:         Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans

Davis is near the top of the league in rebounds per game in his sophomore season, while leading in both blocks per game and unibrows.

F:         Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

Durant is leading the league in points per game and helping the Thunder to one of the league’s best records.

F:         Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

Griffin has become known for his highlight-reel dunks and for being half of Lob City, but he is also one of the league’s most consistent, scoring bigs.

F:         Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets

Howard caused a lot of shuffling during the offseason as teams worked to clear cap space in hopes of signing him.  He has again posted impressive numbers for his new Rockets team.

F:         Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves

Kevin Love is the in the top 5 in both points per game and rebounds per game, the only player capable of making such a claim.