Harden a 14-1 pick to be All-Star MVP in Houston

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HOUSTON — Who will be the MVP of the 2013 All-Star Game?

The oddsmakers are seriously down on Tim Duncan, who may not even play, but they are offering a couple of value bets, too.

If I was a gambler (which I am not, unless we are talking poker), I’d take a flyer on James Harden of the Houston Rockets, who will be playing on his home court and will be the only player with a majority of the crowd behind him.

Harden is a 14-1 pick. LeBron James is a nice pick, too, at 7-1 — especially with what he has been doing lately.

NBA announces every All-Star Weekend participant

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All the All-Star stuff came down Thursday night. 

This year’s All-Star Saturday Night has a new theme of Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference. Like that’s going to turn a weekend where everyone wants to (a) party and (b) not get hurt into serious competition.

TNT personalities Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal made their picks as GMs for the Rising Stars Challenge. O’Neal had the first pick and chose Portland guard Damian Lillard. Barkley then chose New Orleans big man Anthony Davis.

Yeah, you read that right. Both guys passed on Cleveland point man Kyrie Irving, who’s in the real All-Star Game.

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Brook Lopez to replace Rajon Rondo as All-Star

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NEW YORK — The best center in the NBA, statistically at least, is going to the All-Star Game after all.

Brook Lopez was chosen Wednesday by commissioner David Stern to replace the injured Rajon Rondo in the league’s showcase event on Feb. 17. The news came just hours before Lopez and the Nets were set to play the Eastern Conference-leading Miami Heat at the Barclays Center.

Lopez is averaging 18.6 points and shooting 52.3 percent from the field for Brooklyn, which currently sits in fourth place in the Eastern Conference and is ranked ninth in the latest edition of Mark Heisler’s NBA Power Rankings, which ran on this site earlier today.

He also is averaging a career-high 2.18 blocks per game, ranking him fourth in the NBA behind Larry Sanders of Milwaukee, Roy Hibbert of Indiana and Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers.


Geltzeiler: All-Star Selection Truths and Myths


The announcement of NBA All-Stars always generates tons of debate and emotion among fans and media alike.

Whether it’s a favorite player getting snubbed or fans voting in an undeserving player, we’re never short of folks getting their panties in a bunch over the All-Star Game. There are some complaints that are valid, but for the most part, most of the controversy is biased and at times, contrived.

This year’s process had more than its fair share of griping thanks to the wonders of Twitter. LeBron James complained that there should be 15 players from each conference, which is as bad an idea as selling icicles at the Equator. Fans want to see their favorite players play, so unless the plan is to introduce the DNP-CD to the All Star Game, 12 players per team is plenty.

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