Tag Archives: Minnesota Timberwolves

Lakers Face Durant and Howard This Week

Lakers Tickets Courtside

Lakers Bulls

With Steve Nash and Steve Blake in the fold things might be looking up, at least a little bit, for the Los Angeles Lakers. Nash and Blake returned to the Lakers lineup on Tuesday night in Minnesota, with Nash making his season debut. The depleted Lakers ended up losing Tuesday night at the hands of the Timberwolves, but then went on to win two in a row on the road before losing at home Sunday versus the Chicago Bulls.

Week Recap: Even with the return of Nash and Blake the Lakers continue to be the most snake bit team in the NBA when it comes to losing players. The return of their two point guards coincided with the loss of Nick Young and Jodie Meeks to injury. Wednesday’s night win in Cleveland saw Robert Sacre of the Lakers stay in the game after fouling out, a rarely seen NBA rule, due to the fact the Lakers had just five players left. After already losing Nick Young to injury and Jordan Farmar to leg cramps the Lakers were down to five players after Chris Kaman fouled out. Even with a depleted roster the Lakers hit a season-high 18 three-point shots to defeat the Cavaliers and former Head Coach Mike Brown. Los Angeles continued their winning ways Friday night with a fourteen point defeat of the Philadelphia 76ers behind 19 points from Steve Nash on his 40th birthday. Steve Blake contributed 14 points and 8 assists in the victory. Even without Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol the return of Nash and Blake is a welcome sight for Lakers fans. The Lakers returned home Sunday to face a competitive Chicago Bulls team, losing a tough one, 92-86. Chicago ran out to a nineteen point lead and the Lakers rallied back but couldn’t close the gap in the end, losing despite a season-high 27 points from Chris Kaman. Unfortunately for the Lakers they may have lost Steve Nash again for a short period of time. Nash knocked knees with Kirk Hinrich in the third quarter, causing his knee to flare up once again. He’ll be evaluated and may miss a couple of games.

Lakers Tickets Staples Center

Staples Center

The Week Ahead: The Lakers have a big home stretch coming up with five games at STAPLES Center over the next two weeks, including two with key Western Conference contenders. Los Angeles kicks off the week Tuesday night when they host the Utah Jazz. The Jazz are coming off of an impressive home victory over the Miami Heat. Thursday night Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder make a visit to STAPLES Center, giving Lakers fans a chance to see the NBA’s leading MVP candidate in action. Following the All Star Break the Lakers return home next week when they face off versus the Houston Rockets in a game that many Lakers fans have had circled on the calendar since last summer. Wednesday will mark the return of former Lakers center Dwight Howard to STAPLES Center. The gifted big man, who had an up and down season in LA last year, has teamed with James Harden to put the Rockets in the fourth playoff position in the west. Lakers Vs Rockets tickets start at just $48 per ticket. The Lakers wrap up the following week by hosting the Boston Celtics on Friday and the New Jersey Nets on Sunday. With five games including four playoff contenders it will be a big ten days of basketball for Lakers fans. Chris Michaels.

Barry’s Ticket Service is an Official Partner of the Los Angeles Clippers and offers Clippers Tickets for all home and away games.

Barry’s Tickets is located just caddy-corner from the LA Staples Center:
1020 S. Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA 90015
(across from the Staples Center inside the Luxe City Center)
Open 7 days a week, 10am – 9pm, for pickups.
(213)749-0057

Can the Lakers Lure Love?

Kevin Love trade

Love

It’s obvious that the Los Angeles Lakers are actively searching for ways to improve the bad situation the team is currently experiencing. Whilst a bunch of rumors are heard and lots of names are thrown on the table, the most realistic target for the team at the moment is Kevin Love. Let’s see how the Lakers can lure him to LA during the summer of 2015. Only then will Love be able to opt out of his contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

First of all, the Los Angeles Lakers will have to prove they can retain a solid course even with all the misfortunes that are occurring. A bunch of star-injuries made the Lakers struggle last season and with Kobe sidelined for the biggest chunk of this season, things don’t look better. But in order for a star like Love, or any other star of that caliber, to be willing to come to LA, the team will need to prove it can actually be competitive. Whilst it might not contend for a championship, LA needs to at least retain a playoff-course, so that Love is actually willing to jump in.

Lakers lure Kevin Love

Lakers Love

The Los Angeles Lakers should also stay pat during the free-agency of the upcoming summer. LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony might be available but they will most probably not be coming to the City of Angels. Both of them were longshots in the first place. Luol Deng is now in Cleveland and he might as well stay there. When the Lakers agreed to extend Kobe, they also placed the team in a position that it won’t have much financial flexibility. If Love comes in the summer of 2015, this seems like a perfect timing.

The Lakers should also consider performing small adjusting moves. That means they should not be chasing superstars like LeBron or Melo, but they should try their best to land quality and emerging players. Lance Stephenson is a very good target, Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young are two more. Even Deng could be considered as a candidate, considering that he won’t be asking for a fortune to come to LA.
The good news for the Los Angeles Lakers is that they might see Love coming to LA way before the summer of 2015. Because then, the Minnesota Timberwolves will risk losing him for nothing in exchange. We’ve seen that happening several times in the recent history of the league. That’s why Mitch Kupchak could act quickly and start the discussions with the Wolves. Minnesota wouldn’t be nothing but smart to perform a trade around Love sooner than later.

Kevin Love LA Lakers

Kevin Love

But even if the Timberwolves won’t trade Kevin Love sooner than the summer of 2015, the Lakers shouldn’t be worried. It’s true that the team will most probably go through two more tough seasons. But after that and through a quick rebuild, the Lakers will be able to chase yet another superstar, given that Love will have come to LA. The Lakers have always been a team that lured superstars and they should have little trouble doing it again soon.

The Lakers Vs Timberwolves tickets for their Staples Center matchups are available now with no service fees at Barry’s Ticket Service. Chris Michaels

Barry’s Tickets is located just caddy-corner from the LA Staples Center:
1020 S. Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA 90015
(across from the Staples Center inside the Luxe City Center)
Open 7 days a week, 10am – 9pm, for pickups.
(213)749-0057
Published by Barry’s Ticket Service.

Kobe and Blake both 2014 NBA All Star Game Starters

Kobe Bryant Blake Giffin

Kobe and Blake

Kobe Bryant played just six games in the 2013-2014 season and his performance reminded little of the dominant superstar we all know the Black Mamba is. Nonetheless, this didn’t stop NBA fans from voting him as a starter for the 2014 All-Star game.

This will be Kobe’s 16th appearance in an All-Star game. Of course, it’s still uncertain if Kobe will be able to play. The 35-year old megastar is still rehabbing from his knee injury and the latest word from the Los Angeles Lakers states that he will be re-evaluated over the next few days.

Stephen Curry from the Golden State Warriors earned his spot in the All-Star game this season. In fact, there was much criticism around the league because of his non-selection last year. The 25-year old sharpshooter has been recording a terrific season up to now, showing us more of the same lethal scoring abilities, especially from long range. Actually, Curry is averaging career-highs in points per game, with 23.5 and assists with 9.2. This will be his first All-Star appearance.

Blake Griffin LA Clippers

Griffin

Blake Griffin will make his fourth straight All-Star appearance and this time he will be a starter. Griffin has really taken the Los Angeles Clippers on his shoulders this season due to the shoulder injury of Chris Paul. Griffin has been playing fantastically as of lately. He is averaging 22.6 points and 10 rebounds per game this season for the Clips, while his also shooting 52.4 percent from the floor.

Kevin Durant will of course be a starter for the Western All-Stars. His performance has skyrocketed this season, especially since Russell Westbrook went down with an injury. Durant is leading the league in scoring with 31 points per game. His buddy, Russell Westbrook will not participate in the All-Star game.

Kevin Love will complete the starting lineup for the Western All-Stars. This will be the first time Love will be starting in an All-Star game. He is the league-leader in double-doubles and he managed to steal the starting position from Dwight Howard. The fact that Dwight Howard will not start in this All-Star game was a big surprise.

The Eastern All-Stars will have a weird starting lineup, as none of the frontcourt players normally plays a position above the small forward. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will both start for the Eastern All-Stars. LeBron’s selection comes as no surprise. He still is the best player in the world. Wade on the other hand is experiencing some injury issues as of lately but he should be ready to go for the All-Star game.

Paul George will also be a starter and that was widely expected around the NBA. George is continuing to improve his performance and he is putting up superstar-like performances.

Carmelo Anthony and Kyrie Irving complete the starting five for the Eastern All-Stars. This will be Irving’s second straight All-Star appearance and his first start. Melo will start for the sixth time in an All-Star Game. By:

You can watch Kobe Bryant and Blake Griffin square off on March 6th at the Staples Center when the Lakers take on the Clippers in the next round of Battle of LA. Chris Michaels

Damian Lillard The Next NBA Superstar

Damian Lillard Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard

is putting up significant performances this season. He and the Portland Trail Blazers are surprising the NBA world with their outputs. The last season’s Rookie of the Year is continuing to improve his performance this season. In fact, he does better in almost any part of the game, in comparison with the previous season. His scoring, his shooting, his defense and his clutch performances have seen improvement. But can he be considered as a star? Does he rank amongst the elite point guards in the league?

The 6’3” Weber State product has exploded offensively. After putting up two consecutive 36-point performances against the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Minnesota Timberwolves, he went on to score 29 against the New Orleans Pelicans. He also shot over 47 percent from the floor in those three games. In overall, Lillard is averaging 21.3 points per contest this season to go along with 5.8 assists and 3.7 boards. His shooting from the floor has reached the 41.0 percent mark on average and 42.6 percent from three-point range.

Damian Lillard Blazers

Damian Lillard

Despite the big numbers, Damian Lillard’s importance to Portland goes beyond that. He is a general when on the floor, he draws much defensive attention and that’s where the entire offense starts for Portland. Lillard has built a great chemistry with LaMarcus Aldridge, especially on the offensive end. He plays with him the pick and roll and due to Aldridge’s finishing skills and versatility, this duo is really hard to stop. Lillard started showing some real clutch and leadership skills. Several times this season he has hit game-winning shots.

Taking a look at Lillard’s attributes, we first see that very explosive. In fact, he ranks at the top spots of the most explosive guards in the league, together with Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker and Chris Paul. His first step is super quick first step but he also has great body control when in the air. Additionally, he is an excellent ball handler and has developed his moves this season. His shot has also improved in comparison to the previous season. He has good court-vision although it could be further developed. What Lillard needs to work on now is improving his distributing role in the Portland Trail Blazers team. So can he be considered a star?

The answer is no. Because in order to rank amongst the elite point guards of the league, like CP3, Westbrook or Tony Parker Lillard will need to retain this exceptional performance. Consistency is what differentiates stars from the rest of the players who simply are on hot streaks. However, Lillard seems like he has the potential to do so.

In general, it’s fair to say that Damian Lillard is an emerging star. Really, he can reach the star and the superstar level but he is just not there yet. Nonetheless, the future is ahead and he will just have to continue and deliver.By:Chris Michaels

Follow Barry’s Tickets on Google+ for special discounts, giveaways and much more.

The Lakers Without Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant LA Lakers

Kobe

The six-month wait for Kobe Bryant to return from his Achilles injury was short-lived. The Lakers superstar was slowly working his way back into shape before injury struck again a week ago Tuesday versus the Memphis Grizzlies. Bryant’s knee injury was suffered in the third quarter. The optimism the Lakers saw in Bryant’s improved play has he rounded into form was quickly scuttled once again. Bryant’s fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in the same leg he suffered his Achilles tear has put Bryant on the shelf for an additional six weeks that will carry through into the All Star break. The injury has made many question the wisdom of Bryant returning at all this season. The Lakers superstar reiterated his determination to play again this season, which he will likely do. The latest injury, although clearly not season ending, has once again made many question the Lakers decision to extend Bryant for two additional seasons beyond this year.

The Lakers have re-upped Bryant so it’s pointless to debate the merits of the deal. The club may have over-paid for the player that Bryant is at this point in his career, but you have to admire their interest in rewarding their superstar for what he’s done for the franchise. In a difficult Western Conference it’s difficult to see the Lakers competing for one of the final playoff spots. Los Angeles currently sits at 12th in the west, in a solid group of teams that includes Denver, Minnesota, New Orleans and Memphis. The Dallas and Phoenix greatly improved the already competitive west has become even tougher. With the Lakers playoff chances dim does it make sense to sit Bryant the entire regular season?

Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant

Actually getting the famously competitive Bryant to sit out the season is a challenge in itself, but the idea of sitting Bryant does make some sense. Without Bryant the Lakers were surprisingly competitive due to the roster decisions they made in the offseason. An entire year off would give Bryant the ability to truly recover, both from the knee injury and the Achilles. There is no indication that the two injuries are related but Bryant has now suffered two major injuries on the same leg in the past eight months. A fully recovered Bryant, even if he’s diminished athletically, will allow the Lakers to achieve the max value out of his two-year extension. During the remainder of the regular season the club can take a long look at some of the younger players (Wes Johnson, Nick Young, Jordan Farmar) that have helped ignite them this season. The combination of a potential lottery big and any value the club can get for Pau Gasol in a potential trade will give the Lakers even more versatility next season.

The Lakers fan base can tolerate a subpar season to build for the future. A fully recovered Bryant and a solid draft pick can do wonders for the franchise as they move into next season. Meanwhile let’s sit back and enjoy this year’s team, who though far less talented are a lot more entertaining than last year’s Dwight Howard centered club. By:Chris Michaels.

Barry’s Tickets buys and sells Lakers Tickets for all games at the LA Staples Center with No Service Fees! All Los Angeles Lakers Tickets are 100% Guaranteed to be Authentic and Delivered on time.

Barry’s Tickets is the preferred ticket vendor of AM570 Sports Radio.

Barry’s Ticket Service

1020 S. Figueroa Los Angeles,CA 90015
Phone: 213-749-0057
Hours: Mon-Sun 10am – 9:00pm
Directions

Do the Lakers Need Some Love?

Kevin Love LA Lakers

Kevin Love

The Los Angeles Lakers are constantly searching for ways to shake things up. They are exploring trade scenarios, they are looking for their next superstar. They will have to find a way to turn things around and stop their descent.

The team might make a move soon, this summer or eventually the next one. But it will make a move, a big move, that’s what the Lakers have always done. LA needs to find the player who will lead the franchise to the post-Kobe Bryant era. Kevin Love might be exactly that player.

Love could be the perfect fit for the Los Angeles Lakers. He could be the superstar the team needs.

The 25-year old power forward has a contract that expires no sooner than the summer of 2016, but he does have a player option for the last year of his contract. If he chooses to opt-out, he could be a really hot target for the Lakers.

Although the Lakers would be eager to land him sooner, the team doesn’t have the assets to offer the Timberwolves. So such a deal would never work.

Kevin Love trade

Love

Nevertheless, Minnesota signed Love to a four-year deal, when they could have offered him a maximum five-year contract. That seemed to bother Love a bit, whilst he wasn’t dissatisfied with the deal, of course. Nonetheless, Love certainly is not 100 percent happy in Minnesota. It’s not just about money. The team still hasn’t found a way to reach the highest level of competiveness.

Love’s addition by the Lakers only makes sense for the team. The departure of Dwight Howard and the rejection of the Chris Paul trade from the NBA left the Lakers with little hopes of finding the next big thing, their next superstar.

Love has many ties with Los Angeles. He was born in Santa Monica and he attended UCLA. There is an obvious link between the Lakers and Love. It’s growing constantly. However, Lakers fans will have to wait for this process to evolve.

For now, Love is just showing a bit of his talents to the Lakers fans, to the entire franchise. That’s what he did during the Lakers – Wolves meeting, earlier this season, when he put up points in bunches and sank one three-pointer after another.

Lakers Kevin Love trade

Laker Love

There not many more options for the Lakers in the market. LeBron James most probably will stay in Miami, where he will have the chance be a member of a winning organization and play alongside his buddy, Dwyane Wade.

Carmelo Anthony is another tough case. Melo is in the middle of his prime and the last thing he wants is to become a part of a one-star franchise. That’s what the Lakers are projected to become after Kobe retires. Melo has been in a similar situation, when he was a member of the Denver Nuggets.

The addition of Kevin Love is one that only makes sense for both the Lakers and the 25-year old superstar. Time will tell if this will become reality. By:Chris Michaels.

Western Conference Contenders and Pretenders

Western Conference

Western Conference

Two weeks into the 2013-2014 NBA season the Western Conference is taking shape. The usual contenders, San Antonio and Oklahoma City are at the top, but with Denver and the Los Angeles Lakers struggling there’s an opportunity for some new contenders to make a playoff run. Here’s a look at the elite, contenders and pretenders of the early NBA season.

The West Elite: (San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors)

The veteran San Antonio Spurs picked up where they left off and are off to a fast start to begin the season. They’re well coached, experienced and deep and should contend for the top record in the NBA all season. If Tim Duncan and Tony Parker can stay healthy the Spurs are the favorites for a return trip to the finals. The Oklahoma City Thunder welcomed back Russell Westbrook early and their star point guard seems to be the same explosive player he was before his meniscus tear. The Thunder is 5-1 on the season with their lone loss versus the Minnesota Timberwolves. The presence of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook guarantees 55 to 60 wins—how that translates into the postseason is the big question. The Thunder still misses that extra scorer that James Harden once provided. The Los Angeles Clippers are still adjusting to the coaching style of Doc Rivers, but have a deep lineup and bench and an elite point guard in Chris Paul.

The Next in Line: (Minnesota, Memphis, Dallas, Houston)

The Minnesota Timberwolves are finally healthy and displaying the potential that many predicted when Ricky Rubio arrived in the United States. In Rubio, Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic the Wolves have one of the best trios in basketball and an elite Head Coach in Rick Adelman. The Wolves acquisition of Kevin Martin, who thrived under Adelman in Sacramento, has given the club the strong perimeter shooting two guard they missed. Look for the Wolves to challenge the 50 win mark and reach the playoffs for the first time under Love. Memphis switched Head Coaches, with Dave Joerger taking over for Lionel Hollins. They’ve struggled initially in the transition but still feature the same big and physical lineup that’s worked for them the past three seasons. Marc Gasol is one of the league’s best centers and he forms perhaps the best center/power forward combination in basketball with Zach Randolph. The Dallas Mavericks, who missed the playoffs last season, have rebuilt to make another run. The newly minted backcourt of Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon is working so far, giving Dirk Nowitzki the guard play he hasn’t had since the Mavs title run. The key for Dallas, like San Antonio, is the health of their veteran players. Over in Houston the Rockets have the potential to be in the elite group, but have struggled defensively so far this season. Dwight Howard is showing many of the same inconsistencies he displayed in Los Angeles last season and he’s not yet providing the interior defensive presence the Rockets desperately need. Houston can score points on anybody; the big question is whether or not they can defend like an NBA title contender. Right now the jury is still out.

On the Upswing: (Portland)

The Blazers are off to a fast start (5-2), although only one victory is over a legit playoff contender (San Antonio). That being said the Blazers look to be a club that can occupy the playoff position(s) that the Lakers and/or Denver may be vacating. LaMarcus Aldridge is one of the premier power forwards in the game, while Damian Lillard and Nicolas Batum are consistently improving their game. The Blazers have been efficient, reducing turnovers, and are second in the conference in field goal attempts per game. Their +4.0 scoring margin is good for 5th in the conference.

Bubble Teams: (Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans)

Putting the Lakers in the bubble team category may be a stretch. Their success hinges on how close to .500 they are when Kobe Bryant returns. Los Angeles has improved their overall depth and the youth of their roster, but still lacks the quality depth of most playoff contenders. It’s questionable whether or not Steve Nash has anything left in the tank as he battles persistent injuries. If Nash can’t provide the minutes the Lakers need they may plummet down the standings. The Pelicans are an interesting club. They’ve had some good victories this season as well as some bad performances. They’ve injected some talent into their roster but it’s still not clear how the backcourt trio of Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, Jrue Holliday will co-exist due to their high ball usage rate. Inside though the Pelicans have the emerging Anthony Davis who’s quickly becoming the superstar many predicted. Davis alone could be the difference maker that vaults the Pelicans into playoff contention.

The Pretenders: (Sacramento, Denver)

The Sacramento Kings have a talented roster that once again looks like a bunch of spare parts. DeMarcus Cousins is one of the most talented big men in the game, putting together a solid season. His checkered past though makes it hard to rely on him day in and day out. Ben McLemore has great potential but he’s young and finding his place in the NBA. The Kings have nice depth inside and some solid role players, but due to the consistent roster overhaul it’s been hard for them to find consistency. They’ll be a lottery team again. Denver, a Western Conference power last season is off to a slow start in the post-George Karl era. Losing several key roster components, like Andre Iguodola, Corey Brewer and Kosta Koufus has disrupted their rotation. They still have Ty Lawson to lead the team but the recent injury to Javale McGee is another blow to their depth. Denver has a significant home court advantage at Pepsi Center that could make them a fringe playoff contender, but it’s hard to see them making much of a run.
Andrew Wiggins Contenders: (Utah)

The Jazz are the NBA’s worst right now. With Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson playing for other teams the Jazz are relying on the young of Derrick Favors, Gordon Hayward and Enes Kanter to provide the bulk of the scoring. The trio has potential but they’re young and overmatched against the rest of the Western Conference. Utah is solidly positioned to get a high lottery pick with the ability to add a significant piece next June.

By:Chris Michaels

Minnesota Timberwolves vs Los Angeles Clippers Feb 28th

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Los Angeles Clippers
NBA / Western Conference
Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Tuesday, February 28th, 2012. 10:30 PM EST

Analysis of the Minnesota Timberwolves
While their opponents on Tuesday night may have something to say about it, the Timberwolves have gone from a team few cared about to arguably the most fun team to watch in the NBA. After only winning 17 games last year (in a full 82 game season), the T-Wolves matched their win total in just the first half of this season going 17-17 and staying in the playoff hunt out west. The combination of PF Kevin Love and rookie PG Ricky Rubio seems to be the spark this young squad needed to become relevant again.

Analysis of the Los Angeles Clippers
As good a PG/PF combo Rubio and Love are, the Clippers have them beat with All-Stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. The two have put on a show this season combining for 40 points per game on average leading their squad to a 20-11 record in the first part of the season. Currently they’re sitting in the 3rd seed in the Western Conference and will have to at least match their performance during the first half of 2012 in order to keep that seed or possibly move up, something that won’t be easy in the same division as the rival Lakers.

Key Players
Timberwolves: PF Kevin Love
Love is the star of this team, though he doesn’t make very much noise about it. The young power forward is 4th in the NBA in points per game (25) and 2nd in rebounds (14), making him one of the most effective player sin the game. A tough matchup against Griffin awaits, but Griffin’s focus on offense over defense may be enough for Love to put up a dominating performance

Clippers: PG Chris Paul
Paul is the field general for the Clippers and is responsible for the nightly performance of his team. He’ll get a favorable matchup (as he always does) against Rubio, but that doesn’t mean the night will be his. Rubio is in the top 5 in assists and steals in the NBA (just as Paul is) so a night off for Paul will absolutely mean a loss for the Clips.

Key Statistics
Turnovers:
The Clippers are a decent team in preventing turnovers, only averaging 14.2 each game (6th in the league). The T-Wolves average 16.2 per game though, 28th in the league. Those 2 turnovers may be the ~5 points that down the Timberwolves in LA, so stopping that from happening will have to be a priority for them.

Prediction
When these two met in Los Angeles earlier this season Love hit a 3-pointer with no time left to push the Timberwolves to a big win in OT. You have to feel that coming off of the All-Star break both teams will be little rusty but that the Clippers will have the edge due to their depth and talent advantage. The Timberwolves already proved they can beat these guys, but 2 wins against the Clippers in LA is probably 1 too much for this season.

Prediction = Los Angeles Clippers: 95 – Minnesota Timberwolves: 88

Timberwolves Fan? We have Lakers Vs Timberwolves Tickets in stock for February 29th at the Staples Center as well.

Recap: NBA All-Star Saturday Night

Recap: NBA All-Star Saturday Night

NBA All-Star game is the biggest event of All-Star Weekend, but as we all know, some of the best competitions and sneaker surprises happen on NBA All-Star Saturday Night.
On the docket was the Haier Shooting Stars, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Footlocker 3-Point Shooting Contest, and the crowd favorite Sprite Slam Dunk Contest.
The night seemed to evaporate rather quickly, as is the weekend, and it will be back to business much too soon for most of us here in Orlando for the festivities.
Here are the results from the four events:

1. Haier Shooting Stars Winner: Team New York
With a time of 37.3 seconds in the final round Team New York Knicks defeated Team Houston’s (Chandler Parsons, Kenny Smith & Sophia Young) time of 47.6 seconds. The competition is far from the best of the evening but it does provide some interest watching players hoist up half court shots to closeout their attempt. It also incorporates a female from the WNBA on each team which brings that league a tad bit more attention. Team New York had the two fastest times of the night and Houston said the trio had practiced “a little bit”.

2. Taco Bell Skills Challenge Winner: Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs
Parker won the skills challenge with a time of 32.8 seconds in the final round defeating Rajon Rondo (34.6 seconds) and defending champion, Deron Williams (41.4 seconds). Rondo probably could have gotten the W if his bounce passes didn’t continue to rattle in and out. It took him 4 attempts to complete that challenge and was inevitably his downfall. Parker has competed in the competition twice previously and was at ease coming in he said the following afterwards.

3. Foot Locker 3-Point Contest Winner: Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
Love squeaked into the finals and then pulled an upset win over Kevin Durant and defending champion James Jones. Love survived 2 overtimes or shootouts to take home the title with 17 points in the final shootout.
Love certainly wasn’t the favorite as “Bigs” don’t usually do well in the competition. James Jones had the competition high 22 in the first round and certainly looked like he was primed to repeat. He just got cold and was unable to keep up with Love and Durant.

4. Sprite Slam Dunk Contest Winner: Jeremy Evans, Utah Jazz
Evans might be the happiest player at All-Star weekend capturing 29% of the (reported) 3 million votes for the contest. (I would really like to see that tally) Just being given the opportunity to attend the event would have been enough for the humble forward but winning it might just make a difference in his play the rest of the season. He is that appreciative.

Remember he was a last minute replacement for Iman Shumpert.

Unfortunately his win is mired in the dubious distinction that the event field was more boring than vanilla.

Paul George had two of the better dunks of the evening but lamented that the competition does indeed lack star power. The dunk contest needs the league’s “faces” he said, mentioning (Miami Heat) LeBron, (Chicago Bulls) Rose, even Westbrook by name.

Evans did have the most original dunk of the night and it probably carried him to the win. He jumped over a seated Gordon Hayward then caught and dunked two balls thrown in the air by Hayward.

Unfortunately, the humility of Evans was not enough to save the lackluster evening. The NBA will have to look at ways of keeping the format fresh and potentially getting bigger names to commit to the event in the future.

2012 NBA All Star Game

The NBA All-Star Game is a game held annually between the top players in the Western and Eastern Conferences of the National Basketball Association. The game is part of All-Star

Weekend, held every February, which includes other exhibition activities such as the Rookie Challenge, Slam Dunk Contest, and Three-Point Shootout. The first NBA All-Star Game was held in 1951 in Boston, Massachusetts. The game gives fans the chance to see the best players in the NBA play together in a more relaxed atmosphere. The game is a celebration of basketball and sportsmanship and a real treat for any NBA fan.

Players for the NBA All-Star Game are selected in two different ways. NBA fans choose the starters, and the reserves are chosen by coaches, though the coaches cannot vote for their own players. The All-Star teams are coached by the coaches from each conference with the best record through the second week in February. Coaches, however, cannot coach two years in a row anymore. This is known as the “Riley Rule” – because of Pat Riley’s success with the Lakers in the 1980′s, he coached the Western Conference All-Star team nearly every year. The coach with the next best record is selected in this case to coach the team.

In May 4 2010, NBA Commissioner David Stern announced in a press conference that Orlando has been selected as the site of the NBA All-Star Weekend 2012, the 61st edition of this popular event.

The NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, February 26 in the Amway Center, the new Orlando Magic Stadium to be opened in the fall of 2010. In the previous 2 days, the Amway Center also host the Rookie Challenge and the regular contests of the Saturday Night. The NBA All Star Jam Session will be held in the Orange County Convention Center.
This is the second time the All-Star visits Orlando, 20 years after the unforgettable 1992 edition, when Magic Johnson came back to the courts after starting his battle against the AIDS to win the MVP trophy and send a huge message to the whole world.

Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson or Clyde Drexler were some of the greatest stars in 1992. Craig Hodges won his third three-point contest and Cedric Ceballos made a name for himself with a “no-look” dunk. In 2011 Blake Griffin stunned the arena by jumping over a car in the slam dunk contest.

The NBA All Star Weekend is second only to the Super Bowl when it comes to the biggest party weekend on the planet. Celebrities, pro athletes, and many more come to party with the NBA elite. Last year in Los Angeles, Dwight Howard had his own private party with performances by Rick Ross and Rihanna. Now the All Star Weekend in 2012 has shifted to Orlando, Florida. Dwight Howard’s hometown. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, this could be Dwight Howard’s last year in an Orlando Magic uniform.

The Eastern and Western Conference all-star teams will be led by the coaches with the best records in their respective conferences as of February 12 – two weeks before the game. Last year’s coaches – Boston’s Doc Rivers and San Antonio Spurs Gregg Popovic – are ineligible; league rules prohibit a coach from running the all-star team in consecutive seasons.

EASTERN CONFERENCE is made by teams Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, and part of WESTERN CONFERENCE are excellent Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings etc.

NBA All Star Game Tickets are onsale now. You can also purchase NBA All Star Rookie Challenge  NBA All Star Slam Dunk Contest.