Posts Tagged ‘All-Star’

Bryant Ruled Out Of All-Star Game

The Lakers said Tuesday that Kobe Bryant continues to be bothered by pain and swelling in his left knee and that he will not even be re-examined for three more weeks, another blow to a team in free fall as well as essentially knocking Bryant from the Feb. 16 All-Star Game.

Bryant was examined by team physician Dr. Steve Lombardo before the game against the Pacers in Los Angeles. The update that followed said Bryant “will continue with a program of non-weight bearing exercise, consisting mostly of working out on a stationary bike” and that, under the new timeline, it is possible playing in late-February just became a best-case scenario for a return to the lineup.

Bryant received more votes than any Western Conference guard in fan balloting to determine the starting lineups, more than anyone in the East backcourt as well, and the second-most support in the West behind Kevin Durant. If Thursday’s diagnosis holds and there is no miracle cure in the recovery from the fractured knee, a commissioner, likely the incoming Adam Silver and not the outgoing David Stern, would select the roster replacement for the mid-season showcase in New Orleans. The West coach, Scott Brooks, would decide on the new opening lineup.

The roster will not be filled out until the reserves for both teams, chosen by coaches voting for their respective conference, is announced Thursday. Once it is known who has made the West squad and who was left off, league officials will know the candidates to replace Bryant.

Bryant has played six games, missing the start of the season while recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, coming back Dec. 8, and then hurting the knee. The Lakers, 10-9 without him the first time and proud of their resiliency amid a torrential downpour of health problems, have crumbled in their superstar’s second absence, at 16-29 heading into Tuesday against the Pacers and just a half-game ahead of the Kings for last place in the conference.

Brooks’ spot was clinched Tuesday when the Trail Blazers lost, eliminating Terry Stotts from consideration and sending the Thunder staff to New Orleans.

Meet The Three-Point Participants

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The Foot Locker Three-Point Contest will be held Saturday night with five stations arranged around the arc and five balls at each spot, the first four worth one point and one red, white and blue “money ball” worth two points. Players will have one minute to try and complete all five locations.

Kevin Love of the Timberwolves, out with a hand injury, will not be defending the title won a year ago in Orlando.

The Eastern Conference lineup:

Paul George, Pacers: Though not known for his 3-point shooting, George is on pace to improve his percentage behind the arc for the third season in a row. That has been part of a climb from 7.8 points a game as a rookie to 12.1 in 2011-12 to 17.5 the first 61 games this season.

Kyrie Irving, Cavaliers: The escalation from No. 1 pick and Rookie of the Year in 2011-12 to All-Star in 2012-13 includes an improvement from pretty good on 3-pointers to challenging for a top-10 finish. Imagine where his scoring average goes if Irving starts to make threes more of a priority.

Steve Novak, Knicks: A man made for this competition. Novak is a career 3-point specialist, often posting a better percentage from behind the arc than on two-pointers. He was fifth in the league in 3-point accuracy heading into Wednesday’s games.

The Western Conference lineup:

Ryan Anderson, Hornets: The winner of Most Improved Player last season while in Orlando is the ideal complement for Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon after moving to New Orleans in a sign-and-trade. Now Anderson is on pace to finish better than 40 percent on 3-pointers for the first time in his career.

Matt Bonner, Spurs: He is averaging all of 12.1 minutes (11th on the team) and 4.1 points. And he absolutely deserves to be at All-Star weekend. Bonner is second in the league in 3-point percentage and on pace to shoot better than 45 percent behind the arc for the second time in three seasons.

Stephen Curry, Warriors: Barring a late injury on the Western Conference All-Star squad for the Sunday main event, appearing in the 3-point contest will have to do as a consolation prize. It may do very well, though. Curry is third in the league in accuracy behind the arc, making him one of the favorites to win the title.

The Most Interesting Man In The NBA

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Rudy Gay with the instant classic All-Star promotion!