All Star game thread: Who will win MVP? (5:30pm MST)

Jeremy Evans of the UTah Jazz jumps over teammate Gordon Haywood as he dunks two basketballs during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest.

The 61st NBA All-Star game tips off tonight at 5:30 p.m. (MST). While there are not any Denver Nuggets representing the Western Conference, the game should be still be an entertaining one. Who will be named tonight's MVP? Let's take a look at the rosters, after the jump.

Western Conference:

Starters:

Kevin Durant: No brainer selection. He'll likely make the All-Star game for the duration of his career ... a la Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. Doesn't hurt that he's the best player on the best team out West (27-7).

Blake Griffin: Averages 21.4 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. Pretty impressive on a 20-11 squad that features Chris "I can get you any shot" Paul. His highlight dunks don't hurt either ... 53.9% on free throws sure isn't pretty.

Kobe Bryant: He could be averaging 8 points and 3 rebounds and still make the team, but his 28.4 points per game are still very impressive for the 33 year-old guard.

Chris Paul: See how far flopping will get you!?

Andrew Bynum: Averaging 16.3 points, 12.8 rebounds, and 2 blocks. His biggest stat ... he has played in all 30 games this season for the Lakers. His health has been good (remember he was suspended the first four games this season) and in his first game this season, game four, he put up 29 points and 13 rebounds against your Nuggets, ouch. Bynum's first All-Star game.

Reserves:

LaMarcus Aldridge: He's carrying the Blazers this season (18-16) with 22.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. This is his first All-Star appearance.

Marc Gasol: The younger Gasol's first All-Star game, where's your older brother?

Kevin Love: Sure the Timberwolves are having a nice season at 17-17 (for them) and Love's stats are nice, but he didn't look like a world beater against the Nuggets and Kenneth Faried.

Steve Nash: He should be in every All-Star game, phenomenal passer.

Dirk Nowitzki: He's averaging 19.6 points per game and 6.8 rebounds, his worst numbers since the 1999-2000 season ... he gets in by name only.

Tony Parker: He has helped carry the Spurs this season without Manu Ginobili and the old Tim Duncan. His 19.4 points are his best since the 2008-09 season and his 8.1 assists are a career high.

Russell Westbrook: Acting like a jerk gets you far!

Coach Scott Brooks: The former Nuggets assistant coach is doing a fine job down in Oklahoma City. Another fine coach to come out of George Karl's coaching tree.

Eastern Conference:

Starters:

Carmelo Anthony: Any time you average over 20 points per game and can lead your team to an 8-15 record, get injured, have an undrafted journeyman come in and lead your team back to glory with seven straight wins (right after your injury) ... you deserve to be an All-Star.

LeBron James: Having a monster season for the 27-7 Miami Heat ... could be a championship in LeBron's near future.

Dwyane Wade: Any time you can miss over a quarter of your teams games to start the season (26.4%), you deserve to be an All-Star.

Derrick Rose: Guy is good.

Dwight Howard: Whenever you demand to be traded away from your team, you should DEFINITELY be representing them at the All-Star game that season!

Reserves:

Chris Bosh: See how far you can get being the third wheel!

Luol Deng: His first All-Star game, not bad for a guy who missed only seven games with what was supposed to be a pretty major injury.

Roy Hibbert: The big guy's first All-Star selection. When you appear on the show Parks and Recreation, you make All-Star games!

Andre Iguodala: The 20-14 Sixers have had a nice season and it's good to see one player off a good team get the attention of the coaches.

Joe Johnson: He's hurt and wont play, but is having a good year for the 20-14 Hawks.

Paul Pierce: When your team is 15-17 you should be an All-Star!

Rajon Rondo: See above.

Deron Williams: 22.2 points and 8.2 assists for the 10-25 New Jersey Nets ... will he be a Net this time next season?

Coach Tom Thibodeau: Sounds like he smokes 14 packs of cigarettes a night, but the Bulls coach can sure coach defense!

Nate_Timmons on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Nate_Timmons
ntimmons73@yahoo.com

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