Five All-Star Predictions

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The NBA All-Star game is headed north of the border for the first time and Toronto is happy to host the game’s biggest stars.

NPH will be providing full coverage of the games, events, and players from around the association.

All-Star weekend is something we’ve been thinking about for a long time and here are some of our predictions:

  1. Drake and Kevin Hart hit the court.

Though the two entertainers are coaching the Canadian and American teams at the NBA All-Star celebrity game, count on them naming themselves player-coach. Drake has plenty of support behind him with Jose Bautista and Steve Nash as co-coaches, while Hart’s team is stacked with the likes of Nick Cannon and WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne. Hart is a four-time MVP of this game and he’s bound to stir things up if his team gets down. We’ll probably know if he and Drake will jump off the bench ready for duty by looking at their shoes pregame. And if they’re laced up? Count this prediction coming true.

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2.   Andrew Wiggins wins Rising Stars MVP… again.

Last year Wiggins dropped 22 on Team World’s way to topping Team USA 121-112 in the Friday night Rising Stars Challenge. This year he’s got fellow Canadians Trey Lyles and Dwight Powell with him as well as rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis against American talent including Karl-Anthony Towns and Jabari Parker. A game that perviously pitted all the rookies against second-year players began mixing the players into a USA vs World team format last year so count on the World team staying undefeated in this event for the second year in a row, and Wiggins leading the way.

3.  Talk of the NBA’s future in Canada

It’s been 15 years since Toronto became the sole outpost for NBA basketball outside of the USA and the low value of the Canadian dollar isn’t optimal right now, but cities like Vancouver and Montreal could be attractive destinations for pro basketball in the future. British Columbia is becoming another hot-bed for NBA talent and is a great market for re-expansion to replace the Grizzlies, while french fans of a potential Montreal franchise would be some of the best fans in the league. With the strength of Canadian basketball evident during the festivities, count on optimism for more.

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4.  A very predictable Saturday Night

Guards going up against big men in the Skills Challenge will raise some eyebrows and make for a spectacle but, let’s face it, the big man won’t test some of the best guards’ skill in the NBA. Likewise Stephen Curry is in the three-point contest and Zach LaVine is in the dunk contest. Those are already over.

5.   We set another record for points in an All-Star game

When the dust from 2015’s All-Star main event in New York settled the Western Conference beat the Eastern Conference by a score of 163-158, the highest scoring All-Star Game in NBA history. In New Orleans the year before that, the East topped the West 163-155 that broke the previous record. In 2016 expect the final score to follow the trend of lax defence and buddy boosting while the stars show off their athleticism for three quarters before settling into any kind of defence. Last year Russell Westbrook scored a game-high 41 and narrowly missed Wilt Chamberlain’s record 42 points set in 1962. With such a fast-paced transition game being played there’s no reason that record should stand any longer so count on Curry, Durant, Westbrook and LeBron to all gun for it, and even Kobe could have some extra pop in his last appearance in what’s sure to be a record-setting event.

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