Friday, February 14, 2014
Top stats to know: NBA All-Star Weekend
By ESPN Stats & Information
This weekend marks the 63rd NBA All-Star Game, with the league’s top players gathering in New Orleans for an entertaining basketball weekend.
The Eastern Conference leads the all-time series 36-26, but the West has won three straight games (Chris Paul won his MVP last year). The current three-game win streak is tied for the West’s longest all-time (also won three straight spanning 2002-04).
What else should you know about All-Star Weekend?
James & Durant
LeBron James was the leading overall vote-getter with 1,416,419 votes, followed closely by Kevin Durant, who finished with 1,396,294.
Durant has scored 30 or more points in three straight All-Star games, the longest 30-point streak in All-Star Game history.
His career scoring average of 28.8 points per game in the All-Star game is currently the best all-time. James ranks second at 25.1 points.
James has already scored the fifth-most career points in All-Star Game history.
The Big 3
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are the fourth trio of teammates in NBA history to be selected to four straight All-Star games.
The Elias Sports Bureau notes that the last trio to do so was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and James Worthy from 1985-86 to 1988-89. The trio with the most consecutive All-Star selections was John Havlicek, Dave Cowens and Jo Jo White, with six.
Another type of ‘Big 3’
Paul George, John Wall and Damian Lillard were each selected to the All-Star game and the Slam Dunk contest. It’s the first time since 1988 in which three All-Stars will compete in both the All-Star game and the Slam Dunk contest (Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins and Clyde Drexler).
Lillard is scheduled to participate in five events and would be the first player to do so dating back to 2003 (the first year of the Skills Competition).
Lillard has already broken the record for most 3-point field goals made over a player’s first two seasons in the NBA and will try to upend defending 3-point champ Kyrie Irving.
Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge are the first pair of Trail Blazers teammates to be selected to the All-Star Game since 1993-94 (Drexler and Clifford Robinson).
No Kobe, No Lakers
This is the first time since 1996 that a Los Angeles Lakers player won’t play in the All-Star game (Kobe Bryant was selected but is out with a knee injury).
Bryant’s replacement, Anthony Davis, is averaging 20.5 points, 10.1 rebounds and 3.1 blocks this season. The last player to average at least 20 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in a single season was Shaquille O’Neal in 1999-00.
But a former Laker will be there
When Dwight Howard takes the court this All-Star game, he'll become the first player in NBA history to play in three straight All-Star games, each representing a different team (2011-12 Orlando Magic, 2012-13 Lakers, 2013-14 Houston Rockets).
Allen Iverson is the only other player in NBA history that was selected to three straight All-Star games with a different team but he did not play in one of those games.
There are six first-time All-Stars this year -- Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis, DeMar DeRozan, Damian Lillard, Paul Millsap and John Wall.
Curry is set to become the first Golden State Warriors starter in the All-Star game since Latrell Sprewell in 1995. He is currently in the top five in both points and assists per game.
The last player to finish a season in the top five in both of those categories was Tiny Archibald in 1975-76.
The lone Maverick
Dirk Nowitzki has now been selected to the All-Star game 12 times. On eight of those occasions, he was the only member of his team that was selected. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that only Michael Jordan (9) and Patrick Ewing (9) were their teams' lone All-Star selections more times than Nowitzki.
Terrence Ross of the Toronto Raptors will try to defend his slam-dunk title. He’s trying to become the fourth player to win back-to-back dunk-contest titles, along with Michael Jordan (1987 and 1988), Jason Richardson (2002 and 2003) and Nate Robinson (2009 and 2010).