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Making a case for more NBA All-Stars
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On February 8, 2013 @ 6:01 pm In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
Each Friday, NBA A-Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt will take on a topic or topics from around the league to discuss. This week, they field questions about how injuries could affect the lineups in the All-Star Game.
1. If Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard is unable to play in the All-Star Game, who fills his spot on the roster?
Zillgitt: This is a tricky issue for the Lakers, Howard and the NBA. Howard clearly is in pain with an injured right shoulder, but the NBA believes that if a player is playing in games right up until the All-Star break, then he needs to play in the All-Star Game – especially a player voted in as a starter by fans. As rough as it is for the Lakers right now — they are in serious danger of not making the playoffs — maybe it’s best if they sit Howard against Phoenix and the Los Angeles Clippers next week and keep him out of the All-Star Game.
If that happens, add Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who will already be in Houston for the three-point contest. The West has enough big men with Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tim Duncan, David Lee and Zach Randolph.
Amick: I’m with Jeff on this one. If Howard can’t go — and I wouldn’t blame him for wanting to rest his shoulder and back — then it should be Curry. He has been a major part of one of the most surprising seasons in recent NBA history, and his production is more than worthy of this kind of acclaim: he’s second only to Atlanta’s Kyle Korver in three-point percentage (44.9) and is on pace to set career highs in scoring (20.7 points a game) and assists (6.6).
2. OK, if Chicago Bulls’ Joakim Noah can’t play, who fills in for him?
Zillgitt: Noah missed three games with plantar fasciitis in his right foot but returned for Chicago’s lopsided 128-96 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday. Noah played 23 minutes, made one of five and scored two points. Plantar fasciitis is … [For more on Making a case for more NBA All-Stars: A-Z, click here.]
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