Canada’s pride and joy, Toronto, is probably the Hockey capital of the world. After all, The Toronto Maple Leafs are part of the NHL’s Original Six and where do you think the Hockey Hall of Fame is located? Yup! Toronto is all about Hockey. However, this week, things are going to be a little different. Basketball will be ruling the sports arenas in the city as the NBA All-Stars makes its way into Canada.
This is the first time the NBA is organizing an All-Star Game outside of the United States. So, it’s a pretty big deal.
What to watch out for
The final event, which is to be held on the 14th of February, is the big game between the West and the East. Unlike other All-Star games before, this one is bound to be a special one and will probably go down in the NBA history books. Why? Well, it is the final All-Star game for Kobe Bryant, who will be retiring right after. Kobe has played 17 All-Star games throughout his career and this will be his 18th one.
The game will also see Toronto’s very own DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry hitting the court. This will serve as a perfect opportunity for the two to impress the home fan base. Speaking of home fans, the Raptors fans are already going crazy.
It’s a special day for Miami’s Chris Bosh as well. We’ll be seeing the forward coming back to where it all began. Of course, we also get to see LeBron in his 12th All Star game along with the Golden State Warriors, who are currently the reigning champions.
What to expect
Well there’s a lot to expect in the game this Sunday and there are bound to be a few surprises too. However, here’s what we predict.
1. No blowout – Don’t expect a big win. Out of the 13 previous All-Star games, only 2 had a winning margin above 10 points.
2. Russell Westbrook won’t win – There’s a lot of talk going on about how 2015’s All Star MVP, Russell Westbrook will retain his crown. However, the chances are slim. The only time an All Star MVP won back-to-back titles was in ’58 and ’59. Yes, we’re talking about Bob Pettit.
3. No foul outs either – Hakeem Olajuwon was the last one to do that and that was all the way back in ’87.
4. 3 Pointers: Do expect to see quite a few of them this time. Last season, the teams had a total of 133 combined long range tries.
Apart from the big game, everyone’s looking forward to the 3-Point Contest with Stephen Curry. We know it’ll be a cakewalk for Stephen, but we’re curious about who gets second place. Curry is credited with 283 3-pointers in the last season alone.
Friday night’s Rising Stars game is the other big thing to look out for as we’ll get to see the freshest talent from the US taking on the youngest from the rest of the world.