The NBA announced the starters on Thursday that fans voted in for the 2011 NBA All-Star Game to be played at Orlando's Amway Center. Most of the names aren't all that surprising, and with 13 games on Saturday's docket, we will have a shot to engage in NBA betting action with almost all of the All-Stars being on the court over the course of the night.
It shouldn't be a shock that the Los Angeles Lakers are well-represented on the All-Star team. Kobe Bryant is an all-star for the 14th time in his career, and he is going to be joined by teammate Andrew Bynum.
These two men in purple and gold have a tough task ahead of them on Saturday night though, as they have to take on the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena. The Jazz might not have all that many stars to showcase, but they are winning as a team. Utah is 10-4 straight up and 9-5 against the spread at home, numbers which are dominant in comparison to the 2-7 SU and ATS marks that the Lakers have on the road.
Los Angeles and Utah tip-off at 9:00 p.m. (ET) on Saturday.
The Lakers have owned Tinseltown for quite some time, but this year, they most certainly have some company on the hardwood. The Los Angeles Clippers have a pair of players that will be starting in the All-Star Game in Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, who has been a fantastic addition to the Clip Joint, and the team is still on a roll.
Los Angeles proved that it had the goods to win road games, doing so for the first time in Utah since 2003 earlier this week. The Clippers are back on the road on Saturday at the lowly Washington Wizards in a 7:00 (ET) tip.
The last Western Conference All-Star is Kevin Durant, and his Oklahoma City Thunder have a challenge on their hands at the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night.
San Antonio might have lost the first game between these two this year 108-96, but it had been dominating this series up to that point. The Spurs were 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS in the previous seven meetings of these potential playoff combatants. Oklahoma City has the best record in the league though at 17-4, so don’t expect to see the visitors back down in this 8:30 (ET) duel even though San Antonio is 12-1 SU and 9-4 ATS at home.
In the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat have two reps in the All-Star Game in the form of Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Miami is off on Saturday.
Perhaps the biggest shock of the All-Star voting came when Carmelo Anthony was put on the team. He has been wildly inconsistent all season, and is playing on a New York Knicks team that is vastly underachieving. The Knicks play host to the New Jersey Nets on Saturday at 7:30 (ET).
New Jersey is hoping to snap a streak of eight straight ATS losses on Saturdays in this matchup, and the time might be just right against a New York squad that is only 3-11 ATS in its last 14 home games.
Not a shock is seeing Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose voted in as starters for the All-Star Game. These two could be teammates by the end of the year, as the Orlando Magic are clearly going to be shopping Howard on the trade market. Chicago is one of the teams that has the assets to get the deal done.
Howard's Magic are going to have an interesting Saturday, as they have to travel in from Cincinnati to reach their game against the Indiana Pacers in a poorly scheduled game on the eve of the Super Bowl in Indianapolis. The tip is set for 7:00 (ET), and coverage can be found on NBA TV.
Chicago is on the road Saturday as well with a trip to face the Milwaukee Bucks, who have suddenly become world beaters after taking down the Heat for the second time this year last week. This one from Bradley Center gets started at 8:30 (ET).
The other 7:00 (ET) tip time pits the Atlanta Hawks against the Philadelphia 76ers in a battle of two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
At 7:30 (ET), the Detroit Pistons host the New Orleans Hornets in a battle of two of the worst teams in the league, while the Dallas Mavericks hope to stay hot when they head to Quicken Loans Arena to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Houston Rockets take on the Minnesota Timberwolves in an 8:00 (ET) showdown, while the Charlotte Bobcats and Phoenix Suns get it on at 9:00 (ET).
The night wraps up with the Golden State Warriors at the Sacramento Kings and the Denver Nuggets taking on the Portland Trail Blazers. Both games are 10:00 (ET) start times.