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SPORTS NEWS THE PAST WEEKS
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

FLOYD: I'M DONE FIGHTING; MY NAME WILL LIVE FOREVER


JANUARY 27 -Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao exchange punches in the first round for the undisputed welterweight title fight in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Steve Marcus, Reuters
Retired American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. maintained that he’s already done fighting, and that his legacy will remain intact after retiring unbeaten.
Mayweather cruised to a predictable unanimous decision win over Andre Berto before retiring last September. Before hanging his gloves for the second time, he had compiled a total of 49 victories to tie Rocky Marciano’s professional record. "I don't have the urge to fight anymore. I haven't had the urge to fight for awhile,” “Money Mayweather” said in an interview with Fight Hype. The controversial fighter has the biggest paycheck ever in the history of prize fighting, reportedly pocketing $300 million after taking on Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao. READ MORE...

ALSO: Roach on Bradley rubber match: 'I predict a knockout in nine'


JANUARY 26 -Photo credit: AP Images (file photo)
Famed trainer Freddie Roach, who is infamously known for his pre-fight predictions, recently gave out his forecast for the upcoming third bout between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley.
The 55-year old Roach, who had already begun the trash talk by lambasting Timothy Bradley’s recent win over Brandon Rios, foresees a late stoppage in favor of Pacquiao, this time around. “Manny wants to go out with a bang and knock Tim out, so I predict a knockout in nine,” Roach told Boxingscene.com. Roach also confirmed that Pacquiao is “100 per cent ready to start”, and was given the medical clearance by doctors. Training camp for the Bradley fight is set to begin on February 2nd in the Philippines. It has been a while since Pacquiao was able to achieve a stoppage victory. The last one was during his 2009 welterweight title fight against Miguel Cotto, where he picked up a 12th round TKO win.FULL REPORT

ALSO: Roach to keep an eye on Pacquiao’s shoulder


JANUARY 27 -Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao
Freddie Roach will be giving special attention to Manny Pacquiao’s right shoulder when he joins the Filipino icon in training in General Santos City next week.
While Pacquiao insisted that his right shoulder has already healed, Roach would like to see it himself throughout their preparation for the fight with Timothy Bradley in April. “Me and Manny don't see each other until we start training camp. He plays basketball every day. He says the shoulder feels great through basketball. I know that's not boxing,” the trainer said in a boxingscene.com report. In a recent check-up in Los Angeles, Pacquiao’s surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache has cleared the boxer for all physical activities. ElAttrache was the same doctor who surgically treated the torn rotator cuff Pacquiao suffered while training for Floyd Mayweather Jr. last year. The injury bothered Pacquiao when he fought Mayweather, and Roach himself admitted still being haunted by that fight. He believes Pacquiao would have won in boxing’s richest fight ever had he been healthy. Now Roach wants to make sure his ward would stay healthy against Bradley. “I'm curious to see how it is myself in the first week of training,” he said. – Dino Maragay FULL REPORT

ALSO: PH basketball legend Caloy Loyzaga dies at 85


JANUARY 28 -Carlos Loyzaga during one of the national team's campaigns overseas. | Via Chito Trinidad
Notes of mourning welled in social media following the news of Carlos "Caloy" Lozaga's fall to cardiac arrest. He was 85.
Loyzaga, arguably the greatest Filipino to ever play the game of basketball, died Wednesday around 7 a.m. at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center. The 6-foot-3 Loyzaga commandeered various editions of the Philippine national basketball teams into the Asian Games in in the late 1950s and in the FIBA Asia championships during the early 1960s. He also played in the Olympic Games twice. Highly regarded was Loyzaga's all-around and equally clean play that it became a subject of many memoirs and discussion by many Philippine basketball pundits. But he will always be remembered as the "Big Difference" who made an indelible mark in behalf of the country in the 1954 FIBA World Championships (now the basketball World Cup), by making the tournament's Mythical Team and securing a Bronze medal. Loyzaga, a former San Beda Red Lion, went on to coach the University of Santo Tomas men's basketball team in the collegiate arena. He also mentored U-Tex and Tanduay during the early years of Asia's first pay-for-play league, the Philippine Basketball Association. Check out the tributes written by local sporting stars and personalities:READ TRIBUTES...

ALSO: Former NBA STAR Charles Barkley wants to hang with Toronto ex-Mayor Rob Ford during NBA All-Star Weekend


JANUARY 29 -Charles Barkley on May 2, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / JOHN GURZINKSI)
TORONTO - Canada's best-known exports Justin Bieber and Drake aren't on former NBA star Charles Barkley's to-meet list – but ex-Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is. The current on-air analyst told television audiences Thursday night he wants to rub elbows with Councillor Ford at the NBA All-Star in Hogtown in two weeks. “Forget Wayne Gretzky and Drake. I’m hanging with the mayor. The ex-mayor. He’s got more free time to smoke now,” Barkley said during Thursday night’s segment on TNT. “The way I look at it, he’s got more free time to get his freak on.” The controversial former mayor is currently battling cancer. In 2013, following a Toronto Police gang investigation, Ford publicly admitted to using crack-cocaine, resulting in eventually a leave of absence to go to rehab the following year. During his remarks, Barkley also gave a shout-out to the 905. “We gonna have so much fun. I’m going to hang out at Mississauga,” said Barkley. Ford could not be immediately reached for comment. THE FULL REPORT, RELATED,
ALL-STAR STARTERS ANNOUNCED; Kobe Bryant Leads Pack Of Starters In His Final All-Star Game...

ALSO: Sting tapped as NBA All-Star Game halftime performer Drake, Kevin Hart to serve as coaches for celebrity match


JANUARY 29 -TWEETED: 2016 NBA All-StarVerified account ‏@NBAAllStar 16 time Grammy winner @OfficialSting & @Cirque to perform at #NBAAllStarTO! http://www.nba.com/2016/news/01/28/sting-to-perform-at-halftime-of-nba-all-star-2016-game-all-star-game/ … Sting's NBA All-Star halftime show is preemptively bumming people out  | Drake to coach Team Canada in NBA all-star celebrity game | Steve Nash believes NBA all-star weekend will be special for Canada | NBA all-star jerseys salute Canadian basketball history Sting is trading Fields of Gold for a court of all-stars. The Grammy-winning artist known for hits like Roxanne and Desert Rose will perform the halftime show at the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 14 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Sting's NBA All-Star halftime show is preemptively bumming people out Steve Nash believes NBA all-star weekend will be special for Canada Cirque du Soleil will perform a routine before the game that illustrates "the story of a basketball dream." FULLORT, RELATED NBA All-Star Rosters 2016: East, West Starters, Reserves and Likely Injury Subs...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Floyd: I'm done fighting; My name will live forever


Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao exchange punches in the first round for the undisputed welterweight title fight in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Steve Marcus, Reuters

MANILA, FEBRUARY 1, 2016 (ABS-CBN) Posted at 01/29/16 7:41 PM - Retired American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. maintained that he’s already done fighting, and that his legacy will remain intact after retiring unbeaten.

Mayweather cruised to a predictable unanimous decision win over Andre Berto before retiring last September.

Before hanging his gloves for the second time, he had compiled a total of 49 victories to tie Rocky Marciano’s professional record.

"I don't have the urge to fight anymore. I haven't had the urge to fight for awhile,” “Money Mayweather” said in an interview with Fight Hype.

The controversial fighter has the biggest paycheck ever in the history of prize fighting, reportedly pocketing $300 million after taking on Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao.

(READ: Roach on Bradley rubber match: 'I predict a knockout in nine')

READ MORE...

He beat Pacquiao on points but got criticized due to his defense-oriented boxing style.

Mayweather admitted that he drew lot of criticism for his strategy, labelled by some, including Oscar Dela Hoya, as “boring.”

“You know, people are like, 'Floyd, stay in the sport!' If I'm so boring, why do everyone want me to stay in the sport. If I'm so boring, why everybody taking shots at me from every different way?” he said.

“But I love it. I like when they take shots at me. I'm no longer competing, but like I said before, I made such an impact in the sports world and the entertainment world that my name will live on forever."


ABS-CBN

Roach on Bradley rubber match: 'I predict a knockout in nine' By ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 27, 2016 01:24 PM


Photo credit: AP Images (file photo)

Famed trainer Freddie Roach, who is infamously known for his pre-fight predictions, recently gave out his forecast for the upcoming third bout between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley.

The 55-year old Roach, who had already begun the trash talk by lambasting Timothy Bradley’s recent win over Brandon Rios, foresees a late stoppage in favor of Pacquiao, this time around.

“Manny wants to go out with a bang and knock Tim out, so I predict a knockout in nine,” Roach told Boxingscene.com.

Roach also confirmed that Pacquiao is “100 per cent ready to start”, and was given the medical clearance by doctors. Training camp for the Bradley fight is set to begin on February 2nd in the Philippines.

It has been a while since Pacquiao was able to achieve a stoppage victory. The last one was during his 2009 welterweight title fight against Miguel Cotto, where he picked up a 12th round TKO win.


PHILSTAR

Roach to keep an eye on Pacquiao’s shoulder (philstar.com) | Updated January 28, 2016 - 3:14pm 2 26 googleplus1 0


Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao

MANILA, Philippines – Freddie Roach will be giving special attention to Manny Pacquiao’s right shoulder when he joins the Filipino icon in training in General Santos City next week.

While Pacquiao insisted that his right shoulder has already healed, Roach would like to see it himself throughout their preparation for the fight with Timothy Bradley in April.

“Me and Manny don't see each other until we start training camp. He plays basketball every day. He says the shoulder feels great through basketball. I know that's not boxing,” the trainer said in a boxingscene.com report.

In a recent check-up in Los Angeles, Pacquiao’s surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache has cleared the boxer for all physical activities. ElAttrache was the same doctor who surgically treated the torn rotator cuff Pacquiao suffered while training for Floyd Mayweather Jr. last year.

The injury bothered Pacquiao when he fought Mayweather, and Roach himself admitted still being haunted by that fight.

He believes Pacquiao would have won in boxing’s richest fight ever had he been healthy.

Now Roach wants to make sure his ward would stay healthy against Bradley.

“I'm curious to see how it is myself in the first week of training,” he said. – Dino Maragay


PHILSTAR

PH basketball legend Caloy Loyzaga dies By Denison Rey Dalupang (philstar.com) | Updated January 27, 2016 - 1:26pm 9 783 googleplus0 0


Carlos Loyzaga during one of the national team's campaigns overseas. | Via Chito Trinidad

MANILA, Philippines – Notes of mourning welled in social media following the news of Carlos "Caloy" Lozaga's fall to cardiac arrest. He was 85.

Loyzaga, arguably the greatest Filipino to ever play the game of basketball, died Wednesday around 7 a.m. at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center.

The 6-foot-3 Loyzaga commandeered various editions of the Philippine national basketball teams into the Asian Games in in the late 1950s and in the FIBA Asia championships during the early 1960s. He also played in the Olympic Games twice.

Highly regarded was Loyzaga's all-around and equally clean play that it became a subject of many memoirs and discussion by many Philippine basketball pundits.

But he will always be remembered as the "Big Difference" who made an indelible mark in behalf of the country in the 1954 FIBA World Championships (now the basketball World Cup), by making the tournament's Mythical Team and securing a Bronze medal.

Loyzaga, a former San Beda Red Lion, went on to coach the University of Santo Tomas men's basketball team in the collegiate arena. He also mentored U-Tex and Tanduay during the early years of Asia's first pay-for-play league, the Philippine Basketball Association.

Check out the tributes written by local sporting stars and personalities:

TRIBUTES


Manolo Chino Trinidad 7,620 followers · January 26 at 7:37pm · Mandaluyong, Philippines ·
SALAMAT PO GINOONG "GREAT" DIFFERENCE Today I say goodbye and thank you for the man who taught me how it is to truly play for flag and country. (artwork tribute by Michael Canja) ‪#‎CarlosLoyzaga‬


Follow Chot Reyes ‏@coachot Just got word that 'The BIG Difference' Caloy Loyzaga just passed. We will be 4ever grateful & honored. RIP #Legend

 RIP PBA legend and National hero, Caloy Loyzaga. Was an honor to have met you. Hope to build on the ... https://t.co/MFmsXceT6M — Gabe Norwood (@GNorwood5) January 27, 2016


CBC.CA

Sting tapped as NBA All-Star Game halftime performer Drake, Kevin Hart to serve as coaches for celebrity match The Associated Press Posted: Jan 28, 2016 10:35 AM ET Last Updated: Jan 28, 2016 2:57 PM ET


TWEETED: 2016 NBA All-StarVerified account ‏@NBAAllStar 16 time Grammy winner @OfficialSting & @Cirque to perform at #NBAAllStarTO! http://www.nba.com/2016/news/01/28/sting-to-perform-at-halftime-of-nba-all-star-2016-game-all-star-game/ …

Sting's NBA All-Star halftime show is preemptively bumming people out

Drake to coach Team Canada in NBA all-star celebrity game

Steve Nash believes NBA all-star weekend will be special for Canada

NBA all-star jerseys salute Canadian basketball history

Sting is trading Fields of Gold for a court of all-stars.

The Grammy-winning artist known for hits like Roxanne and Desert Rose will perform the halftime show at the NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 14 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Sting's NBA All-Star halftime show is preemptively bumming people out

Steve Nash believes NBA all-star weekend will be special for Canada Cirque du Soleil will perform a routine before the game that illustrates "the story of a basketball dream."


TORONTO STAR

Former NBA STAR Charles Barkley wants to hang with Toronto ex-Mayor Rob Ford during NBA All-Star Weekend BY JENNY YUEN, TORONTO SUN FIRST POSTED: FRIDAY, JANUARY 29, 2016 10:47 AM EST | UPDATED: FRIDAY, JANUARY 29, 2016 03:41 PM EST


Charles Barkley on May 2, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / JOHN GURZINKSI)

TORONTO - Canada's best-known exports Justin Bieber and Drake aren't on former NBA star Charles Barkley's to-meet list – but ex-Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is.

The current on-air analyst told television audiences Thursday night he wants to rub elbows with Councillor Ford at the NBA All-Star in Hogtown in two weeks.

“Forget Wayne Gretzky and Drake. I’m hanging with the mayor. The ex-mayor. He’s got more free time to smoke now,” Barkley said during Thursday night’s segment on TNT. “The way I look at it, he’s got more free time to get his freak on.”

The controversial former mayor is currently battling cancer. In 2013, following a Toronto Police gang investigation, Ford publicly admitted to using crack-cocaine, resulting in eventually a leave of absence to go to rehab the following year.

During his remarks, Barkley also gave a shout-out to the 905.

“We gonna have so much fun. I’m going to hang out at Mississauga,” said Barkley.

Ford could not be immediately reached for comment.

-------------------------------------

RELATED FROM THE NBA ALL-STAR 2016 BLOG

ALL-STAR STARTERS ANNOUNCEDJanuary 21, 2016 · 7:15 PM ET

All-Star Top 10: Kobe Bryant


Kobe Bryant Leads Pack Of Starters In His Final All-Star Game

HANG TIME BIG CITY — The 2016 NBA All-Star Game will showcase several players who have battled back from injury to return to All-Star form. It will also likely serve as a farewell to the leading scorer in All-Star Game history, Kobe Bryant.
And if the starting lineups are any indication, NBA fans appear ready to embrace small ball.

Bryant, in his 20th NBA season, announced in November that this will be his final campaign. Though he missed the last two All-Star games with injuries, Lakers guard Bryant led all NBA players in voting this season through the first three voting updates. In each voting update, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, last year’s leading vote-getter, was second behind Bryant.

Bryant finished with 1,891,614 votes, ahead of Curry’s 1,604,325.

NBA All-Star 2016 -After missing significant time last season, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and Paul George have all had terrific first halves to the season, and fans rewarded their excellence with All-Star starting spots. While Durant was the leading vote-getter in 2014, injuries last season relegated him to a reserve role in the All-Star Game.

Anthony started last season’s All-Star Game in New York, but had season-ending knee surgery shortly after the game. George missed most of last season recovering from a broken leg. This season, all three have produced at an All-Star pace and have their teams in playoff contention.

Anthony (567,348) edged Chicago’s Pau Gasol (566,988), who started last season, by only 360 votes for the final starting position in the East frontcourt.

For the second year in a row, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry made a late charge into the Eastern Conference starting five. Last year, with help on social media from Canada’s prime minister and hip-hop star Drake, Lowry made up a 100,000 vote deficit in the last two weeks of voting to pass Dwyane Wade for a starting spot. This season, Lowry again received a late endorsement on Instagram from Drake, and Raptors fans voted often via Twitter, helping Lowry (646,441) tally enough votes to leapfrog Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving (580,651) and start in the Eastern Conference backcourt with Wade.

Alongside Bryant and Durant in the Western Conference frontcourt, San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard will make his All-Star debut as a starter. Golden State’s Draymond Green, who leads the NBA in triple-doubles this season with eight, held a 12,000 vote lead over Leonard for the final spot in the Western Conference frontcourt in the most recent voting returns.

The Warriors (39-4) and Spurs (36-6) have the two best records in the NBA this season. Dallas center Zaza Pachulia also made a late push, from eighth to fourth in voting for the West’s frontcourt, thanks to a concerted effort to get out the international vote. Pachulia ended up falling just 14,000 votes short of winning a starting spot, finishing ahead of Green.

Green’s absence from the starting lineup also means there are no All-Star starters who regularly play center for their teams. While both Pau and Marc Gasol made the starting lineups last season, James and Durant would seem to be the most likely candidates to start at center for their teams, or at least the tallest starters available.

Besides Green and Irving, several players are noticeable by their absences. In the Western Conference, Houston’s James Harden scored 29 points in last year’s All-Star game and finished second to Curry in regular season MVP voting. Harden finished fifth among Western Conference guards with 430,777 votes, behind Curry, Westbrook, Chris Paul (624,334) and Klay Thompson (555,513). Clippers forward Blake Griffin has been an All-Star in each of his five NBA seasons, and was voted in as a starter last year, but injuries this season have meant he’s played in just 30 games thus far.

Anthony Davis was voted a starter a year ago, but an injury-riddled start to the Pelicans’ season likely hampered his chances. Davis finished ninth among Western Conference frontcourt players.

In the East, Washington’s John Wall was voted to start a year ago, but hasn’t been in contention for a starting spot this season in any of the voting updates, as the Wizards have stumbled to a 20-21 start. Wall (368,686) finished sixth among Eastern Conference guards.

The 65th NBA All-Star Game will be exclusively televised on TNT from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Sunday, Feb. 14.

Inside The NBA: Eastern Conference All-Star Starters
EASTERN CONFERENCE
Frontcourt

LeBron James, Cavaliers — After James took the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals last season, he has led the Eastern Conference in voting this season. An 11-time All-Star, James is shooting a career low 29-percent from the three-point line, but has also averaged 25.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg and 6 apg for the 29-11 Cavs, who are in first place in the Eastern Conference.

Paul George, Pacers — After suffering a compound fracture of his right leg during a USA Basketball scrimmage in the summer of 2014, George missed most of last season, before returning for the final six games. This season, the two-time All-Star George has played in all 42 of Indiana’s games, averaging a career-high 23.7 ppg, along with 4 apg and 7.4 rpg.

Carmelo Anthony, Knicks — Last season, shortly after appearing in his 10th NBA All-Star Game, Anthony had season-ending knee surgery. This season, Anthony is averaging 21.7 ppg in 40 games, and last night passed Larry Bird for 31st place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Anthony has assumed a leadership role for the rebuilding Knicks, who after winning just 17 games a season ago, are currently 22-22 and in contention for a playoff appearance.

Backcourt
Dwyane Wade, Heat — At 34 years old, Wade is a 12-time All-Star. After missing significant chunks of the last few seasons with various injuries, this season Wade has played in 40 of Miami’s 43 games. Wade is averaging 18.1 ppg for the Heat, who are 23-20.

Kyle Lowry — Thank the north. After making his All-Star debut last season and leading the Raptors into the playoffs, Lowry has been even better this season. Through 42 games, the 29-year-old Lowry is averaging a career high 20.9 ppg and 5 rpg, along with 6.5 apg.

Inside The NBA: Western Conference All-Star Starters
WESTERN CONFEERENCE
Frontcourt

Kobe Bryant, Lakers — For the first time in his career, Bryant was listed among frontcourt players, and he ran away with the vote. A 17-time All-Star, this season has turned into an extended farewell tour for Bryant and the Lakers, who are 9-35 so far this season. Bryant is averaging 16.3 ppg in 36 games this campaign.

Kevin Durant, Thunder — Durant missed most of last season after suffering a foot injury, and underwent several foot surgeries. But this season the 27-year-old Durant has returned to form, averaging 26.5 ppg through 37 games for the Thunder, who are 32-12 under first-year coach Billy Donovan.

Kawhi Leonard, Spurs — The San Antonio Spurs have won five titles during the Gregg Popovich–Tim Duncan era, and while they’ve usually employed an understated form, it’s been hard to overlook them this season, as they’ve racked up a gaudy 36-6 record to start this season. The 24-year-old Leonard has been sensational for the Spurs, averaging a team-high 20.1 ppg as well as playing arguably the best on-ball defense in the NBA.

Backcourt

Stephen Curry, Warriors — Last season’s NBA MVP has been even better this season. A two-time All-Star, Curry has helped the Warriors get off to a 24-0 start while averaging a career-high (and NBA-leading) 29.9 ppg. Remarkably, Curry has done this while playing just 33.9 mpg, while shooting 51 percent from the field, 45 percent behind the three-point line, and 91 percent from the free throw line.

Russell Westbrook, Thunder — Westbrook scored 41 points in last season’s All-Star Game, winning the All-Star Game MVP. This season, the 27-year-old Westbrook has been as dynamic as ever, averaging 24 ppg, 9.8 apg and 7.1 rpg, along with a league-leading 2.5 steals per game.

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RELATED FROM MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL BETTING  ONLINE

BA All-Star Rosters 2016: East, West Starters, Reserves and Likely Injury Subs
By admin Updated: January 29, 2016 Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

The 2016 NBA All-Star Game rosters are now set. Fans and coaches combined to select the 12 representatives from each conference, and those are the guys we’ll see in Toronto on February 14, barring injuries.

If injuries do affect any of the All-Stars between now and then, though, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will select replacements.

There were several debatable snubs from each roster who could have their number called to fill in during the midseason classic, so we’ll look at three prime candidates from each conference to earn that distinction should any of the All-Stars be unable to play.

But before discussing those possible injury subs in each conference, we’ll review the results from the fan voting and the coaches’ reserve selection process.

Eastern Conference

2016 NBA Eastern Conference All-Star Team
Backcourt Dwyane Wade Miami Heat
Backcourt Kyle Lowry Toronto Raptors
Frontcourt LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers
Frontcourt Paul George Indiana Pacers
Frontcourt Carmelo Anthony New York Knicks
Backcourt Jimmy Butler Chicago Bulls
Backcourt DeMar DeRozan Toronto Raptors
Backcourt Isaiah Thomas Boston Celtics
Backcourt John Wall Washington Wizards
Frontcourt Chris Bosh Miami Heat
Frontcourt Andre Drummond Detroit Pistons
Frontcourt Paul Millsap Atlanta Hawks
Source: NBA.com

Projected East Injury Subs

Reggie Jackson (Detroit Pistons)

Andre Drummond has been the best player for the Pistons this season with his crazy rebounding numbers, but Jackson has been close. The 25-year-old has had a fantastic under-the-radar season, posting 19.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 6.5 assists in just 31.0 minutes per game.

Jackson’s rise as a distributor has been especially impressive considering he was mainly a scoring spark off the Oklahoma City Thunder bench for the first three-and-a-half seasons of his career.

Pau Gasol (Chicago Bulls)

Gasol’s counting stats are certainly worthy of an All-Star bid, with averages of 16.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.1 blocks per game. No one has achieved those numbers since Tim Duncan in 2005-06, per Basketball-Reference.com.

Is Pau Gasol’s lackluster defense the reason he wasn’t voted as a reserve?

The hang-up with Gasol, though, is his defense. The 35-year-old has become slow of foot in the past few years, and his effort on the defensive end is often lacking. If there is an injury that arises, we will see how much that matters to Silver.

Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets)

An improved three-point shot has helped Walker’s inefficiency problems. He’s taking a career-high 5.0 attempts per game from downtown and nailing 36.4 percent of them, which is way up from his previous best of 33.3 percent.

The 25-year-old point guard’s case would’ve been stronger if the Hornets had kept up their winning pace from early in the season. After starting 14-8, Charlotte has lost 16 of its last 24 games.

Western Conference

2016 NBA Western Conference All-Star Team
Backcourt Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors
Backcourt Russell Westbrook Oklahoma City Thunder
Frontcourt Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers
Frontcourt Kevin Durant Oklahoma City Thunder
Frontcourt Kawhi Leonard San Antonio Spurs
Backcourt James Harden Houston Rockets
Backcourt Chris Paul Los Angeles Clippers
Backcourt Klay Thompson Golden State Warriors
Frontcourt LaMarcus Aldridge San Antonio Spurs
Frontcourt DeMarcus Cousins Sacramento Kings
Frontcourt Anthony Davis New Orleans Pelicans
Frontcourt Draymond Green Golden State Warriors
Source: NBA.com

Projected West Injury Subs

Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)

You could easily make a case for Lillard to be a reserve over Klay Thompson or LaMarcus Aldridge, his former teammate. But alas, his chances of making the game will again be dependent on an injury, as they were last season.

Lillard has shouldered a heavy offensive load for the talent-starved Blazers, and he’s succeeded in his role. The 25-year-old point guard is averaging 24.3 points and 7.1 assists per game for a Portland team that is surprisingly in a playoff spot.

Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz)

Derrick Favors has been the best player for Utah when he’s been on the court, but that has only been 28 of the team’s 45 games. Hayward, however, has played every contest for a squad that has been ravaged by injuries.

Gordon Hayward has no significant weaknesses in his game.

The 25-year-old former Butler standout is an excellent all-around player, with averages of 19.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists. The Jazz have stayed in the playoff hunt even with a truncated roster, and Hayward has been the biggest reason why.

Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks)

Nowitzki making the original list of reserves would have been a legacy selection. The German power forward’s level of play, especially on defense, just doesn’t stack up well with the seven guys who ended up making it.

That said, the 37-year-old Nowitzki is still an excellent shooter, draws a ton of defensive attention and has the basketball IQ to almost always make the right play. His 26-22 Mavericks have also been a pleasant surprise.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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