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NBA Roundtable: All-Star Preview And Pistons Review

Sean Burch, Danny Galvin, Russell Simon |
February 15, 2014 | 4:50 p.m. PST

Sports Staff

All-Star Weekend 2014 brings in a new generation of young NBA stars. (@NBAonTNT/Twitter)
All-Star Weekend 2014 brings in a new generation of young NBA stars. (@NBAonTNT/Twitter)
All-Star Weekend is upon us, so we look at All-Star Weekends past, preview the dunk competition, and look at the dysfunctional Detroit Pistons.

What's Your Favorite All-Star Weekend moment? 

Sean Burch: It's sad that he won't be playing this year, because Kobe is the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to All-Star Weekend. He always plays a little too hard in the game, but it's entertaining. And he keeps you on your toes by doing random stuff, like showing up in the 2007 skills competition or helping Shannon Brown out with his horrible dunk contest run in 2010. My favorite moment was the 2011 All-Star game, though. The Mamba won his fourth ASG MVP at Staples Center, throwing down a few dunks -- even avoiding a Lebron chase-down block on one of them! It was also fun to watch Kobe grip as Durant and Lebron almost stole the MVP away in the fourth quarter. 

Danny Galvin: The 2009 Slam Dunk contest, when we all should have jumped off the Dwight Howard Bandwagon. He let Nate Robinson jump over him in a dunk that sealed his defeat, effectively handing over the title to the Great. What a competitor. No NBA champion has ever allowed Nate Robinson to jump over them; that’s just an advance metric. And I went crazy for the Kryptonate Foamposites at the time.

Russell Simon: The decade from 2000 to 2010 was a brutal one for the New York Knicks. But deep within the post-apocalyptic hellscape that was Eddy Curry's contract and Isiah Thomas' tenure, there was one bright spot. In the 2006 Dunk Contest, while the Knicks were in the middle of another miserable season, Nate Robinson leapt over Spud Webb to win the dunk contest. It was a small victory for a team that was $74 million above the salary cap, but it was my favorite All Star moment nevertheless.

All-Star Dunk Competition. Which of the contestants do you have the highest expectations for, and what are they? 

Burch: Tough question. Terrence Ross doing things like this has me pretty excited to see what he can do. And I always get hyped up to see what little guys like Damian Lillard and John Wall can do. But Paul George is the obvious choice. He has the most on the line because he's the best player in the contest, and he did the 2000 Vince Carter 360-windmill in a game. If he is doing dunk contest stuff during games, he probably has something good for the competition. 

Terrence Ross is already the next generations of Raptors dunk artists. Can he solidify his legacy? (@T_DotFlight31/Twitter)
Terrence Ross is already the next generations of Raptors dunk artists. Can he solidify his legacy? (@T_DotFlight31/Twitter)
Galvin: Besides Terrence Ross, aka Manimal Slayer, who's just at a difference level than the rest of the competition, I’m expecting something nutty out of John Wall. He's a freak; circus shots are just shots to the man. Also, he dunks the ball with graceful violence, which is always my favorite to watch. More importantly, shout out to Marco Belinelli for winning the three point contest in advance. 

Simon: It seems like the All-Star dunk contest is perpetually disappointing. The only thing I remember from last year is that no one deserved to win and that the only reason I kept watching was because of the commentary of Charles Barkley. That being said, after Paul George's ridiculous 360 windmill dunk in a game earlier this year, I have high expectations for what he will do tomorrow night. 

The Pistons fired head coach Mo Cheeks just 50 games into the season. Interim John Loyer might take over for the rest of the season as the offseason search begins early. If you were Pistons GM Joe Dumars, what moves would you make with the Pistons roster this offseason? Who stays and who goes? 

Burch: The Pistons have interesting pieces, but they don't fit. They have horrible spacing. Josh Smith at the 3 is a disaster because he can't shoot from outside, so the defense just packs the paint. You'd probably start by considering trading Smith or Greg Monroe, because they are both power forwards. Monroe is probably easier because of his contract and age. They probably want to keep developing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope by playing him, but they still need a lot more help on the wing. I'd also be aggressively shopping Charlie Villanueva and Rodney Stuckey's combined $17 million worth of expiring contracts for someone like Arron Afflalo, a player that can defend and spread the floor on a reasonable contract. Ideally, you would build the team as a bootleg version of the 2009 Magic, with Drummond setting lots of pick-n-rolls a la Dwight Howard and the rest of the guys spreading the floor. 

Simon: If I were Pistons GM Joe Dumars, I would just be happy to still have a job. Mo Cheeks was not the one who decided it would be a good idea to have Josh Smith, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond try to coexist. He was not the one who offered big money to Brandon Jennings. While this season is beyond saving at this point, the Pistons still have some tradable assets. Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond definitely have trade value, but the big problem going forward will be what to do about Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings. 



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