Jan 28, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) dunks in the second quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The All-Stars

This year’s All-Star Game will feature four full-time centers and a part-time center in the Cavs Kevin Love. It’s a mix of youth and experience, with all five being key to their team’s success and failure. While you can make an argument that Philly‘s Joel Embiid and Minnesota‘s Karl-Anthony Towns should be a part of this group, the five that will represent certainly have earned their place.

To find a building block in the NBA, one of the first places to look is the University of Kentucky. Anthony Davis became the first pick of the New Orleans Hornets in the 2012 NBA Draft. “The Brow” has lived up to the hype, having been selected to the last four all-star games. This year he has averaged 28 points and 12 boards a game. But for as much on-court command as he has on offense, his great strength is laying down the law on defense.

Another Wildcat product that will be making his third All-Star Game appearance is the Kings Demarcus Cousins. The embattled “Boogie” can be as equally beneficial, or as detrimental, to a franchise’s success or failure. The Sacramento Kings have not benefited from the impressive repertoire that Cousins brings to the table, having not yet made the playoffs during his time with the team. It seems like there is always chatter about Sacramento trading the star, but to get that type of talent, one would have to pay a “King’s Ransom.”

The Gasols may be the first brothers in basketball with all of the accolades they have received over the last decade. While Pau has contributed to the Kobe Bryant championship years, Marc has been the main man in Memphis. With no Pau at this year’s exhibition, Marc will continue the Gasol All-Star legacy. The Spanish international, who makes his home at the “Grindhouse”, exemplifies just that. As a second round pick in 2007, the younger Gasol has grinded his way to his third All-Star Weekend appearance.

DeAndre Jordan and Love round out the bigs during the NBA showcase. Jordan, who was also a second-round pick, will be the lone member of “Lob City” to make this year’s All-Star roster. A defensive stalwart and pick and roll perfectionist, Jordan spurned the Mavericks to remain a Clipper during the 2015 offseason. Kevin Love, one of the best shooters to play the position, will be joining teammates Lebron James and Kyrie Irving for the East. The defending champ has been essentially the third option for the Cavaliers while averaging 19 points and 11 rebounds this season.

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