obi toppin
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the NBA All-Star break, but there won’t be much for local fans to root for this weekend.

ESNY Morning Shootaround logo

I’m a basketball guy. This Friday Morning Shootaround is going to be very hoops-centric. Sorry, but I can’t help it.

The NBA All-Star Game is this weekend, college basketball is inching closer and closer to March Madness, and there is at least one team out there underperforming expectations as much as the Knicks.

Without further adieu, let’s dive into it.

Here’s what we’re watching on Friday night:

  • CBB: St. John’s vs. Butler — 5 PM ET
  • NBA: Clorox Rising Stars — 9 PM ET

What we’re watching on Saturday:

  • NBA: Taco Bell Skills Challenge — 8 PM ET
  • NBA: MTN DEW 3-Point Contest — 8 PM ET
  • NBA: AT&T Slam Dunk Contest — 8 PM ET
  • CBB: Seton Hall vs. DePaul — 8 PM ET

Sunday’s viewing options:

  • NBA: NBA All-Star Game — 8 PM ET
  • CBB: Rutgers @ Purdue — 5:30 PM ET
  • NHL: Islanders vs. Canadiens — 2 PM ET
  • NHL: Rangers @ Senators — 5 PM ET

NBA All-Star Weekend

NBA All-Star weekend always has a few moments that dazzle, but the entire event can turn into an overhyped mess. Much of the intrigue revolves around Saturday’s Dunk Contest.

When the Dunk Contest is enjoyable, the entire weekend holds up. On the flip side, when it turns into a Dud Contest, the entire weekend feels cheaper.

Luckily for Knicks fans, they will have the chance to watch at least one player this weekend. Obi Toppin is returning to the Dunk Contest after finishing in second place last year. The offspring of Dunker’s Delight is sure to have something special up his sleeve.

Before the Dunk Contest, we have the 3-Point Contest. Nets fans will get to see Patty Mills, who is shooting a scorching 42% on 7.7 attempts per game, try his hand in the 3-Point Contest.

Unfortunately, that’s all New York fans will have this weekend. Kevin Durant is a captain of one of the All-Star teams, but he’s still out with an injury.

Anywho, Cleveland Rocks?

Rutgers Catches Fire

Rutgers basketball might be the hottest college basketball team in the country. The Scarlet Knights looked doomed early in the season after losses to DePaul, Lafayette, and UMass, but they have bounced back in a big way.

The unranked Scarlet Knights have beaten four ranked opponents in a row and have a chance to make it five against No. 5 Purdue this weekend.

This is going to be a tough game on the road, but Rutgers already has one key win over the Boilermakers this season. Who could forget Ron Harper Jr.’s incredible buzzer-beater?

Anthony Davis Out 4 Weeks

Knicks fans know that this season has been a complete disappointment. Lakers fans can empathize, especially after learning that Anthony Davis will be out at least for four weeks with an ankle sprain.

With the Lakers four games below .500 and in danger of missing out on the Play-In Tournament, this injury could not have come at a worse time. LeBron James can’t do everything by himself, although it seems like he can for stretches. King James needs help and losing Davis puts the Lakers in a tough spot.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.