Guard - Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Curry, a product of Davidson College and a first round pick of the Golden State Warriors in 2009, will be appearing (and starting) in his second straight all-star game. He scored 12 points and handed out 11 assists in 27 minutes last season. This season, his player efficiency rating (PER) sits at 27.8, third in the NBA and well above Curry's career average of 21.1. He's averaging 23.2 points, 8.1 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game to lead the Warriors to an NBA best 34-6 record. He was named the Western Conference Player of the Week on November 10th, then soon after claimed November's Player of the Month honor. This included the game on November 25th, which saw him light up the Heat for 40 points (including an eight-for-11 night from outside), seven assists, six boards and three steals. He led the NBA with all-star votes, drawing a total of 1,513,324 when balloting closed, beating out LeBron by 43,000 votes.
Guard - Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
Bryant is a 36-year-old, 17-time all-star drafted straight out of high school in 1996. The NBA's third-all-time leading scorer, with 32,482 at the time of this article, is clearly on the downslope of his career. After appearing in just six games last year between injuries, his PER is sitting at a slightly above average player level of 17.5. He's putting up 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game, and he's currently laid up with a shoulder injury. Recent reports strongly suggest that he won't be able to play in the contest. He was named the All-Star Game MVP on four occasions in the past, and has averaged 20 points on 50.7% shooting.
Forward - Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
Griffin is a 25-year-old five-year veteran out of the University of Oklahoma. He's also the only player on either team to be appearing in each of his NBA seasons. This will be his fourth start in a row, and he has averaged 78.8% shooting in the contest. Last season, he poured in 38 on a 19-of-23 performance, more impressive considering he went 0-for-2 from long distance. He's scoring 23.2 points per game, with 7.7 rebounds and five assists. His PER has stayed very consistent over his first half-decade in the NBA, and currently sits dead on his career average at 22.8. On December 1st he was named the Western Conference Player of the Week by leading the Clippers with 24 points, 10 rebounds and five assists per game and a 4-0 record. And check out this highlight reel. Really. You owe it to yourself to check this out.
Forward - Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
Davis was the first overall pick in the 2012 Draft, by the Hornets. Just 21-years-old but already in his third season, this will be his second overall all-star appearance, and his first start. He scored 10 points in 10 minutes last season, hitting five-of-six from the field. His 31.6 PER currently leads the NBA, and represents the second season in a row that he has improved his PER by at least 4.9 points. He's scoring 24.3 point with 10.4 rebounds and an NBA leading 2.9 blocks.
Forward - Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies
Gasol, younger and slightly bigger than brother Pau, is a seven-year veteran from Barcelona, Spain. This will the 30-year-old's second all-star appearance but his first start. He played 13 minutes in 2012, scoring four points with three rebounds. Gasol has always been a dependable big-man, with a PER slightly higher than league average, but seems to have turned the corner this season, ranking amongst the NBA's top 10 with a 22.7 PER. He is averaging 19.3 points with 8.2 boards, 2.9 assists and 1.6 blocks per game.
The Western Conference, probably with James Harden filling in at Kobe's spot, will face off against the Eastern Conference on February 15th. The East will be represented by Kyle Lowry, John Wall, Carmelo Anthony, Pau Gasol, and LeBron James.