The NBA’s 67th All-Star Game on Sunday night from Staples Center in Los Angeles has a different look from years past.
Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game is often low scoring simply because it’s hard to hit big-league pitching even in an exhibition. But there is simply little-to-no defense played in the Pro Bowl or NHL/NBA All-Star Games. Click here for the most current odds and betting on the NBA All-Star game.
NBA All-Star Game History
NBA commissioner Adam Silver is a pretty progressive guy with his ideas, and he didn’t like watching last year’s All-Star Game in New Orleans when the Western Conference beat the Eastern 192-182. That was the highest-scoring ASG in history and guys were actually lying down on the court to let others dunk over them. It was borderline embarrassing how unserious the players were taking the game.
This year, Silver instituted something new. It’s no longer conference vs. conference but two teams chosen by captains – like you would see in a typical playground game of the biggest guys choosing sides. The 2018 captains are Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James and Golden State Warriors two-time league MVP Stephen Curry. They were chosen as such because they were the top vote-getters by the fans in each conference. LeBron was allowed to choose first because he received the most overall votes. Both James and Curry had to pick from the eight other players chosen as starters via fan vote first before choosing reserves. Curry got to pick first when the reserve pool started.
Silver was hoping a little more personal pride would be injected into the game because, let’s be honest: No one cares much which conference they play for. Will it work?
Team LeBron Odds and Roster
The NBA didn’t televise the All-Star draft, which is shocking because it would have been great theater to see which player was chosen first and, perhaps more important, last. The vast majority of players were fine with it being televised but not all. Apparently, it would have been too embarrassing to be the “last” All-Star chosen. It has been all but confirmed that James took Golden State’s Kevin Durant with the first pick. Durant is widely considered the second-best player in the world and LeBron keeps him from his teammate Curry. Among starters, James also took the New Orleans big man duo of Anthony Davis (last year’s game MVP) and DeMarcus Cousins, along with Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving. The latter choice was a surprise to some because Irving forced a trade from Cleveland this past summer because he was tired of being in LeBron’s shadow.
LeBron’s team has been hit hard by injuries. Cousins is out as are the Cavaliers’ Kevin Love, the Wizards’ John Wall and the Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis. They were replaced by, respectively, the Thunder’s Paul George, the Heat’s Goran Dragic, the Pistons’ Andre Drummond and the Hornets’ Kemba Walker. The remainder of the team barring injury is: LaMarcus Aldridge (Spurs), Bradley Beal (Wizards), Victor Oladipo (Pacers) and Russell Westbrook (Thunder).
Team LeBron is coached by Toronto’s Dwane Casey.
Team Stephen Odds and Roster
Most believe that Curry took Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo with his first pick. Among starters, Curry also chose the Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan, 76ers’ Joel Embiid and Rockets’ James Harden. Curry’s team has yet to lose a player due to injury (for now) and his reserves are: Kyle Lowry (Raptors), Jimmy Butler (Timberwolves), Draymond Green (Warriors), Al Horford (Celtics), Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers), Klay Thompson (Warriors) and Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves).
It’s the third straight year that Lowry and DeRozan both were named All-Stars. Lowry also made it solo in the 2014-15 season and DeRozan solo the year before. Lowry has totaled 43 points in his three All-Star Games, with a high of 19 last year. DeRozan has a combined 42 points in his three, with a high of 18 two years ago. No Raptors player has ever won All-Star Game MVP.
Houston’s Mike D’Antoni is the coach for Team Stephen.
Team LeBron vs Team Stephen Prediction
Team Curry 156, Team LeBron 148