NBA All-Star Game Preview

Written by: William Petersen

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Luka and SGA

The cream of the NBA crop will be on display Sunday evening as the 73rd rendition of the NBA All-Star Game will take place in Indianapolis for what should be another great conclusion to one of the most fun weekends of the year. The Circle City has not hosted an ASG since 1985 and have already put on a historic weekend, with Stephen Curry facing WNBA star Sabrina Ionescu in a three point challenge that ended up coming down to the wire. The Celebrity Game MVP was none other than Cowboys pass rusher Micah Parsons, who put up 37 points and 16 rebounds in an impressive display of athletic ability. Damian Lillard and Mac McClung both repeated as champions, Dame winning the three-point contest and McClung with the dunk contest. More history will be made on Sunday as this will be the first ASG to revert back to the east versus west format since 2018 when captains would select their rosters. I am very intrigued to see how this game will go as there is now a little bit of pride at stake for these players as they are now representing their teams as well as their respective conferences.

The East will be led by none other than Giannis Antetokounmpo who will be an All-Star captain for the third time in his career. Giannis also will be making his seventh consecutive ASG and has now passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most All-Star selections in Bucks history. Giannis has had a solid season, averaging 30.8 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game while the Bucks have been trying to find a rhythm under new head coach Doc Rivers. Giannis will be accompanied by Bam Adebayo, Jason Tatum, Damian Lillard, and Tyrese Haliburton to round out the East’s starting five. Many NBA fans were puzzled when Lillard got the ASG start over Knicks star guard Jalen Brunson who is averaging almost four more points a game than Lillard. The East bench is also loaded with other talented guards in Tyrese Maxey and Donovan Mitchell. Look for these guards to make ridiculous passes and deep three pointers as they should live up to their All-Star title and provide a show Sunday night.

The West is captained by long time face of the NBA and 39 year old superstar LeBron James. James continues to be productive and an offensive workhorse in his 21st season, averaging 24.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 7.8 assists while trying to keep his Lakers squad in a play-in spot. LeBron has always shown up for the ASG and would not find it surprising to see the NBA’s all time leading scorer win his fourth ASG MVP. James will take the court with Luka Doncic, Kevin Durant, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and reigning Finals MVP Nikola Jokić. Jokić is the current MVP frontrunner averaging 26.1 points, 12 rebounds, and 8.9 assists per game for a Nuggets team that has the best starting five in the Association but somehow only managed to secure Jokić as an All-Star for the sixth time in his career. This West team has numerous shooters on its roster, Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Anthony Edwards to name a few, but it will be interesting to see how seriously this West team takes this ASG as Anthony Edwards alluded to only using his left hand the entire game on Saturday. Whether this is fact or fiction the ASG has never been a serious event and hopefully Ant will make his second ASG worth while and show the world his basketball abilities. This game is always fun to watch regardless of the effort level and I would not be surprised to see the total points go over in a game that supplies little to no defense.