NBA All-Star Game Recap

Written by: William Petersen

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Damian Lillard wins ASG MVP

The NBA’s best rendezvous in Indianapolis, Indiana for the 73rd All-Star Game to showcase the best basketball players in the world. Coming into the evening the Western Conference All-Stars were the favorite in Vegas and were quickly reminded of the talent that is in the East as they were routed by Damian Lillard, Jaylen Brown, and hometown kid Tyrese Haliburton all of whom put up over 30 points a piece. Damian Lillard won the Kobe Bryant MVP Award with 39 points on 14/26 shooting and 11/23 from three while Jaylen Brown added 36 points and Haliburton supplied 32 points in his own arena to boost the East to a 211-186 win. The NBA reverting back to the traditional ASG format resulted in the East blowing out a lackluster West squad in an attempt to try to reshine the fading glimmer of the NBA All-Star Game. Karl-Anthony Towns poured in a ridiculous 50 points after heaving up 35 shots and 13 threes in a performance that was honestly kind of annoying to watch. KAT had a similar performance earlier this season after dropping 62 points in a loss to the Charlotte Hornets in what his head coach and the West All-Star head coach Chris Finch said was “immature basketball”. KAT continued to heave up shot after shot in a game that holds little importance but still needs to be played in somewhat of a team sense. The ASG is mostly isolation basketball but when you are 4/13 from the three point line maybe it is time to start passing the ball but maybe it is good that KAT was trying giving that many other players were not.

Damian Lillard seemed to be giving his eighth ASG a run for its money as he quickly found his rhythm in a game that is known for its heat checks and lobs. Dame continued to hit heat check after heat check as he finished with eleven made three pointers and his first ASG MVP Award after going back-to-back in the three point contest just the night before. Besides Dame’s impressive showing and the other thirty point performances from Haliburton and Brown, the East did not have many big names put up huge numbers. Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 23 points on 11/16 shooting while also grabbing seven boards and an assist. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continued to show the NBA why the Oklahoma City Thunder are one of the best teams in the West and why SGA is a MVP candidate after putting up 31 points on 12/16 shooting and 7/10 from three. SGA was playing at his own pace like he normally does all night and showed his silky shooting stroke on multiple occasions. For a record 20th time, LeBron James would be making an ASG appearance and made some light plays to show the world he can still have fun in a joke of a game. LeBron finished with eight points in 14 minutes but did have a signature dunk that caused Indianapolis to erupt. Reigning Finals MVP Nikola Jokić finally showed some life in his sixth ASG and smashed his points total with 13 points on 6/8 shooting and 1/1 from 3. Joker’s total was set at 6.5 and I am sure plenty of degenerates lost money due to the “sloppy fat man” showing some effort in tonight’s contest.

Overall, All-Star Weekend for the NBA was a success mainly in part due to the three point contest between Stephen Curry and Sabrina Ionescu and Damian Lillard. By incorporating the WNBA into All-Star Weekend it shows that the league is actively making moves towards growing the women’s game as well as the game of basketball as a whole. The NBA has more international players in the league this season than ever and hopefully can grow the game in the women’s space internationally as well. I hope the NBA continues to include the WNBA in All-Star Weekend and hope one day we could maybe see some sort of co-ed style ASG to showcase the best basketball players in the world regardless of gender. The other major highlight of the weekend was Lillard’s impressive three point performance in the contest as well as the ASG. Lillard has reminded fans and the league that he is still one of the best scorers around and will continue to compete at a high level no matter what the occasion is. This is an important message to the rest of the league that seems to really emphasize the break aspect of the All-Star break rather than trying to put out an entertaining product for a fanbase that supports them through thick and thin.