2018 NBA All-Star weekend


*This article was written prior to the event*

The 68th annual NBA All-Star game will take place this Sunday Feb. 17 in Charlotte, North Carolina when Team Lebron will take on Team Giannis.

The starting line-up for Team Lebron consists of: Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard and James Harden. The starters for Team Giannis are: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Steph Curry, Joel Embiid, Paul George and Kemba Walker.

When I was watching the All-Star draft, it honestly shocked me that James was able to get this good of a team. The All-Star game is a game where little defense is played, so you need to get top scorers. The starting lineup for Team Lebron averages 141.4 points per game while Team Giannis averages 136.8.

The difference comes down to one man, James Harden, who is currently averaging 36.5 points per game this season and has 30 consecutive games of scoring at least 30 points. In 16 of those games, he went for over 40. You need a prolific scorer like Harden if you are to come away victorious in the All-Star game. Expect him to get the ball a lot and have a big game.

So what about the bench players? Once again Team Lebron dominates on this front with players such as Anthony Davis, Klay Thompson and Bradley Beal. The only person on the reserves for Team Giannis who I believe will have an impact is Russell Westbrook. With that being said, I personally believe that Team Lebron will not only win, they will dominate Team Giannis in this game and emerge victorious by at least 15 points.

Not only will All-Star weekend consist of the game on Sunday, on Saturday there will be the traditional dunk contest and 3 point shootout. I’m not a huge fan of the dunk contest and haven’t found the last two contests to be even remotely exciting. The last time it was entertaining was when Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon went head-to-head in 2016.

This years’ competition consists of: Dennis Smith Jr., Miles Bridges, Hamidou Diallo and John Collins. I feel like this is going to flop once again which is why I don’t even plan to watch this event live.

The 3 point shootout has always been my favorite event of the weekend. To me, there’s nothing more exciting than seeing a guy find his groove and make five, six, even seven or more shots in a row. The competition this year consists of: Devin Booker, Stephen Curry, Seth Curry, Danny Green, Joe Harris, Damian Lillard, Buddy Hield, Khris Middleton, Kemba Walker and Dirk Nowitzki.

Booker won the 2018 competition after scoring 28 points in the championship round. Expect this to be the best competition of All-Star weekend as eight of the ten participants have made over 120 3-point shots and four have averaged over 40% from outside the arc. As much as I would love to see this come down to a brother vs brother shootout with Stephen facing Seth in the championship round, my prediction is Hield will emerge victorious.

Overall, the 2019 All-Star weekend is something I am looking forward to. Hopefully, everyone can deliver a great performance for the fans.

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