Will Team LeBron Defend Its 100% Record In The NBA All-Star Game?

This weekend is NBA All Star Weekend and the highlight of which will be the annual NBA All-Star Game, once again seeing Team LeBron taking on Team Durant.

It is the centrepiece event of the annual celebration of the NBA and along with an NBA Skills contest, a Three-Point Challenge, a celebrity game, a Rising Stars Challenge and the ever-popular Slam Dunk Contest, it is a chance for NBA stars to showcase their talents.

This year’s event takes place at the RocketMortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio, home of the Cavaliers.

This year’s event is much more in keeping with the congenial spirit of All Star Weekend, especially after last year when there was criticism from some that the event went ahead at all in Atlanta in March.

Currently, UniBet Sportsbook has Team LeBron as the -6 favourites to win the contest and you can back Team LeBron at -245 on the moneyline. Team Durant are +200 on the moneyline to land the victory with the Over/Under mark set at a lofty 321 points.

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How Will The Teams Line Up For The All-Star Game?

The two teams combine the best of both conferences against each other in what is an unusual game with its own scoring rules.

After the initial selection process the Eastern Conference and lined up as follows:

Eastern Conference – Starters

Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks) – G
DeMar DeRozan (Chicago Bulls) – G
Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers) – C
Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets) – F (injured)
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) – F

Eastern Conference – Reserves

LaMelo Ball (Charlotte Hornets) – G
Darius Garland (Cleveland Cavaliers) – G
James Harden (Philadelphia 76ers) – G (injured)
Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls) – G
Fred VanVleet (Toronto Raptors) – G
Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat) – F
Khris Middleton (Philadelphia 76ers) – F
Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics) – F
Jarrett Allen (Cleveland Cavaliers) – F

Jayson Tatum has been named as the starter to replace Durant in the starting team for the game.

LaMelo Ball and Jarrett Allen were drafted in to replace the injured Durant and Harding.

Miami Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra will take the coaching role for Team Durant during the game.

Let’s now take a look at the initial selections made for the Western Conference

Western Conference – Starters

Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) – G
Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies) – G
Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets) – C
LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers) – F
Andrew Wiggins (Golden State Warriors) – F

Western Conference – Reserves

Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns) – G
Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks) – G
Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz) – G
Dejounte Murray (San Antonio Spurs) – G
Chris Paul (Phoenix Suns) – G
Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors) – F (Injured)
Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz) – C
Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves) – C

Draymond Green is unable to play due to injury and Dejounte Murray was selected as his replacement.

Head Coach of the Phoenix Suns, Monty Williams, will be the head coach of Team LeBron for the game.

How The Final Teams Were Decided

Team Captains, LeBron James and Kevin Durant were then allowed to pick four starters each from the assembled players to make up their mixed-conference teams for the game.

The remaining players were assigned to a team by being drafted by 7 NBA Coaches from each Conference. Any replacements were selected by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.

Following the draft, the captains ended up with the following teams:

Team LeBron

LeBron James
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Nikola Jokic
DeMar DeRozan
Stephen Curry

Reserves

Luka Doncic
Darius Garland
Chris Paul
Jimmy Butler
Donovan Mitchell
Fred VanVleet
Jarrett Allen

Team Durant

Image courtesy of Keith Allison CC.BY.2.0

Andrew Wiggins
Jayson Tatum
Joel Embiid
Ja Morant
Trae Young

Reserves

Devin Booker
Karl-Anthony Towns
Zach LaVine
Dejounte Murray
Khris Middleton
LaMelo Ball
Rudy Gobert

The format for the game sees the team that scores the most points in each of the first three 12-minute quarters earn a cash prize to be donated to a designated charity. If the teams tie in a quarter then the pot rolls over.

The final quarter is not timed and will be decided once a team has managed to score 24 points in the fourth quarter under Elam Ending rules.

Since the format of the competition changed in 2018, Team LeBron has been unbeaten in the All-Star game winning four times, including a 170-150 victory over Team Durant last year.

It should be a hugely exciting weekend of Basketball and basketball skills and one that all fans should enjoy.

Author: Paula Dunn