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NBA All-Star draft revamps prestigious game

Russell Westbrook is a seven-time All-Star. He will look to win his third All-Star Game MVP.

LeBron James and Stephen Curry draft NBA All-Star teams, but Jones says put it on TV

Evan Jones
Antelope Staff

Finally, a change to the NBA All-Star Game. For this year’s game, played in Los Angeles on Feb. 18, the teams were drafted by the top two vote getters in each conference, the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. The captain for the East is Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James and the captain for the West is Golden State Warriors sharpshooter Stephen Curry.

The voting for the starters was broken down into three sections. Fifty percent of the votes come from the fans, 25 percent from the NBA players and 25 percent from the media. The starters came down to two guards and three frontcourt players from each conference. The reserves from each team are selected by the NBA head coaches.

The idea of the draft from the top two vote getters is an awesome idea. Rather than just having the players play on their conference team, split the teams up and see what happens. Mixing it up has the potential to make the game more competitive and entertaining. It also doesn’t hurt that the winners of the All-Star Game will get a $100,000 bonus, so it will be much more competitive.

As I said, this change is awesome, but I think the NBA can do more with this new development of selecting the teams.

The teams were selected on Jan. 23 and made public on Jan. 25. Why make it so secretive? This draft should be televised. Watching the draft would add to the fan experience, and the NBA is constantly striving to make the NBA more fan friendly. This would be an awesome spectacle to see who was drafted where, and it would be interesting to see how James and Curry react based on which players are taken and who is available.

Or, was this a way to maybe protect the players from getting their feelings hurt? If that’s the case, that is silly because these are grown men. Most of them are not going to care where they are drafted. They are just happy to be in this prestigious game.

The two squads that James and Curry have constructed are different for several reasons. I would project that James’s team will win because of the star power, but the outside shooting of Curry’s team could allow them to hang in there. Also, James’s team has changed a little with the injuries to front court starter DeMarcus Cousins of the New Orleans Pelicans, frontcourt reserve Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers and backcourt reserve John Wall of the Washington Wizards. Replacing those three on team LeBron are frontcourt reserve Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons, frontcourt reserve Paul George of the Oklahoma City Thunder and backcourt reserve Goran Dragic of the Miami Heat. It is uncertain who will start in the place of Cousins, but it’s a group of top-tier players so I’m sure they will think of someone.

James’s team will obviously look to attack the rim. With a player like Russell Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder, there will be a lot of high-flying action. The X-factor on that roster has to be New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis. The seven-foot “Unicorn,” as fans call him, has a dynamic ability to score inside and outside with ease. This is his first All-Star Game appearance, and I think that he will have a big game.

For Curry’s team, you can tell they are going shoot the lights out in this ball game, there are two x-factors for this team: Milwaukee Bucks “Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jimmy Butler of the Minnesota Timberwolves. First for Antetokounmpo, he does everything well. All-Star Games are constructed for players like him. Now for Butler, the athlete can get buckets. But in crunch time, he will clamp down on the defensive end and get stops.

Klay Thompson is one of the best shooters in the league once again this season. He will ne participating in the All-Star Game and the three-point shooting contest.

This game has all the makings to be a good one, but prior to the game we want to see more. Seeing how the teams were selected would be ideal for fans to understand why James and Curry selected the players they did. It was a good test run for the NBA to switch up the roster selection process, but as fans we want more.

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