On Sunday, the 2018 NBA All-Star Game will take place. The event is always a source of excitement following the Super Bowl. However, this year, the NBA decided to switch things up a bit. Instead of the traditional Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference format, the top vote-getters from each conference will select their team using a school yard pick format. Once fans, players and media picked 10 starters and coaches fleshed out the reserves, there was a (sadly not televised) draft to populate both teams. A few weeks ago, the draft took place with captains Stephen Curry and LeBron James locking in their rosters for the world’s greatest pickup game.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has since helped with the selection process, as injuries to some of the scheduled participants have reshaped the player pools.
As we head towards Sunday’s game, let’s examine both squads’ starting units to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of both sides. This information will certainly come in handy if you’re interested in doing any NBA All Star betting or other wagering this weekend.
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics
DeMarcus Cousins, New Orleans Pelicans**
** denotes selected players who were injured and replaced
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
James Harden, Houston Rockets
DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
While the draft order was intended to remain secret, Durant let out the secret that he was the first selection overall. This was hardly a surprise as Durant the most talented player on the board. Plus, it’s almost certain that LeBron wanted to do everything in his power to prevent Durant from hooking up with his teammate, Curry. James saw enough of that duo during last season’s NBA Finals and you can be assured that he did not want to experience a repeat performance in the All-Star Game.
James, Durant, Davis, and Cousins provide a ton of height for team LeBron. While Embiid and Giannis provide some size, the combo of Curry, Harden, and DeRozan will have a tough time matching up with the size of team LeBron. The All-Star Game is not typically a defensive event, but if the game does become physical, that would certain tip the scales in favor of team LeBron. Ultimately, it looks like King James’ squad is the team to beat and they should be favored to win the game.