Now that the fun and games for the NBA All-Stars is over, we take a quick recap into tonight’s game. As you expected, points were aplenty, while both teams actually played some defense.
The first 35 minutes, we had to suffer through the atrocity that is Kevin Hart on the annual NBA All-Star game. He tried to hit the players with some clever one liners, but they all ended up with crickets. The NBA then gave us the worst National Anthem rendition to ever be played. Nearly all of the players, celebrities, and fans were trying not to burst out laughing from her performance.
For Team Curry, they started off hot, never trailing in the first half. As we expected from a team with Steph Curry and James Harden, threes were raining down on the Staples Center. Team Curry really struggled when Team LeBron were playing defense. The bench unit did not seem to get the memo that you had to at least look like you were trying to play defense, and not just wait to chuck up a three. For the captain, Curry was held scoreless until 3 minutes left in the first half, but hit a demoralizing step-back three to get his scoring started. Klay Thompson was the hottest shooter in the first half, and tied with LeBron James for most points in the first half at 15.
Team LeBron had a rather sluggish offensive start. LeBron clearly informed his players to try on the defensive end of the court, as they forced turnovers on three straight possessions, after 5 early points to Joel Embiid. The defensive effort did start to wane as the backups came in. Team LeBron got down by 15 before storming back to tie it up in the second quarter, before giving up another huge run to Team Steph. With LeBron James back on the court, and new found effort on the defensive trapping scheme, Team LeBron went on a run of their own to close out the first half, to bring the game to within two.
Team Curry is always ready to trade baskets, and that is how the second half played out. The bench of Team Steph really stepped up when they were called upon. Damian Lillard came out of the break with the hot hand. The steady play of DeMar DeRozan, Joel Embiid, and Damian Lillard was just not enough to pull off a win, as Harden and Curry struggled to make their shots. They will still end up donating $150,000 to their charity. The players for Team Steph will also receive a check of $25,000 for participating in the All-Star game.
Team LeBron started the second half with a bang. They continued their hot shooting, and took their first lead off the game with 1:55 left in the third quarter. The did end up blowing the lead and trailed heading into the fourth quarter 112-109. With stellar defense in the final 5 minutes of the fourth quarter, Team LeBron was able to pull off one of the greatest All-Star games in recent memory. With a victory tonight, Team LeBron will donate $350,000 to their respected charity. The players will also get a handsome check of $100,000 for winning the All-Star game.
Overall, the 2018 NBA All-Star game was a lot better than prior years. Both teams showed great defensive effort, teamwork, and put on a great show for the fans. The best part of the evening might have been watching the budding rivalry of Russell Westbrook and Joel Embiid continue to grow. In the fourth quarter, both players just wanted to go back and forth with each other. If tonight’s game is any indication for future All-Star games, we the fans are in good shape.
Team LeBron: 148
Team Steph: 145
2018 KIA NBA All-Star MVP: LeBron James