The NBA All-Star game was held this weekend. They chose to condense what is usually a weekend affair into a single evening. That decision was deemed as safer. You know what would have actually been safer? Not holding the event at all.
I get it, money rules all and this was another way to get a few bucks. It just felt unnecessary? I don’t know any fan that was clamoring for an All-Star game. The league narrowly avoided their nightmare COVID scenario. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid came into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID. What if they are positive?
Luckily this was caught before they left for Atlanta. What if it hadn’t been? Then you’ve got the 24 best players in the league all in quarantine. I can’t shake the feeling that we were fairly close to that possibility. Thank goodness, none of that happened.
Maybe this would have all been moot if the events lived up to the risk. The 3-Point Contest was great, I will admit. I love watching these guys shoot. The Dunk Contest was a snooze. The All-Star game itself was anticlimactic. The game last year, with the introduction of the Elam ending, was incredible so perhaps my expectations were too high. Next time there’s a global pandemic, give these guys the full week off. Here are the things I found interesting from the night.
- Steph Curry won the 3-Point Contest on the last shot on the last rack.
- Curry stayed pretty warm and came out firing in the actual game.
- Zion had some nerves. He missed three straight dunk attempts.
- Chris Paul chased down James Harden from behind and stole the ball. In the second quarter! Of an All-Star game! If you needed any more evidence that they didn’t get along, there you have it.
- Giannis plays hard no matter what. That guy would go hard getting groceries. Giannis shot 16/16 (though I swear I saw one of his shots get blocked) on his way to 35 PTS and All-Star MVP honors.
- Lillard, Curry, and Chris Paul slammed down back-to-back-to-back alley-oops. No, they didn’t throw them, they *caught* them.
- Josh Smith 100% still thinks he could play in the league. That’s my takeaway from the Dunk Contest judges introductions.
- The Dunk Contest was not that exciting. Amazing athletic ability, but not at the level of the past couple of years.
- Team Durant went super small in the fourth, playing Tatum at the center spot. It didn’t work.
- Dame sunk the game-winning shot from a step inside the halfcourt line about as casually as I shoot a foul shot.
- LeBron James did not play in the second half. He needs the rest with his heavy workload aiming for the regular season MVP. It did not impede his team. Team LeBron is 4-0 since switching to the team captain format.
- Team Lebron won 170-150.