Inform your NBA predictions ahead of the All-Star Game with Pinnacle’s weekly update, including analysis, team news, and the latest basketball odds.
When and where does the NBA All-Star Game take place?
The Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse – home of the Cleveland Cavaliers - will play host to the 2022 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, February 20.
Founded in 1951, this will be the 70th All-Star Game and it will be the fourth time that the basketball exhibition will have been played in the state of Ohio.
How does the NBA All-Star Game work?
There will be 24 of the league's top stars split across two squads, the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference, with those selected voted for by fans, players, and media pundits.
In recent years, the two players with the most votes in each conference have been asked to captain their teams and, in an attempt to make the game more competitive, both teams also play for a charity of their choice.
The game is the final event of the NBA All-Star weekend, with a number of other events taking place across three days of action. On the Friday, there is a Celebrity Game as well as a Rising Stars Challenge, and on the Saturday, there are Slam Dunk and Three-Point contests.
Eastern Conference All-Star players
The Eastern Conference captain has been named as Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, who will be making his 12th All-Star appearance. However, after a strong start to the season, the 33-year-old has been hampered by injuries in recent weeks and a sprained MCL could see him miss out on court time.
The East, though, have a number of big names to step up in Durant’s absence, highlighted by the fact that four of the top five point-scorers play in that conference. Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid tops the point-scoring charts, averaging 29.3 per game, while last season’s All-Star Most Valuable Player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, will also start for the Eastern Conference.
DeMar DeRozan has been one of the outstanding players of the season to date, helping the Chicago Bulls into second place in the Eastern Conference (at the time of writing) and will make his fifth NBA All-Star appearance.
The fifth starter for the East is Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young, who is in the top three in the Eastern Conference for points scored (averaging 27.7 per game) and assists (averaging 9.3 per game).
Western Conference All-Star players
Despite the Los Angeles Lakers’ frustrating season to date, LeBron James still topped the voting and will captain the Western Conference. This will be an 18th NBA All-Star appearance for James, who has been named All-Star MVP on three separate occasions.
Stephen Curry always looked like another guaranteed starter, finishing second in the voting, with the Golden State Warriors ace leading the way in the number of three-pointers made this season, averaging 4.8 per game.
At just 22, Ja Morant has averaged 26.4 points per game.
There will be a fourth NBA All-Star appearance for Nikola Jokic, with the Denver Nuggets center outstanding defensively for his team this term.
Meanwhile, the NBA’s fifth-highest point-scorer also gets a well-deserved start for the West, with Ja Morant playing in his first All-Star game after an impressive season to date for Memphis Grizzlies. At just 22, Ja Morant has averaged 26.4 points per game and will surely become a regular in future NBA All-Star games.
The Western Conference team is completed by another first-time All-Star player, with Andrew Wiggins of the Golden State Warriors selected to start by the voters.
NBA All-Star game predictions
The Western Conference have won the last seven NBA All-Star games, including an emphatic 170-150 result in Atlanta last year. However, with the majority of the crowd wanting the East to come out on top and with the attacking firepower at their disposal, that run could come to an end this year.
Antetokounmpo is one to consider in the top point-scorer betting. The Greek superstar is in good form and was the top point-scorer in last year’s All-Star game, despite finishing on the losing team.
The Miami Heat are currently top of the Eastern Conference and their coach, Erik Spoelstra, will be in charge of Team Durant on February 20. Meanwhile, Monty Williams will lead the Western Conference squad after guiding the Phoenix Suns to the top of the Western Conference.