Feb 7, 2020
Feb 7, 2020

NBA All-Star Game predictions: What should you consider?

Understanding the NBA All-Star Game

Who’s playing in the NBA All-Star Game?

New format for 2020

All-Star Game MVP Award predictions

NBA All-Star Game predictions: What should you consider?

The NBA’s best players will square up once more in the 69th All-Star Game in Chicago, Illinois - the showpiece event of All-Star Weekend, as Team LeBron takes on Team Giannis in a star-studded affair on February 16. Is there value to be found in this ‘friendly exhibition’ match? Read on for in-depth analysis of the NBA All-Star Game odds.

Understanding the All-Star Game

What’s important for bettors to remember when betting on the All-Star Game is that the result will have no bearing on either conference as a whole, nor will it boost any player’s statistics.

The game is a showcase of the NBA’s best players who will be ‘competing’ to a certain extent for bragging rights over their colleagues. It was designed back in 1951 to draw attention to the league and has been a staple of the NBA ever since.

It won’t be a tightly managed game with intricate tactical plays and a hardcode spirit of winning, instead it’s more of a “let them all play” mentality which should lead to extravagant and eye-catching plays, passes and dunks to entertain those in attendance and the people watching at home – the result is secondary.

Before 2018, the All-Star Game was contested between the best players in the Eastern Conference against the best players from the Western Conference.

However, the format was switched in 2018 to having two captains from the East and West choosing players in their own All-Star Draft. Last season it was Team Giannis representing the East as part of the Milwaukee Bucks vs. Team LeBron representing the West as part of the Los Angeles Lakers, with Team LeBron coming out victorious in a high-scoring game.

It will be the same again this year, with Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James remaining as the two team captains.

Both captain’s starting teams have already been decided via a fan vote totalling (50%), NBA player vote (25%), and media vote (25%).

Who’s playing in the NBA All-Star Game?

Team LeBron Starters

Team LeBron Starters

Position  Player Team
C Anthony Davis Los Angeles Lakers
F LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers
F Kawhi Leonard Los Angeles Clippers
G James Harden Houston Rockets
G Luca Dončić Dallas Mavericks

Team LeBron Reserves

Team LeBron Reserves

Position  Player Team
G Damian Lillard Portland Trail Blazers
G Ben Simmons Philadelphia 76ers
C Nikola Jokic Denver Nuggets
W/C Jayson Tatum Boston Celtics
G Chris Paul Oklahoma City Thunder
G Russell Westbrook Houston Rockets
F/C Domantas Sabonis Indiana Pacers

Team Giannis Starters

Team Giannis Starters

Position  Player Team
C Joel Embiid Philadelphia 76ers
F Giannis Antetokounmpo Milwaukee Bucks
F Pascal Siakam Toronto Raptors
G Trae Young Atlanta Hawks
G Kemba Walker Boston Celtics

Team Giannis Reserves

Team Giannis Reserves

Position  Player Team
F/C Khris Middleton Milwaukee Bucks
F/C Bam Adebayo Miami Heat
C Rudy Gobert Utah Jazz
G Jimmy Butler Miami Heat
G Kyle Lowry Toronto Raptors
W/C Brandon Ingram New Orleans Pelicans
G Donavan Mitchell Utah Jazz

New Format for 2020

This year’s All-Star game will feature a new format in an attempt to boost competition and excitement in the game, as well as honouring the legacy of the late Kobe Bryant.

"Trying to predict the outcome of the All-Star Game is likened to predicting the unpredictable".

The first three quarters will all start 0-0 to see who can come out on top in each individual 12-minute quarter. The winner of each quarter will win $100,000 for their designated charity to add an extra competitive element to proceedings. The fourth quarter will see the game clock being turned off and a Final Target Score (FTS) being set.

The FTS will be determined by the leading team’s cumulative score in the first three quarters and adding 24 to it – to honour Kobe Bryant’s Lakers jersey number. For example, if the cumulative score after three quarters is 100-90 – the FTS will be set at 124 and the game will only end once that score is achieved by one of the teams.

All-Star Game predictions

Trying to predict the outcome of the All-Star Game is likened to predicting the unpredictable as the rosters change each year as well as the team captains, meaning looking back at past statistics can be very limiting it terms of predicting which team will win outright.

Both captains have selected their full rosters, with LeBron opting for a more experienced selection and Giannis choosing a chemistry based approach by selecting teammate partnerships.

This year’s All-Star game the first time since 2010 that nine players will make their All-Star Debut. Trae Young, Luka Doncic, Pascal Siakem, Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, Brandon Ingram, Bam Adebayo, Domantas Sabonis, and Jayson Tatum will all have zero experience on this stage.

Given this will be the debut of a new format, it makes trying to predict this game more difficult than ever before, as it’s unclear how the format will affect the nature of proceedings.

All-Star Game MVP Award predictions

Last year’s All-Star Game was won by Team LeBron 178-164, with Kevin Durant taking home the prestigious MVP award for his performance, scoring 31 points, rebounding seven and assisting two.

With Durant injured and unavailable, there are plenty of candidates who could take home the award.

Team captain Giannis Antetokounmpo outscored, outrebounded and assisted more than Durant last year with 38 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, but did play two minutes more and was on the losing side, highlighting the importance of trying to pick someone who will end up on the winning side.

As captain, Giannis will get extended game time, giving him the edge over the other players as he has a greater opportunity to procure more points, assists, rebounds etc.

The other team captain and three-time winner LeBron James will certainly be a leading candidate, as like his rival captain he will also have more if not the most game-time on the court. Due to the tragic passing of Kobe Bryant, who jointly holds the record of most NBA All-Star MVP awards with Bob Petit (four), it could act as motivation for James to go on to match this record.

Chicago native Anthony Davis is another strong contender for the award, averaging 26.6 points per game this season (more than his Lakers teammate LeBron James). Davis will be looking to impress his hometown crowd and take home the MVP award for the second time in his career.

Luka Dončić (20) could become the youngest MVP in All-Star history should he win this year, having had an incredible rise to prominence after his rookie season last year to make the starting All-Star lineup this season. However, the Slovenian will be coming into All-Star weekend carrying a small injury, and will also be competing in the USA vs. World match.

Last year’s Play-offs MVP Kawhi Leonard will want to win the award for the first time, as well as James Harden who also has never been All-Star MVP.

Russell Westbrook is still the only player to win back-to-back All-Star MVP awards in the last 19 years and is always in the running to pick up the award.

Get the best odds on the NBA and the All-Star Game with Pinnacle.

Odds subject to change

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