Sunday's All-Star Game will be the main event of the weekend. As per usual, the Rising Stars Challenge kicks off on Friday night while the skills competitions run through Saturday starting at 5pm EST. Here's a look at the rosters for the All-Star game itself.
Starters: Kawhi Leonard (Spurs), Kevin Durant (Warriors), Steph Curry (Warriors), Anthony Davis (Pelicans), James Harden (Rockets)
Coach: Steve Kerr (Warriors)
Backing up the star-studded starters of the Western Conference are DeMarcus Cousins, Marc Gasol, Draymond Green, Gordon Hayward, DeAndre Jordan, Klay Thompson and Russell Westbrook. Yup, that's four Warriors on the team. Also, did you really need to have four centers?
The strongest argument for any reserve being a starter belongs to Russell Westbrook, who is averaging an unreal 30-10-10 this year. He wins the "more with less" argument hands down. By comparison, Steph Curry is putting up a line of 25-6-4, but he's the reigning MVP, the second most popular player amongst fans and…ya know…Steph Curry. Then again, Westbrook loves the All-Star Game. He's won the ASG MVP twice. It's a fair toss-up to be honest, but Westbrook should be starting.
Biggest Snub: Damian Lillard
There's a reasonable debate here for a lot of players. Chris Paul is hurt, but is inarguably one of the best guards in the NBA. Rudy Gobbert also earned some due praise, while Mike Conley probably should've been in the running as well.
But snubbing Lillard for the second year in a row feels blasphemous. However it's the reality of how densely packed the Western Conference is. I mean, look at that starting lineup. As fans we are spoiled by how talented this league is, and it means that some exceptional players don't get to be All-Stars.
Starters: DeMar DeRozan (Raptors), Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers), LeBron James (Cavaliers), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Bucks), Jimmy Butlers (Bulls)
Coach: Brad Stevens (Celtics)
The Eastern Conference roster will be rounded out by a slew of familiar and well-deserving names. Paul George, Kevin Love, Kyle Lowry, Paul Milsap, Isaiah Thomas and John Wall are all here, while Kemba Walker makes his All-Star debut. You can make arguments that Thomas deserved to be the starter, but at least he made the team.
The only real question mark is probably Paul Milsap, who is having a steady year as always but was definitely outplayed (and outmarketed) by the biggest snub in the east.
Biggest Snub: Joel Embiid
It's sort of hilarious that a player that a player who adopted the nickname "Trust The Process" couldn't rely on the voting process to become an All-Star. Technically in his rookie year, Embiid has played like an absolute veteran superstar. He leads the Sixers with 20.2 points per game, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks and has turned the once beleaguered franchise in to something relevant.