2020 NBA All-Star Game Preview

NBA All-Star Game
Team LeBron vs. Team Giannis
Sunday, February 16th - 8:00PM ET - United Center, Chicago, IL
Betting Line: TBD

NBA All-Star Weekend will begin at 7pm ET this Friday, February 14th with the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. Also taking place on Friday is the NBA Rising Stars challenge.

On Saturday, fans will be treated to the State Farm All-Star Saturday Night events. The Taco Bell Skills Challenge, MTN Dew 3-Point Contest, and the AT&T Slam Dunk will make up the NBA Saturday's action.

The festivities conclude on Sunday night with the 69th NBA All-Star Game. In this article, we'll be focusing on the All-Star Game. We'll begin with the teams. Captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo played GM in the televised draft.

Team LeBron (2)
Starters: LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Luka Doncic, James Harden
Reserves: Damian Lillard, Ben Simmons, Nikola Jokic, Jayson Tatum, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Domantas Sabonis

Team Giannis (24)
Starters: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Pascal Siakam, Kemba Walker, Trae Young
Reserves: Khris Middleton, Bam Adebayo, Rudy Gobert, Kyle Lowry, Brandon Ingram, Donovan Mitchell

If these teams seem one-sided, it's because they are. The Greek Freak seemed more focused on drafting international players than selecting the best players available. Nothing against Pascal Siakam, but selecting him over AD, Kawhi, Luka, and Harden is flat out wrong.

As a tribue to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who tragically passed away along with seven others last month, Team LeBron will wear No. 2 and Team Giannis will wear No. 24. Both teams will also wear patches with nine stars to represent the nine lives lost in the tragic accident.

There are some major changes to this year's game.

First, each quarter will essentially be its own mini-game. Teams will compete to win each quarter for a Chicago-based charity.

The most signifiicant change to the All-Star Game is how the game will be scored, particularly at the end of the game.

At the start of quarters one through three, the scoreboard will be reset to 0-0 and 12 minutes will be put on the clock. For the fourth quarter, the clock will be turned off and a Final Target Score will be set. This score will be a total of the leading team's cumulative score plus 24.

This means that if Team LeBron scored 100 points through the first three quarters and Team Giannis scored 80, either team will need to reach 124 points to win the game.

This seems like a confusing way to end the game. It also feels like some excitement will be lost with the clock being turned off, though that may be countered by teams actually trying until the end of the game.

I'm all for change, but this one's a head-scratcher. The intrigue alone will have me tuning in on Sunday night.

I'm not sure what a betting line for this game will look like, but no matter what it is, bet on Team LeBron to win it. I know a one-sided pick-up game when I see one.