There are few people on planet earth who would be able to form a coherent argument to say that the NBA isn’t the greatest basketball league in the world. It has pretty much always been this way, and you imagine it always will be. Since its inception in 1946, just after World War 2 had concluded, it has been the league that has attracted the best players and coaches, to turn out for one of its 30 franchises. This blog will tell you What can we expect from the 2022 NBA All Star game.
In the 75 years since it was founded, we have seen a number of great teams have periods of domination. In the 1950s, it was the Los Angeles Lakers who were the top dogs, winning 4 championships during this period. Following them was the Boston Celtics, who won an amazing 9 titles during the 1960s. Other great sides have been the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s, who had one of the greatest players of all time in Michael Jordan starring for them. Then, more recently, the San Antonio Spurs, the Miami Heat and the Golden State Warriors have all had their time at the top of the table. Right now it is harder to say who the greatest side are, so fans have to study their NBA picks carefully when trying to guess the outcome of any NBA game.
We have also been treated to some truly phenomenal players over the years. As previously mentioned, Jordan was certainly one, then alongside him you’d certainly put Shaquille O’Neal, Koby Bryant, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, to name just a few.
Ever since 1951, the NBA all star game has hosted an exhibition match each year, where the lineups consist of the best current players participating in the NBA. The participants are chosen through a combination of fan, media and player voting, with the head coaches choosing the reserves. Each team has 12 players, picked from each of the two NBA conferences, the Eastern and Western.
How did the NBA All-Star game pan out last year? And who do we think will make it to the squads in February next year? Let’s have a closer look, to see if we can work it all out.
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The 2021 game was packed with high scoring and sensational players
Sometimes the idea of an ‘All-Star’ team sounds like it would work in the mind of a small child better than it will in reality. Trying to cram all the best players into one team, even if they are all in their correct positions, seems more suited to a computer game. While these games might not be as competitive as the NBA finals themselves, they are a purely exhibition game, so are meant to be enjoyed as a bit of fun instead of being taken too seriously.
In the 2021 All-Star Game, held at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, LeBron James was the captain of one team, while Kevin Durant captained the other. Durant drafted in the likes of Bradley Beal, Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard to join his team, whilst LeBron picked Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jovic to line up alongside him.
In what was an enthralling end to end game, it was LeBron’s side who emerged victorious, claiming a 170-150 scoreline. For LeBron’s side, Antetokounmpo showed why he was crowned as the NBA MVP in both 2019 and 2020 (one of only three players to ever win the award two years running) as he scored an impressive 35 points, more than any other player. Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns also performed well, with 8 rebounds and 16 assists. For team Durant, Bradley Beal was the highest points scorer (26) while Kyrie Irving gained the most assists (12).
Who will be involved in the 2022 All-Star Game?
Given that the 2021/22 NBA season has only seen two games played, it is slightly difficult to predict exactly who will appear in the pool of players. Obviously, some stars are 99% sure to be there, such as LeBron and Durant, then we would be amazed if the likes of Curry, Antetokounmpo, Irving and Paul aren’t also selected.
The two sides who made it to the 2021 NBA finals, held after the conclusion of the All-Star Game, were the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns. Some of Paul’s Suns teammates such as Devon Booker, Deandre Ayton and Mikel Bridges will be pushing for selection next February, whilst some of Antetokounmpo’s Bucks co-stars like Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez and Jrue Holiday will hope they can carry on the strong form that saw them win the NBA Championship for the first time since 1971.
Thankfully, we have four months of top-level NBA action to enjoy before the All-Star game is scheduled to happen on the 20th of February, so there is plenty of time for the world’s best players to stake their claim for inclusion, by performing to the best of their ability in this new NBA campaign.