In an effort to make the All Star game more competitive the NBA instituted a draft and a scoring system to have a set score target in the fourth quarter to decide the winner. Those worked over the past few years but the game this year did not work for a few reasons we highlight below.
This is uncontrollable for the most part but fans expected to see Giannis and maybe even bet on him to win MVP. After getting the ball and scoring with a left-hand move, Giannis sat out the rest of the game due to his injured right hand. It probably would have been better for him to not play at all. Lebron also injured his hand and didn’t play in the second half. Taking the two biggest stars and two players who would make the game more competitive out hurt the overall game.
2. The Game Favors One Type of Player
The NBA All Star game is made for athletic players who can shoot from deep. We saw the back-to-back league MVP, Nikola Jokic, picked second-to last in the draft because his play type doesn’t translate to the All Star game. Players with finesse need defense to show their unique moves off. Jokic and Luka Doncic struggle in this type of game. Athletic players who can shoot like Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Dame Lillard thrive and they were clearly the stars of the show. This left Jokic and Doncic still playing big minutes but just kind of jogging around.
3. Big Leads
The main reason why this All Star game didn’t work though was because of the blowout factor. When setting the final target score the game has to be close befreohand for it to be competitive in the end. We had seen that before, but in this game it was basically decided already, therefore neither team went hard on offense or defense in the entirety of the contest.
Photo Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Luka_Doncic_(51916936450).jpg