NBA All-Star Weekend: Team Giannis vs. Team LeBron will battle it out once more

This Saturday will not be the first time Team Giannis and Team LeBron have met as captains of the NBA All-Star Game as the league’s most prominent athletes battled it out last year with LeBron taking the 178-164 victory.

Both captains took a more relaxed approach to the 2019 NBA All-Star Draft but not this year, this year they each had their draft books containing an ideal lineup. 

TNT’s Ernie Johnson could sense the competitive air and asked both captains for their gameplans,

Antetokounmpo said, tapping his hand on his book: “I’ve got it all right here”.

“I’ve got my list right here sitting on my lap,” James said, “so I’m ready to go.”

Knowing where their loyalties lay, both stars selected one of their own teammates to complete the squads before selecting the final additions for the 69th All-Star rosters. The All-Star game will take place this Sunday, Feb. 16 at Chicago’s United Center.

The teams are as follows:

First Round (Starters)

  • 1. Anthony Davis (Team LeBron)
  • 2. Joel Embiid (Team Giannis)
  • 3. Kawhi Leonard (Team LeBron)
  • 4. Pascal Siakam (Team Giannis)
  • 5. Luka Doncic (Team LeBron)
  • 6. Kemba Walker (Team Giannis)
  • 7. James Harden (Team LeBron)
  • 8. Trae Young (Team Giannis)

Second Round (Reserves)

  • 9. Khris Middleton (Team Giannis)
  • 10. Damian Lillard (Team LeBron)
  • 11. Bam Adebayo (Team Giannis)
  • 12. Ben Simmons (Team LeBron)
  • 13. Rudy Gobert (Team Giannis)
  • 14. Nikola Jokic (Team LeBron)
  • 15. Jimmy Butler (Team Giannis)
  • 16. Jayson Tatum (Team LeBron)
  • 17. Kyle Lowry (Team Giannis)
  • 18. Chris Paul (Team LeBron)
  • 19. Brandon Ingram (Team Giannis)
  • 20. Russell Westbrook (Team LeBron)
  • 21. Donovan Mitchell (Team Giannis)
  • 22. Domantas Sabonis (Team LeBron)

But we can’t forget that Laker’s legend Kobe Bryant will be on everyone’s mind this weekend with a new format to pay tribute. The clock will be turned off in the final quarter as teams battle it out for a set score, determined by adding 24 points to the leading team at the end of the third. For example, if Team LeBron hits 130 and Team Giannis hits 120, the first team to 154 will be victorious. 

The new format has been designed to keep the spirit of healthy competition alive in honour of the Mamba Mentality but it is unclear whether winning will be high on the agenda for either team.

Nevertheless, LeBron has snatched the victory the past two years and with his slightly superior draft talent this year, predictions dictate that not much will change in 2020. Antetokounmpo is at a deficit with regards to shooting and scoring but he does have a team full of workhorses such as Joel Embiid, Rudy Gobert and Bam Adebayo who will make life difficult for the LeBron offence.

But as James will likely dominate on the ball with enough assists and points for everyone, he may well be on his way to a fourth All-Star MVP title.

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