If you are a fan of basketball teams that play defense, the NBA All-Star Game isn’t your cup of tea. Last night was no exception, as the East and West combined to score 374 points, the most in All-Star Game history.
The western conference prevailed by a score of 192-182, and as you can imagine there was zero attempt to stop anybody. The teams combined for 75 dunks in the game, 18 more than in last year’s game. But the best moment was a dunk that didn’t happen. 5’6″ point guard Isiah Thomas tried, and failed, to elevate above the rim.
You have to give the little guy an A for effort there.
The All-Star MVP was Anthony Davis with a record 52 points, beating the old scoring record by 10. That record, set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1962, was accompanied by 10 rebounds as well. Davis joined the ranks of Shaquille O’Neal, Karl Malone, John Stockton, and Kobe Bryant as the only players in the past 25 years to win the All-Star Game MVP award on their home court.
Davis wasn’t the only player to go scoreboard crazy. Russell Westbrook finished with his own contribution of 41 points, giving him 113 points in the past three All-Star Games which is a record that was previously held by Kevin Durant (104 points over three games). Davis had four more dunks than any team has had in a game this season. The most combined dunks in a regular-season game this year is 19.
Of the astonishing 162 made field goals in this year’s game, 155 of them were slam dunks, layups or 3-pointers. Wish I could do that.
But one of the game’s biggest side stories involved Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins, who played only two minutes, the fewest by an All-Star player in nearly 50 years. The reason being? He was being traded to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway, Tyreke Evans, and a future first and second-round pick. DeMarcus has been averaging 27.8 points, 10.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists this season. Stephen A. Smith was quick to label the deal as a “heist,” and that the “Sacramento Kings should be ashamed of themselves.” It is kind of strange, considering the Kings are having a decent season in the 9th spot of the western conference.
All-Star Saturday night saw a slight increase in TV ratings from the previous year, averaging 5,627,000 viewers which is more than a 1% increase from 2016. Overall, it was a successful weekend for the league. Don’t be surprised if the 2018 All-Star Game hits the elusive 200 pts mark.