All we need to know before All-Star Weekend 

Jerry Humphrey III, theSCORE Lead Reporter

The first half of the NBA season is coming to an end, which means the best weekend in basketball is right around the corner. NBA All-Star 2020 will be held on Feb. 14-16 at United Center in Chicago. 

This will be the third year in which captains will participate in a fantasy draft and select their teams, compared to the traditional East vs. West format. 

Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James and Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo will be the team captains for the second year in a row. 

 

THE ROSTER

East All-Star Starters: 

Antetokounmpo (captain), Joel Embiid, Pascal Siakam, Kemba Walker and Trae Young

Eastern Conference reserves

  • Jimmy Butler
  • Kyle Lowry
  • Ben Simmons
  • Khris Middleton
  • Jayson Tatum
  • Bam Adebayo
  • Domantas Sabonis

 

West All-Star Starters:  James (captain), Anthony Davis, Luka Doncic, James Harden and Kawhi Leonard

Western Conference reserves

  • Damian Lillard (injured)
  • Donovan Mitchell
  • Nikola Jokic
  • Rudy Gobert
  • Brandon Ingram
  • Russell Westbrook
  • Chris Paul

The Voting Process

Current players and media have joined the fans in the voting process. For the game’s starting lineups, fans account for 50 percent of the vote, while players and media account for 25 percent respectively. Once the votes are counted, the players are ranked at each conference by position (guard and front-court) within each of the three voting groups. 

This raises the ever-familiar question, should the All-Star starters be voted in by position (guard or frontcourt), or should the top ten players be voted in, regardless of positions? 

 Young and Walker were voted as starters as two of the top four guards for the Eastern Conference. 

Despite, the Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler playing shooting guard for his team for the duration of the season he was listed as a frontcourt player and was selected as a reserve should have started instead of having two players of the same position in the starting lineup.

The All-Star game is considered the best pick up basketball played all year and it’s ultimately meant to entertain the fans so allowing them to vote on who they want to see start in the game is great because the game is for their entertainment. 

 

Notable Snubs 

Bradley Beal (WSH)– Beal is averaging career highs of 28.6 points and 6.3 assists per game, although his shooting has dipped to a 31.8 percent from three-point range. 

Zach LaVine (CHI) – LaVine’s 25.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game, 38.0 percent three-point shooting are very strong stats in its sixth year, but it didn’t translate into wins for the Bulls. 

Jaylen Brown (BOS)– Brown signed a four-year, $107 million extension with the Celtics in October, and he’s backed it up by breaking out into a star. He averages 20.4 points, 6 rebounds and 2.4 assists. 

Devin Booker (PHX)– The Western Conference guard spots are always the toughest to get, Booker’s numbers are good — 27.1 points per game on 36.8 percent shooting from deep — but his numbers are always good, and that’s led to precisely zero playoff appearances throughout his career in Phoenix. (Updated: Booker was recently announced to replace Lillard in the All-Star Game and the three-point contest.)

 

RULE CHANGES/TRIBUTE TO KOBE

The basketball community is still mourning weeks following the death of Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, and seven others in a helicopter crash in California. The NBA announced it will change the format of the 2020 All-Star Game in Chicago, in part to honor the late Lakers legend.

At the start of the fourth quarter, the game clock will be turned off and a “Final Target Score” will be set. The target score will be determined by taking the leading team’s total score from the first three quarters and adding 24 points. The 24 represents the late Kobe Bryant’s longtime uniform number.

The team that gets to the target score first in the untimed final quarter will be declared as the game’s winner and earn an additional $200,000 for its designated community organization.