NBA All-Star Weekend 2020: Last-Minute Preview, Predictions for All-Star Game

Jake RillSenior Analyst IIFebruary 16, 2020

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 15: LeBron James of Team LeBron reacts during Practice and Media Availability presented by AT&T as part of 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend on February 15, 2020 at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)
Juan Ocampo/Getty Images

The preceding events are over. The dunks have been thrown down, the celebrities and rising stars have had their turn. Now it's time for the NBA's top players to take the stage.

On Sunday night, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo will lead their respective teams into action in the NBA All-Star Game at United Center in Chicago. It's the second straight year that James and Antetokounmpo are serving as All-Star captains and the third straight season for James.

With the All-Star Game almost here, let's take a look at everything you need to know for this year's contest.

                      

2020 NBA All-Star Game

When: Sunday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. ET

Where: United Center in Chicago

TV: TNT

               

Rosters

Team LeBron

Starters

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers

Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

James Harden, Houston Rockets

Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers

        

Reserves

Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (injured, will not play)

Chris Paul, Oklahoma City Thunder

Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers

Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Russell Westbrook, Houston Rockets

         

Team Giannis

Starters

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors

Kemba Walker, Boston Celtics

Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks

        

Reserves

Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat

Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat

Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz

Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans

Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors

Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks

Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz

               

Preview, Predictions

The NBA All-Star Game is all about fun and light-heartedness as the league's biggest stars gather for a break from regular-season matchups to play in a game in which the result doesn't matter.

However, this year's event is also about honoring one of the sport's biggest legends, Kobe Bryant, who was one of nine people who died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26.

Ahead of Sunday's game, players have been remembering one of the NBA's all-time greats.

"For us to be able to honor Kobe Bryant and his legacy, it's a beautiful time," James said, according to NBA.com's Michael C. Wright. "Even in a loss, it's a beautiful time. We know that he's watching over us."

There are also tributes scheduled to remember Bryant during Sunday's game. Team Giannis players are all wearing No. 24, which was Bryant's number during the second half of his career, and Team LeBron players are wearing No. 2, which was the number worn by Bryant's daughter Gianna, who also died in the helicopter crash.

The NBA has tweaked the format of this year's game to honor Bryant. The first three quarters will each be separate and have an individual winner. Then, those scores will be added up for a final untimed quarter. In order to win, a team must reach the final target score, which will be 24 points more than the combined three-quarter score of the team that had the most points.

"The format is amazing," Antetokounmpo said, per Wright. "It makes you want to play hard and compete against one another."

Both teams are obviously stacked with talent, which is to be expected for an All-Star Game. However, the format of this game doesn't typically lend itself to favor strong defenders and rebounders. Instead, both teams are shooting three-pointers and executing stylish offensive plays in order to have the most fun.

Because of that, Team LeBron should have the edge. The lineup is stacked with talented scorers alongside James, with Anthony Davis, Luka Doncic, James Harden and Kawhi Leonard rounding out the starters.

It will be an exciting game, and there's sure to be a ton of points and memorable offensive moments. However, expect James to have a big game and lead his team to victory for the third straight year.

                 

Pick: Team LeBron

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