The 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend is nearly over. The Celebrity All-Star Game and Slam Dunk Contest are in the past—congratulations to Team Wilbon and Derrick Jones Jr.—and the All-Star Game itself is set to commence.
On Sunday evening, the best players in the world will face off in an event meant to celebrate both the 2019-20 season and the life of Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.
Darren Rovell @darrenrovell
JUST IN: Final design of Team LeBron & Team Giannis jerseys for @NBA All-Star Game. LeBron’s team all wearing #2 for Gianna Bryant, Giannis’ team wearing #24 for Kobe. Memorial patches for 9 who passed in helicopter crash, band in memory of former commissioner David Stern. https://t.co/5TncENo5CU
The two rosters comprise players hand-picked by LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Coverage is set to begin at 6 p.m. ET with an 8 p.m. tip-off.
2020 NBA All-Star Game
When: Sunday, February 16 at 8 p.m. ET
Where: United Center, Chicago
TV and Live Stream: TNT, TNTDrama.com.
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers
Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks
James Harden, Houston Rockets
Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers
Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (will not play)
Chris Paul, Oklahoma City Thunder
Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers
Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
Russell Westbrook, Houston Rockets
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors
Kemba Walker, Boston Celtics
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
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
This year's edition of the All-Star Game features a different format from years past. A full breakdown of the two rule changes can be found at NBA.com, but here's a quick rundown.
Teams will play to win each quarter for a Chicago-based charity. The community organization selected by the winner of each of the first three quarters will receive $100,000. The winner of the game will earn $200,000 for its chosen organizations.
If one team wins the first three quarters and the game, the losing team's organizations will also receive $100,000.
The fourth quarter won't be decided by traditional means, either. Instead of having a timed final period, teams will play for a target score. That will be determined by taking the leading team's score and adding 24 points—24 being the number worn by Bryant for 10 seasons of his NBA career.
So if the score after three quarters is 100-98, the first team to reach 124 points will win.
While both teams are undoubtedly talented, Team LeBron has the edge. This is the third year in which he has served as a captain for the draft format, and he seems to have figured out how to construct a winning roster. His team has won each of the past two games.
James' starting lineup is built to win a high-scoring game that likely won't feature much defensive basketball; last year's final score was 178-164. His starting five—James, Anthony Davis, Luka Doncic, James Harden and Kawhi Leonard—should be able to score fast and grab an early lead.
Chemistry could also be a big factor, as James and Lakers teammate Anthony Davis could take over the early portion of the game as its best duo.
With players like Jayson Tatum, Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul coming off the bench, Team LeBron should have enough scoring late to put the game away. In a more balanced, or more traditional, NBA game, Team Giannis might have the better roster. However, this is going to be a score-fest, and Team LeBron is better equipped to handle it.
Predictions: Team LeBron Wins, Anthony Davis wins MVP.