James, who has captained the past three All-Star Game winners, chose reigning back-to-back MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo with the first overall pick. Durant selected his Brooklyn Nets teammate Kyrie Irving at No. 2 overall.
Both captains took differing approaches in building their teams from a group of predetermined All-Stars. While James went for wingspan and versatility, Durant picked up some of the best pure shooters in the league.
Here's how Team LeBron and Team Durant stack up ahead of Sunday's tipoff.
Team LeBron Roster
Team Durant Roster
2021 NBA All-Star Game
When: Sunday, March 7, 8 p.m. ET
Where: State Farm Arena, Atlanta
TV: TNT, TNTDrama.com
Moneyline: Team LeBron -168 (bet $168 to win $100)
Spread: Team LeBron -3.5 (-110)
Total: Over 307.5 (-110) / Under 307.5 (-110)
Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook.
It's hard not to be immediately enamored with Team Durant despite James' recent history in the All-Star Game.
Not only was the Nets star able to grab Brooklyn teammates Irving and James Harden, but he's also got the league's leading scorer in Bradley Beal (32.9 points per game), the favorite to win MVP in Joel Embiid and a defensive master in Kawhi Leonard—who just happened to be named MVP at the All-Star Game in 2020.
Scoring is hardly a problem in the All-Star Game, but it might never be easier than Team Durant makes it look Sunday.
To counter that, Team LeBron is going to need to utilize its length along the perimeter with the likes of Antetokounmpo, Ben Simmons, Domantas Sabonis and Paul George.
James' squad should have no trouble getting easy looks in the paint thanks to Rudy Gobert, Nikola Jokic and, of course, James, but that will only increase the pressure on Stephen Curry, Jaylen Brown and Damian Lillard to be spot-on with their outside shooting—especially if they are going to keep pace with the barrage of threes likely to come from Team Durant.
Even with Durant unable to play because of a hamstring injury, there's too much offensive firepower on his roster to consider picking against it. That oddsmakers are giving Team Durant points only makes this an easier decision.
Team Durant wins 162-157.
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