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NBA

NBA All-Star Game 2019: Team LeBron vs. Team Giannis preview

#AllStar

The second installment since the NBA shifted away from a Western Conference vs. Eastern Conference format is ready to go.

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo have picked their respective squads, even orchestrating a draft day trade, and now its time for the main attraction to tip off.

After toppling Team Stephen last year, LeBron will be looking to make it back-to-back victories at the All-Star Game.

Team Antetokounmpo, however, won't be an easy pushover, with Giannis drafting plenty of length onto his side and is apparently bringing with him a defensive gameplan.

A host of players will be making their All-Star Game debut as Ben Simmons makes history by becoming the first Australian player to earn a spot in the marquee event.

Key Matchups

Steph Curry vs. Kyrie Irving

We've seen these two have some classic duels over the years and they'll square off once again here.

Kyrie thrives in these games as he puts his otherworldly handles on full display. Just ask Brandon Knight, who felt the full effect during the 2013 Rising Stars Game.

Steph will get to show off all of his skills and will look to get one more up over Kyrie.

Paul George vs. James Harden

Two of the frontrunners for the 2018-19 MVP. Let's just put the trophy in the middle of them and the winner gets it.

Both in the form of their lives, with Harden riding a 31-game streak of scoring 30-plus points and George just torching teams on both ends of the floor.

If Giannis is wanting his team to play defence, George locking down The Beard will give his team a huge boost towards a win.

Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. LeBron James

The Greek Freak vs. The King. The battle of the captains and a player who has dominanted the NBA for 16 seasons against a player who is proving unstoppable each and every night.

Antetokounmpo will want to make a point he belongs as the captain of the All-Star team for years to come, and taking down The King will help make that case.

James, on the other hand, has ruled this land for countless years and can lead his side to glory once again. If he's to claim another MVP, he'll move into a three-way tie at the top with Kobe Bryant and Bob Pettit with four.

MVP Prediction

Paul George has been on an absolute tear of late along with James Harden, who can't seem to stop scoring 30 or more points.

But it's Stephen Curry and his limitless range that will thrive when the ball game gets underway.

Curry has the dazzling moves to bring the crowd up and out of their seats and when he gets hot, good luck slowing him down.

Another to keep a close eye on is Russell Westbrook. After being a part of the first ever ASG player trade, he could have a point to prove against Team LeBron.

Where to Watch

Date: Sunday, Feb. 17

Location: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC

Rosters

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (15th appearance) received the most votes for this year's All-Star game voting - 4,620,809.

Having received the most votes in the league, James was named the captain and was given the first pick in the league's first-ever televised All-Star Draft.

Team LeBron
Pick Player Team Appearance
1. Kevin Durant Golden State Warriors 10th
3. Kyrie Irving Boston Celtics 6th
5. Kawhi Leonard Toronto Raptors 3rd
7. James Harden Houston Rockets 7th
10. Anthony Davis New Orleans Pelicans 6th
12. Klay Thompson Golden State Warriors 5th
14 Damian Lillard Portland Trail Blazers 4th
16. Russell Westbrook* Oklahoma City Thunder 8th
18. LaMarcus Aldridge San Antonio Spurs 7th
20. Karl-Anthony Towns Minnesota Timberwolves 2nd
22. Bradley Beal Washington Wizards 2nd
23. Dwyane Wade Miami Heat 13th

In the East, Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (3rd appearance) received the most votes (4,375,747), making him the captain of the other All-Star team.

Team Giannis
Pick Player Team Appearance
2. Stephen Curry Golden State Warriors 6th
4. Joel Embiid Philadelphia 76ers 2nd
6. Paul George Oklahoma City Thunder 6th
8. Kemba Walker Charlotte Hornets 3rd
9. Khris Middleton Milwaukee Bucks Debut
11. Nikola Jokic Denver Nuggets Debut
13. Ben Simmons* Philadelphia 76ers Debut
15. Blake Griffin Detroit Pistons 6th
17. D'Angelo Russell Brooklyn Nets Debut
19. Nikola Vucevic Orlando Magic Debut
21. Kyle Lowry Toronto Raptors 5th
23. Dirk Nowitzki Dallas Mavericks 14th

Last Time They Played

Date: Feb. 17, 2018

Score: Team LeBron 148, Team Stephen 145

Team LeBron: LeBron James - 29 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists on 12-of-17 shooting.

Team Stephen: DeMar DeRozan - 21 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals on 7-of-13 shooting.

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