NBA All-Star Game: 4 lessons from Team LeBron victory over Team Giannis

(Photo by Ivan Shum - Clicks Images/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ivan Shum - Clicks Images/Getty Images) /
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NBA All Star game
. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The NBA All-Star game almost looked like it was business as usual. Before the players got down to business.

The biggest issue in the past was the lack of defense and the overall sloppiness of play throughout the game. The narrative was players for both teams went for the highlights and eventually decide to win the game in the last five to ten minutes. The staff was worried based on what happened in the first frame.

First quarter:

Team LeBron smoked Team Giannis like a pack of Kools in the first quarter, winning 53-41. Watching the game, one had to wonder if Giannis Antetokounmpo was upset.

Last year, Giannis was visibly upset about losing the game. He tried but he couldn’t hold it in. But that’s why everyone loves the Greek Freak. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are. He plays hard.

Team LeBron’s 53 points tallied in the first quarter were the most scored by any team in a quarter in NBA All-Star game history. Kawhi Leonard was on his way for MVP with 12 points on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting from distance.  Anthony Davis followed closely with nine points.

Most thought the game was in trouble with this reverse dunk by LeBron with little resistance.

$100,000 to LeBron’s charity: Chicago Scholars


Team Giannis probably looked at the captain, read his face and just handed him the ball and got out of his way. Team Giannis returned the favor big time on Team LeBron 51-30. Here’s where things got interesting on the scoreboard. Team Giannis 21-point blowout in the second quarter gave them a 9-point lead at the half.

Giannis started taking the ball to the basket and dunking it every chance he could. Well, except for one. He missed a wide-open windmill dunk. The half was ended on a high note. Trae Young knocked down a halfcourt shot at the buzzer.

What was crazy about the play is you could hear Grant Hill say “He’s in range” just before he shot it. Pascal Siakam knew it was going the way he laid down on the floor as the ball passed through the net. Trae Young had a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists in 16 minutes.

$100,000 to Giannis’ charity: After School Matters 

Third Quarter:

It looked like Team LeBron was in a little bit of trouble because of the big lineup of Rudy Gobert and Joel Embiid making an impact, but the blue squad with number 2 on the uniform started to close the gap.

Luka Doncic knocked down some shots from distance to get things started. Then LeBron James started to exert himself a little with Anthony Davis. LeBron actually inserted Khris Middleton into the cooler never to be seen again here.

Both teams played evenly throughout ended the quarter knotted up at 41-41. Remember, Team Giannis is still up nine points going into the last quarter.

$100,000 charity: Push to the fourth quarter and the team that wins gets the money.

Fourth quarter:

The last quarter wasn’t an All-Star game. It had the feel of a playoff game. This is what the NBA had in mind getting their best players to play hard like the Jordans, Birds, Magics, Dr.Js and Isiah’s of the past.

At halftime, Chris Paul stated he was angry that his team was behind. To watch LeBron, AD, James Harden and Paul scream over controversial calls was refreshing. The competition was very high in this game.

Who would have thought that players were playing championship-level defense in an NBA All-Star game? Kyle Lowry drew two charge calls. Giannis blocking LeBron James twice. Amazing.

Speaking of the Greek Freak.