The 2018 NBA All-Star break is almost upon us! While the majority of players across the league will be taking this time off to relax, a select few will be in Los Angeles partaking in the weekend festivities.
Need to see who all is participating in the events? Need a schedule of when the events start? How about some fun predictions for the midseason spectacle? You are in the right place.
Here is the full 2018 All-Star event primer, filled with picks and predictions.
NBA All-Star Weekend Primer
NBA All-Star Celebrity Game
When: Friday, February 16th at 7 pm on ESPN
— 2018 NBA All-Star (@NBAAllStar) February 10, 2018
Prediction: Team Lakers wins the game by an undetermined margin (sorry to disappoint if you were looking for celebrity score predictions). The most electric moment of the game will occur when former NBA leaper Nate Robinson puts some unfortunate soul on a poster.
Team Clipper coach Katie Nolan will get tossed after vehemently arguing calls and trying to pump her squad up. Paul Pierce steps in as player-head coach and only calls iso’s for himself the rest of the game, which doesn’t end well. Cue the “You thought you was Kobe?” memes.
NBA impersonator Brandon Armstrong (the 2017 MVP) is named MVP of the game even in the loss. Everyone has a good time.
NBA All-Star Rising Stars Game
When: Friday, February 16th at 9 pm on TNT
— 2018 NBA All-Star (@NBAAllStar) February 9, 2018
Prediction: The real opener for the weekend, there’s going to be a lot of scoring in this one. Team World seems to have the more positionally balanced roster, so the prediction is they’ll take this one 147-134.
Joel Embiid will win MVP, as his 7’2″ size will be too much for anyone on Team USA. Look for the man dubbed “The Process” to thoroughly enjoy himself and provide real entertainment value. @NBA please mic him up.
There will be lobs, lobs, and more lobs. For Team USA, Donovan Mitchell should have a big night as these games favor guards who can pull up from anywhere.
As for more fun predictions, it’s plausible that Embiid starts tweeting from the bench at some point. If Ball is even on the sideline, other players (probably teammate Kyle Kuzma) will clown him with Big Baller Brand-related jokes.
Look for reigning Rising Stars MVP Jamal Murray and rookie athletic phenom Dennis Smith Jr. to go back and forth for several possessions, each trying to out-duel the other. It’s going to be a fun one.
NBA All-Star Skills Challenge
When: Saturday, February 17th at 8 pm on TNT
Favorite: Lou Williams
Prediction: The sheer contrast between the four guards and the four bigs is amazing to watch. As much fun as it would be to see everyone’s favorite troll Embiid win, the sneaky smart pick here is Murray.
Look for Lou Will to get knocked out in one of the early rounds. Honestly, Murray might be the only guard to advance in the competition. Watching Drummond try to hit the pull-up three-point could be the most entertaining part of All-Star Saturday night.
NBA All-Star Three-Point Shootout
When: Saturday, February 17th after the Skills Challenge ends (also TNT)
Favorite: Klay Thompson
Prediction: Big upset here, Ellington shows up and shows out on TNT, winning the Shootout. The veteran shooter has been scorching the nets for Miami this season, attempting a career-high 7.6 threes a night while making 39% of them.
Klay Thompson will be an early exit, conceivably only because he’s tired and wants to go home to see his dog, Rocco. George forgets about the contest because he’s just so happy to finally be in Los Angeles.
NBA All-Star Dunk Contest
When: Saturday, February 17th after the Shootout ends (still TNT)
Favorite: Dennis Smith Jr.
Prediction: Overall, this might be the strongest field of any competition (apologies to the random celebrities playing in the ESPN game). The rookies Smith Jr. and Mitchell both have already shown a palpable hatred for NBA rims.
Oladipo has always shown some flair in his aerial assaults, and Nance Jr. has a collection of poster dunks on his walls at home.
The final will pit the two rookies against each other, and you really can’t go wrong picking either of them. As the only event that goes chalk, Smith Jr. (aka Steve Francis reincarnated) wins a close one with his famed, record-tying 48″ vertical.
2018 NBA All-Star Game
When: Sunday, February 18th at 8 pm on TNT
— 2018 NBA All-Star (@NBAAllStar) February 12, 2018
Prediction: Well since the above picture only has Team LeBron staring four players, it looks like Steph and Co. will take the win (Kidding).
Look for non-stop highlights for 48 minutes, and we’ll see if any energy/effort is saved on the defensive end of the floor. With all the injuries to Team LeBron, they may be at a slight talent disadvantage.
Team Steph wins a close one 157-151. Giannis Antetokounmpo wins MVP for his alien arsenal of aerial acrobatics (say that five times fast).
Let’s see, fun predictions: Draymond Green picks up a playful technical from a referee in a joking mood. Russell Westbrook doesn’t complete an alley-oop (unbelievable) because he hits his head on the underside of the backboard (more believable).
George is serenaded with MVP chants every time the crowd has a chance because it’s Los Angeles. LeBron James brushes off free agency questions mid-game. Damian Lillard aka Dame Dolla is geared up with a mic and spits a freestyle verse mid-game. Horford sets the best screens the all-star game has ever seen.
A chain of poster dunks occurs: Antetokounmpo dunks on Kevin Durant (who may or may not tweet about it from a burner), then KD dunks on Embiid (who will definitely tweet about it from his real account), then Embiid dunks on LaMarcus Aldridge (who doesn’t tweet very often).
The game ends with Thompson taking a rainbow three-pointer at the buzzer, which misses badly. Cameras zoom in on Klay’s face; he’s completely unbothered.
Enjoy All-Star weekend everyone!
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