NBA 2020 All-Star Game Preview

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 18: LeBron James #23 of Team Lebron wins the MVP trophy after Team Lebron defeats Team Stephen during the 2018 NBA All-Star Game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on February 18, 2018. (Photo by Philip Pacheco/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The 2020 NBA All-Star Game will commence in Chicago at 8 P.M. ET on Sunday. This All-Star Game has a great mix of veterans and newcomers. This includes 10 players making their All-Star game debut. This indicates that the younger players are starting to make a mark in the league.

This includes players like Pascal Siakam, Trae Young, and Luka Doncic, who are playing as NBA All-Star Starters in the 2020 All-Star Game. It is also a big story for coaches. NBA champion Nick Nurse and Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel will be representing Team Giannis and Team LeBron.

2020 NBA All-Star Game Preview in Chicago

Nick Nurse vs. Frank Vogel

This will officially be both the first time first-ever All-Star appearance as head coach. Although in Nurse’s case, he was an assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors in 2018.

Both coaches had very different careers to the 2020 All-Star Game. most of Vogel’s coaching career has been with the NBA. This is while Nurse spent time in Great Britain, Belgium, and the D-League (now the G-League) before getting his crack in the NBA. To learn more about Nurse road to the All-Star Game, read this previous article.

Vogel of the Los Angeles Lakers and Nurse of the Toronto Raptors also has the most representative of all NBA teams. The Lakers have Anthony Davis and LeBron James as starters. This is while the Raptors have Siakam starting, while six-time NBA All-Star Kyle Lowry will come from the bench. Fortunately, for the Raptors, they will be in Team Giannis, and for the Lakers, they will all be on Team LeBron.

NBA All-Star Format

Similarities and Changes

The NBA All-Star format is like the last few years with Team Giannis and Team LeBron. Giannis Antetokounmpo and James had the most votes for any player in their respective conference. This allowed both players to choose their starters and reserves. James had the first pick with the All-Star starters, while Antetoukounmpo had the first pick for the All-Star reserves.

However, there is also a difference in today’s NBA All-Star Game, which is the format of the basketball game itself. According to Jordan Greer of SportingNews, each NBA quarter will count much more than previous NBA All-Star Games. The first three quarters will start with a score of 0-0. Both teams will look to win each quarter.

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the game clock will be turned off. The final target score will then be determined by the team’s overall score in the first three quarters. This target score will be the leading team’s total score plus 24 points to honor the late Kobe Bryant. Also, according to Amir Vera of CNN, the NBA All-Star Game MVP has been renamed the Kobe Bryant MVP Award.

Furthermore, this is not the only change to the NBA All-Star Game format. The team winners of each quarter will also donate money to their charities.

Charities and Timeouts

As mentioned before each quarter will be different and will start with a score of 0-0 with the notable exception of the fourth quarter. The reason behind this is to raise money for charity for each quarter. According to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star, $100,000 US will be donated to the charity winners of the first, second, and third quarter winners. The winner of the fourth quarter will earn double that for their charity with $200,000 US.

Furthermore, Nurse talked about how this NBA All-Star Game’s timeouts will be utilized

“They’re going to give us two timeouts in every quarter, so I think the last few minutes of each quarter we’ll be calling a timeout, advancing (the ball), trying to win those quarters,” Nurse said Saturday morning. ”The prize money goes to charity? I think that’ll make it really interesting.”

Expect tighter defense from both teams as they fight to earn money for their charities. The games will have more competitive defense than what is seen in the last few years. This should make the winner of the NBA All-Star Game be unpredictable.

NBA All-Star Game Prediction

Many people will pick James of the Lakers and Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks to win the NBA All-Star Game MVP. However, the winner of this year’s NBA All-Star Game will be James Harden of the Houston Rockets. He has never won the NBA All-Star Game MVP and has the most points in the NBA averaging over 35 points per game.

Furthermore, although defense will be played this year, it will still be more about offense than defense in these types of games. This will allow Harden to shine in the All-Star Game as he is an offensive machine.

Lastly, do not expect Miami Heat to sweep the NBA All-Star weekend. Yesterday, Bam Adebayo won the NBA Skills Competition and Derrick Jones won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest representing the Miami Heat. This because both Jimmy Butler and Adebayo will be coming off the bench and may not get playing time in the game like the NBA All-Star Starters this year. They will both representing Team Giannis this year.

To get a full roster of both teams, click here. According to Greer of SportingNews, the game will be broadcasted on Sunday, Feb. 16 on TNT (US) and TSN (Canada) at 8 P.M. ET. The game will also be live-streamed on TNT.

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