The modified All-Star weekend took place in Atlanta, Georgia, with all the events taking place in one day, rather than a span of the whole weekend. The night kicked off with the skills challenge as Luka Doncic came in as the heavy favorite. Luka did not live up to the hype as Domantis Sabonis of the Indiana Pacers took home the trophy, beating Magic big man Vucevic in the finals. The night continued with perhaps the most exciting event of the night, the three-point contest. The contest came down to Steph Curry and Mike Conley, keep in mind that Conley was a last-second replacement for the injured Devin Booker. Conley started off the final round dropping a strong 27 points. Steph hit the final ball in the rack to beat Mike Conley and take him his second three-point contest victory.
The dunk contest took place during half-time of the All-Star game and featured youngsters from across the league. The high-flying Cassius Stanley started the contest off with the best dunk of the first round but was met with tough scoring as he received a 44 on his first dunk. Cassius was soon eliminated from the contest after suspect scoring and strong first-round performances from Obi Toppin and Anfernee Simons, who moved onto the final round. After last year’s fiasco, where Dywane Wade gave Aaron Gordon a nine, the judges were required to choose the better dunk of the two rather than scoring. In the finals, Obi Toppin jumped over his all-stat teammate Julius Randle and his father, but it took him two attempts to do so. Anfernee Simons’s final dunk consisted of him nearly kissing the rim on his way up for the dunk. In a close decision, the judges voted 3-2 in favor of Simons.
The second year of the new-look All-Star Game kicked off, and Curry remained hot from beyond the arc throughout the game. Team LeBron and Team Durant were neck and neck throughout the first quarter, but LeBron’s team stole the show after the first quarter. Curry and Damian Lillard started hitting shots from half-court, while Giannis did not miss a single shot all game. Curry finished with 28 points on 8 three-pointers, but his teammate Giannis took home the MVP trophy at the end of the night. Once LeBron retires he will definitely have a bright future as a general manager because his team won for the fourth straight year. This dwindled down all-star was not as entertaining as years past, but that was certainly due to the limited capacity and injured rosters. The NBA made the most out of the circumstances they were given.
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