The NBA announced the Reserves for the 2020 All-Star game in Chicago on Thursday night. West Captain LeBron James and East Captain Giannis Antetokounmpo will get to pick the remainder of their teams in a ‘backyard / pickup game’ type of draft. They may pick anyone from the Reserves pool, as the conference do not matter for these selections. Let’s see who made the cut after players, coaches and media had their input:
West Starters: LeBron James (LAL*), James Harden (HOU), Luka Doncic (DAL), Kawhi Leonard (LAC), Anthony Davis (LAL)
West Reserves: Damian Lillard (POR), Russell Westbrook (HOU), Chris Paul (OKC), Nikola Jokic (DEN)
First Timers: Brandon Ingram (NOP), Rudy Gobert (UTA), Donovan Mitchell (UTA)
East Starters: Giannis Antetokounmpo (MKE*), Kemba Walker (BOS), Trae Young (ATL), Pascal Siakam (TOR), Joel Embiid (PHI)
East Reserves: Ben Simmons (PHI), Kyle Lowry (TOR), Khris Middleton (MKE), Jimmy Butler (CHI)
First Timers: Jayson Tatum (BOS), Bam Adebayo (MIA), Domantas Sabonis (IND)
*Captain of Team
Team Captains Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James will select from the #NBAAllStar player pool in the NBA All-Star 2020 Draft Show.
— 2020 NBA All-Star (@NBAAllStar) January 31, 2020
It’s refreshing to see quite a few younger players in the All-Star pool this year. With all the injuries of players who would normally have a selection (Curry, Durant, Thompson, George, Oladipo and Irving to name a few), it opened spots for promising young players like Bam Adebayo, Donovan Mitchell, and Domantas Sabonis, who’ve all had fantastic starts to the 2020 season. With every All-Star voting brings the backlash of deserved players that potentially could’ve made the case just as much. The “snubbed” players for 2020 include Paul George, Bradley Beal, Devon Booker, Karl Anthony Towns, DeMar DeRozan, Ja Morant, Zach LaVine, Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon and Spencer Dinwiddie.
The NBA also ruled out a new format for the 2020 All-Star Game to bring a little bit more competitiveness to the event and to also honor Kobe Bryant (wore #24). In what has been a series of mixed reviews, the league has made numerous new rules, including involving quite a bit of charity donation:
– New Game Format –
Teams will compete to win each of the first three quarters. All quarters will start with a score of 0-0 and will be 12 minutes long.
The score resets after each quarter, but the cumulative total will count for the end of the game. In the fourth quarter, the game clock will be turned off and a Final Target Score will be set. The Final Target Score will be determined by taking the leading team’s total cumulative score through three quarters and adding 24 points (honoring Kobe).
Once the Final Target Score is set, the teams will play an untimed fourth quarter, and the first team to reach that score wins the All-Star Game. The team that is trailing will have a higher score to reach in the fourth quarter.
– In-Game Example –
• If Team LeBron scores 50 points and Team Giannis scores 45 in the first quarter, Team LeBron’s charity of choice (Chicago based) wins $100,000.
• In the second quarter, the score resets to 0-0. Team Giannis could outscore Team LeBron by the same score, 50-45, and they’d win $100,000 for their charity of choice (again, Chicago based).
• The same thing happens in the third quarter as the previous two.
• In the fourth quarter, the score from the first three quarters will be added up. In this specific example, let’s say Team LeBron is leading Team Giannis, 130-120. The game clock no longer exists and is replaced by a Final Target Score. In this example, we would take 130 points as the leading score and would add 24 points to make a total of 154 points. The 154 points would be the Final Target Score that both teams would need to get to. The first team to reach that score would be proclaimed winner of the All-Star Game.
The team that wins each of the first three quarters will be donating $100,000 to the Chicago charity of choice. The winning team of the game after the fourth quarter will be donating $200,000 for said organization.
The rule changes may be a bit confusing, but they should keep the game competitive while creating what should be a ‘photo-finish’ in a pickup game type environment. We do know one thing’s for sure…there’s going to be a TON of scoring.