NBA All-Star Game 2019: LeBron vs. Giannis Rosters and Players to Watch

New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) reacts in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

Brandon Dill/Associated Press

The biggest superstars in the NBA converge on Charlotte, North Carolina Sunday for the 68th NBA All-Star Game. 

The All-Star Game is in the second year of its new format in which two players selected the teams through a player draft

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo were named captains and they made their respective picks during a draft Thursday. 

James’ team is headlined by Kevin Durant, James Harden and Anthony Davis, who has been the center of attention for the last few weeks in the NBA.

Antetokounmpo is joined by Stephen Curry, Joel Embiid and Kemba Walker, who is hoping to put on a show in front of his home fans at the Spectrum Center. 

                                      

Team LeBron 

Starters

LeBron James

Kevin Durant

Kyrie Irving

Kawhi Leonard

James Harden 

              

Reserves

Anthony Davis

Klay Thompson

Damian Lillard

Ben Simmons

LeMarcus Aldridge

Karl-Anthony Towns

Bradley Beal

Dwayne Wade

                  

Team Giannis

Starters

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Stephen Curry

Joel Embiid

Paul George

Kemba Walker

                

Reserves

Khris Middleton

Nikola Jokic

Russell Westbrook

Blake Griffin

D’Angelo Russell

Nikola Vucevic

Kyle Lowry

Dirk Nowitzki

                

Players to Watch

Anthony Davis

Even though the NBA trade deadline has passed, Davis’ future is still one of the top topics of conversation across the league. 

After the Los Angeles Lakers failed to trade for the New Orleans Pelicans star, Davis was put on a minutes restriction by the Pelicans. 

On Friday against Minnesota, the minutes restriction stopped Davis from playing in the fourth quarter on his home court. 

MEMPHIS, TN - FEBRUARY 9: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans shoots the ball against the Memphis Grizzlies on February 9, 2019 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or

Joe Murphy/Getty Images

At the All-Star Game, Davis has an opportunity to impose his will while playing alongside other superstars on Team LeBron. 

Davis is averaging 29 points, 13.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game, and he’ll be counted on to be a force on the interior in a game where the smallest bit of defense can make a difference. 

Then there’s the intriguing aspect of who Davis’ teammates are, as he’s going to play with James and Kyrie Irving at some point. 

When Davis is on the court alongside James, we’ll get a glimpse at what the Lakers could look like in the future if they find a way to acquire the sixth-year player out of Kentucky.

Because the Boston Celtics are expected to jump into the market for Davis’ services in the summer, it’s worth watching how the big man plays alongside Irving, who could form a partnership with the Kentucky product in the future. 

                           

Kemba Walker 

Based off what we’ve seen in recent games out of Walker, he’s in line to have a big night in front of his home fans. 

Walker, who averages 25.1 points per game, has reached the 30-point mark in four of the five games he’s played in during the month of February. 

In 28 home games, Walker averaged 24.6 points. 5.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game as the team’s marquee star. 

While most basketball fans are aware of Walker’s production, they don’t get to see him play every night because the Hornets aren’t one of the NBA’s high-profile franchises. 

Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

The All-Star Game presents a perfect opportunity for Walker to shine on a court where countless other superstars are trying to steal the show. 

There is a precedent for All-Star Game participants thriving in their home arena, as Davis won the Most Valuable Player award at Smoothie King Center two years ago. 

Since 2000, Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and Davis have earned MVP honors in their home arena at the All-Star Game. 

Walker has the potential to add his name to that group, especially if he enters Sunday with a wave of momentum from his recent scoring surge. 

                      

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.

NBA News

via Bleacher Report – NBA http://bit.ly/2gMI6gF

February 11, 2019 at 06:06AM

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