Antetokounmpo, with the All Star MVP award.Dale Zanine / Reuters
Antetokounmpo, Curry, Anfernee Simons and Sabonis were the winners of the intensive All Star that was played in Atlanta. Anteto was the MVP of the All-Star game won by his team, the one who captained and named LeBron James , 150-170, against Kevin Durant's team, who could not play due to injury. The 26-year-old Greek Milwaukee Bucks player is the first non-American to achieve the highest distinction in an All Star.
Anteto combined the fun of this type of game with a demonstration of his physical power, versatility and efficiency . He scored 35 points with the added merit that he did not miss any of the 16 field goals he made, including three triples. In the history of the All Star, no player who had taken more than ten shots from the field had managed to score them all. He planned some doubts about who was going to win the MVP award because Curry also shone, with 28 points, and especially Lillard, who added 32 points and a very long triple, as usual, that closed the scoring. LeBron James, who had already been against the celebration of the All Star this season due to the pandemic and a very compressed schedule, only played 13 minutes and scored 4 points
Embiid and Ben Simmons, in quarantine
The pandemic affected until the last All Star moment. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were excluded a few hours before the start because the hairdresser they went to in Philadelphia tested positive for coronavirus. The two traveled to Atlanta and remained in isolation in quarantine. The NBA preferred not to put the stars of the League at risk of contagion and decided to leave the event out. Embiid, who was a starter on Kevin Durant's team, was relieved by Zion Williamson. The power forward from New Orleans, who is 20 years and 666 days old, became the fourth youngest player in history to start an All Star, behind Kobe Bryant , with 20 years 52 days in 1998, LeBron James , with 20 years and 173 days in 2005, and Magic Johnson, with 20 years and 244 days in 1980.
Paul George, who had already spoken out against the celebration of the All Star, reaffirmed his position after learning what happened with Embiid and Simmons: “It's an unfortunate situation. Our health and safety should prevail. Personally I do not agree with the game, but this is how it is, "said the Clippers player.
Simons almost kisses the hoop Anfernee Simons, the 21-year-old, 1.90-meter shooting guard who plays in Portland, was about to kiss the rim with the huge jump finished with a powerful dunk. The show earned him to win the dunk contest that was held during the All Star break. The challenge, hidden by the game, was far from the spectacularity of other occasions. Only three players participated, all three young and with very little presence in their teams. Simons is averaging 17 minutes and 8.2 points in his third season with the Blazers. He beat Obi Toppin, the 23-year-old, 2.06-meter power forward who plays his first season with the Knicks in the final, after being chosen in eighth position in the last draft. Toppin made three good dunks, the first and the last passing under his legs. The first earned him the best score of the first round with 48 points, in which Cassius Stanley, the 21-year-old, 1.96-meter rookie guard who is barely playing this season for the Indiana Pacers, was eliminated. Five judges, all of them ex-players, did not score but each one directly announced the name of the best player. Three opted for Simons and two for Topin.
Curry beats Conley in the final
Stephen Curry won the 3-point contest for the second time in his career after his victory in 2015. The Warriors point guard, who turns 33 next Sunday years old, he was the best in the knockout round with 31 points and was again the best in the final with 28, driven by his hits with the two green balls that gave three points each. Curry beat Mike Conley, who added 27 points, and Jayson Tatum, with 17. Conley replaced Devin Booker, injured, in the final. In the first round they were eliminated Jaylen Brown, with 17 points, Donovan Mitchell and Zach LaVine, with 22 points each. Curry is averaging 29.7 points and 6.3 assists this season, with 41% accuracy in the triples.
The skills contest went to Domantas Sabonis . The Lithuanian center beat another center, Nikola Vucevic, in the final before leaving Luka Doncic out. The centers continue to demonstrate that they can be as skilled and accurate as the outside players as demonstrated by winning this contest Adebayo in 2020, Porzingis in 2017 and Towns in 2016.
The Nets sign Griffin
Brooklyn Nets have reached an agreement to sign Blake Griffin, the Detroit Pistons power forward who turns 32 next week. Injuries have significantly altered Griffin's game, which is no longer lavish in jumping and flying actions, and now shoots more 3s and gives more assists.
Griffin, who this season is averaging 12.3 points, 5, 2 rebounds and 31 minutes in the 20 games he has played, he will meet again in the Nets with DeAndre Jordan, with whom he already shared a team in the Clippers. The Nets reinforce their bench and their aspiration to win the title, with the star trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden.