Today marks the beginning of the 2021-22 NBA All-Star Weekend. The biggest stars in all of basketball will be spending Friday to Sunday in Cleveland, Ohio, competing in the various All-Star activities that fans have grown accustomed to seeing.
The NBA’s top young players will compete Friday in the Clorox Rising Stars event, which will feature a new format. The Taco Bell Skills Challenge is scheduled for Saturday night, which includes fan-favorite events, such as the dunk competition and three-point contest.
However, the main event of the weekend — the NBA All-Star Game itself — will go down on Sunday and pit a team drafted by LeBron James against Kevin Durant’s own squad. The two NBA icons squared off in the All-Star Game last year, which resulted in a lopsided victory for Team LeBron.
There’s a lot to take in before the activities begin, so here’s a look at everything you need to know about the NBA All-Star Game.
2022 NBA All-Star Game Info and Betting Odds
- What is the 2022 NBA All-Star Game matchup? Team LeBron vs Team Durant
- Where is the 2022 NBA All-Star Game? Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse (Cleveland, Ohio)
- When is the 2022 NBA All-Star Game? Sunday, February 20, 2022
- What time is the 2022 NBA All-Star Game? 8 p.m. ET
- Where can I watch the 2022 NBA All-Star Game? TNT
Betting Odds (as of Sunday, February 20, 2022)
- Spread: Team LeBron -5.5 (-110), Team Durant +5.5 (-110)
- Total: OVER 324.5 (-110), UNDER 324.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: Team LeBron -225, Team Durant +180
2022 NBA All-Star Game odds are via BetMGM.
Who Is Playing in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game?
A combination of fan, media and player voting resulted in which players would be the starters for this year’s NBA All-Star Game. Once that was decided, coaches then voted for who the reserve players would be.
A live televised draft between LeBron James and Kevin Durant was held last week to determine who would be on their respective teams. Here are the results:
Note: Players in bold are the starters.
2022 NBA All-Star Game Rosters
- LeBron James
- Giannis Antetokounmpo
- Stephen Curry
- DeMar DeRozan
- Nikola Jokic
- Luca Doncic
- Darius Garland
- Chris Paul
- Jimmy Butler
- Donovan Mitchell
- Fred VanVleet
- James Harden* (Injured, replaced by Jarrett Allen)
- Kevin Durant* (Injured, replaced by LaMelo Ball)
- Joel Embiid
- Ja Morant
- Jayson Tatum
- Trae Young
- Andrew Wiggins
- Devin Booker
- Karl-Anthony Towns
- Zach LaVine
- Draymond Green* (Injured, replaced by DeJounte Murray)
- Khris Middleton
- Rudy Gobert
What is the NBA All-Star Game Format?
Up until recent years, the NBA All-Star Game was played like any other basketball contest: two teams play four quarters and whoever has the most points at the end wins.
Since 2020, the NBA has been using “Elam Ending” rules for the All-Star contest. What that means is that the score for the first three 12-minute quarters will start at 0-0. Once the third quarter is finished, the teams’ scores will be added up. When the fourth quarter begins, the game clock will be turned off and the two teams must now reach the “target” score.
The target score is determined by taking the combined score of whichever team has the lead and adding 24 points to it (in honor of the late, great Kobe Bryant, who wore No. 24 for a large part of his career). So, if Team LeBron is leading 120-111 after the first three quarters, the target score for the matchup would be 144 and whichever team gets to that total first, regardless of how long it takes, is declared the winner.
Team LeBron Brings Veteran Experience
When looking at Team LeBron, one thing that immediately jumps out is that most of the players are proven veterans. In fact, not counting James Harden because of his injury, the team led by ‘The King’ boasts a total of nine NBA MVP awards.
It’s hard to talk about the team without the captain himself, LeBron James. While the Los Angeles Lakers are struggling this year, James continues to dominate at the age of 37, averaging 29.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists.
He’ll be joined by the two most recent NBA MVPs in Nikola Jokic (26.0 PTS/13.8 REB/7.9 AST) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (29.4 PTS/11.3 REB/6.0 AST). Both players have been successful in their own way this season and remain in the NBA MVP conversation. Plus there’s also Stephen Curry, who’s a two-time MVP in his own right.
That isn’t even to mention DeMar DeRozan, who could potentially win his first NBA MVP award this season. DeRozan, who is making his first All-Star Game appearance since 2018, has been an absolute beast over his last seven games for the Chicago Bulls, averaging 38.6 PTS/5.7 REB/5.6 AST on .607/.400/.862 shooting splits.
Combine the above with players like Luka Doncic, Chris Paul and Jimmy Butler and it’s tough to imagine this group losing. Team LeBron has won each of the past four NBA All-Star Games for a reason and only time will tell if that trend continues.
Team Durant Looks to Pull Off Underdog Upset
While most fans will likely be siding with Team LeBron, Team Durant is challenged with the task of pulling off an upset.
It’ll be an uphill battle, especially with team captain Kevin Durant’s status up in the air. He’s still recovering from a sprained MCL and might not be available for Sunday.
With that being said, Team Durant does have the youth and talent to potentially pull off an upset. Joel Embiid (29.3 PTS/11.1 REB/4.5 AST) and Ja Morant (26.8 PTS/5.8 REB/6.9 AST) have taken their game to the next level this season. Trae Young (27.8 PTS/3.9 REB/9.3 AST) and Devin Booker (25.5 PTS/5.2 REB/4.5 AST) are two of the best young sharpshooters in the league.
Even though Team Durant is made up of a lot of younger players, veterans like Zach LaVine, Khris Middleton and perennial Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert bring some much-needed experience.
Even though Durant may not suit up, he’ll still be looking to get revenge for his team after losing to Team LeBron, 170-150, last year. All of the tools are there to pull off the upset. Durant just needs his team to prove that the future of the NBA is here and it’s time for the stars of yesterday to make room for the youth movement.