The NBA All-Star Game is intended to serve as a break from the grueling season but lately the already lax exhibition has become looser than ever. In each of the past three All-Star Games both teams topped the 150-point plateau with 2015/16’s games resulting in a staggering 196-173 West victory.
This year’s game has been no different. In the first quarter of Sunday’s contest, the Eastern Conference squad broke an All-Star Game record netting 53 points, yet at half-time they still trailed 92-97.
For many NBA fans, the run-and-gun style affair is a lighthearted distraction but for just as many, the lack of defense makes the game difficult to watch. A run through past game scores indicates that the annual contest wasn’t always so high scoring, a pattern that indicates that the stars who made up the rosters of yesteryear were more likely to aggressively check their opponents.
Unlike Major League Baseball, which awards home-field advantage in the World Series to the victor of the Midsummer Classic, the NBA gives relatively* little incentive for teams to compete for the win.
Our question to readers is what style of All-Star Game they would prefer to watch? Are high-scoring matchups of interest? Is the pursuit of a 200-point performance a thrilling alternative to a scrappy, defensive-minded game? And also, should the league consider raising the stakes of the All-Star Game and rewarding the winners more significantly?
*Per Forbes, players on the winning team take home $50,000 while those on the losing team are granted $25,000.