Community Shootaround: All-Star Game Defense

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.

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13 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: All-Star Game Defense

  1. I flipped the channel and caught up on homeland. Like the dunk contest, this was very underwhelming. The constant fastbreak offense isn’t that exciting when anyone with a brain and athleticism can look good when there’s no D.

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    • I agree on the dunk contest, the whole presentation was just underwhelming.

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  2. Basketball is one of the few sports where an All Star game should be watchable given the comparatively small chance of injury, yet the complete lack of defense makes it seem like a glorified practice. I’d rather watch the Harlem Globetrotters.

    I’m not sure what they can do to bring back excitement to it. 50k for winning is nothing to a guy making 20m a year, so it’s hard to push the money part of it.

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  3. bowserhound

    This is a trick question; Nobody enjoys watching any all star game. Complete waste of time and money.
    The best part of the dunk contest was seeing the judges being introduced. 4 participants? c’mon!

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  4. JamesW26

    The All-Star is an embarrassment, and a microcosm of what’s terrible about today’s NBA. The game can be fun and entertaining and feature good sportsmanship, and still exist in the realm of defensive, fundamental basketball played with competitive fire.

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  5. digimike

    Flip over to your sister site MLB traderumors.com every once in while.

    The MLB all star game no longer gives the winning league home field advantage in the World Series.

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  6. PeeWeeHerron618

    This whole Allstar weekend was horrible, the only good thing that happened was Cousins was traded to the Pelicans smh, they really need to figure out how they gone fix the NBA Allstar weekend it’s going in the wrong direction IMO

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  7. liamsfg

    It’s kind of like a mixer for the popular NBA players. It’s definitely more fun for them than it is for us. 3-point fun to watch and skills challenge. The dunk contest used to be fun until they let guys miss dunks, and everyone does some gimmick involving a car or another stupid prop. Bring it back to the classics.

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    • Props add a different, but sometimes unnecessary element to the dunk contest. Take them out (and make the contestants do only plain dunks) and then in a few years, all the dunks are going to be the same and the fans are going to complain that its boring. Also, they let guys miss dunks because the dunks are harder nowadays. A simple 360 dunk or tomahawk or windmill jam doesn’t get it done. Now you’re expected to basically combine multiple moves into one. If you take away multiple attempts for dunks, either you’re going to get just plain and easy dunks or you’re going to get the occasional stinker of a Dunk Contest because a guy or two couldn’t land it on their only attempt.

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      • liamsfg

        A great dunk has zero impact for me if it was missed 3 times before they land it.

        Everyone goes crazy when Blake Griffin does a simple dunk over a car…. absolute garbage. Go back to 2002 2003 and see a real dunk contest.

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