With All-Star weekend fast approaching, it means we’ll finally get to see the hotly anticipated matchup between LeBron James’ and Stephen Curry’s respective All-Star teams.
LeBron and Steph both drafted their teams a few weeks ago, picking their teammates from the pool of All-Stars voted into the All-Star game by fans, the media, and coaches alike.
James’ team has had a harder road to All-Star weekend compared to Curry’s with four players originally drafted by LeBron all going down to injury in the weeks leading up to the game, with Adam Silver having chosen four replacements for LeBron’s team, including Paul George, Andre Drummond, Goran Dragic and Kemba Walker.
Have you ever thought though that you may be a better All-Star coach than both Curry and LeBron?
Well, the folks over at ESPN — in particular, Neil Paine — have come up with a quick little game where you can step into the shoes of either LeBron or Steph and perform the draft yourself, creating your own All-Star roster, both starters and reserves, even choosing the type of style you want your team to play, and then simulating the game to see if your team comes out on top.
“It’s All-Star weekend, and you’ve been selected as one of the two best players in the world. The other guy is your on-court rival and critics say he’s the best player in the game. Now it’s time for you to pick your squad, playground style. Are you up for the challenge?”
The game also includes a ‘Players Rating Key’, rating each player on four attributes — Scoring, Rebounds, Assists and Defense — from highest (1) to lowest (3).
We decided to do a quick run through ourselves to see how the game played, and it’s a lot of fun.
First off, we picked LeBron as our team captain, who possessed 1’s in scoring and assists, a 2 in rebounding and a 3 in defense.
For our starters, considering we had the first pick, we couldn’t pass on the opportunity on going for Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has the best stats in the game, 1’s in all categories.
The CPU-controlled Curry selected James Harden with his first pick, leaving us with the option to choose either Kevin Durant (1’s in scoring and assists, 2’s in rebounds and defense) or Anthony Davis (1’s in everything except assists, which was a 2). We went the way of The Brow.
Curry selected his teammate KD, and now we needed a guard considering we had two forwards and a big man. With DeRozan and Irving the only guards on the board, we went with LeBron’s former teammate Kyrie, just like LBJ did in real life.
Steph selected DeMar, and that left us with two options: Either Joel Embiid or Paul George. Our team already consisted of a PG, two SF’s and a PF, so we went with George to slot in at the SG position.
Then it came to the reserves. We went the route of selecting the best talent available instead of drafting for positions, and that left us with a bench of Westbrook, Drummond, Butler, Towns, Thompson, Green and Lowry, with Curry selecting Lillard, Oladipo, Beal, Walker, Aldridge, Dragic, and Horford.
Then it came to selecting our playstyle, which would dictate the amount of minutes our bench and starters would each get: Would be go the way of letting the starters and bench play equal minutes to let everyone have a fair shot, or would we go for the kill, playing out starters an insane amount while barely giving our bench any run.
In the end, we selected the classic All-Star format, with our starters playing 26 minutes each, while the reserves play 15 or so.
Then it came to the game itself. Our team destroyed Curry’s, defeating his squad 180-156. James himself dropped 23 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds, backed up by the rest of the starters, who all scored 20+ apart from George, who had 19.
So there you have it. Think you can do better than us and blow out the other team by more than 24 points? Create your own team here and let us know!