2019 NBA All-Star Game: Team Giannis vs Team LeBron Predictions, Odds and MVP Picks

How to Watch

What: 2019 NBA All-Star Game

Where: Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC

When: Sunday, February 17th at 8:00 PM EST

How (TV): TNT

Overview

The 2019 NBA All-Star Game will be the 68th edition of the inter-club event played on February 17, 2019. This is the second time that the format of the match will not be conference specific. The game will occur at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, home of the Charlotte Hornets. Charlotte was declared the host on May 24, 2017. This is the second time that Charlotte will host the All-Star Game; the first was in 1991, at the Charlotte Coliseum. The game was initially meant to be played in Charlotte in 2017, but was moved to New Orleans because of controversy surrounding the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act. The game will be televised by TNT.


Team LeBron (Away)

CoachTeamRecord
Michael MaloneDenver Nuggets39-18
PositionPlayerTeam | Country
ForwardKevin DurantGolden State Warriors | USA
ForwardLeBron JamesLos Angeles Lakers | USA
ForwardKawhi LeonardToronto Raptors | USA
GuardJames HardenHouston Rockets | USA
GuardKyrie IrivingBoston Celtics | USA
ForwardAnthony DavisNew Orleans Pelicans | USA
GuardKlay ThompsonGolden State Warriors | USA
GuardDamian LillardPortland Trail Blazers | USA
ForwardBen SimmonsPhiladelphia 76ers | Australia
ForwardLaMarcus AldridgeSan Antonio Spurs | USA
CenterKarl-Anthony TownsMinnesota Timberwolves | USA
GuardBradley BealWashington Wizards | USA
GuardDwyane WadeMiami Heat | USA

For lack of a better term, Team LeBron is absolutely stacked. Boasting the talents of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving, it is difficult to bet against his lineup. While the status of Anthony Davis is still up in the air due to injury, he still retains the services of Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, and Bradley Beal off the bench to continue the scoring.

Team LeBron is clearly built off of long distance shooting. While there are a ton of players on the team that can sky with the best of them, James made it a point to surround himself, and likely bench playmaker Ben Simmons, with as many willing shooters as possible.

Defence is generally not a staple of the NBA All-Star Game but with the new format there seems to be a new value in competitiveness by the fourth quarter. By that point, don’t be surprised to see the likes of Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis (if fit) really shine in their role.

Team Giannis

CoachTeamRecord
Mike BudenholzerMilwaukee Bucks43-14
PositionPlayerTeam | Country
CenterJoel EmbiidPhiladelphia 76ers | Cameroon
ForwardGiannis AntetokounmpoMilwaukee Bucks | Greece
ForwardPaul GeorgeOklahoma City Thunder | USA
GuardStephen CurryGolden State Warriors | USA
GuardKemba WalkerCharlotte Hornets | USA
GuardKhris MiddletonMilwaukee Bucks | USA
CenterNikola JokicDenver Nuggets | Serbia
GuardRussell WestbrookOklahoma City Thunder | USA
ForwardBlake GriffinDetroit Pistons | USA
GuardD’Angelo RussellBrooklyn Nets | USA
CenterNikola VucevicOrlando Magic | Montenegro
GuardKyle LowryToronto Raptors | USA
ForwardDirk NowitzkiDallas Mavericks | Germany

Giannis Antetokounmpo made himself a very talented roster, but you can’t help but think that he had first-timers influence picking players in this game. Choosing Middleton as a teammate, Westbrook for the banter – actually, please look into Russell Westbrook and Joel Embiid’s beef – and sporting three centres on the roster, The Greek Freak’s team doesn’t sport an incredible amount of balance.

Not a deadeye shooter himself, it is unsurprising to see that Antetokounmpo picked some high-flyers to put on a show and run Team LeBron out of the gym. George, Curry, and Kemba can get their shot off with the best of them and have shown the capacity to take it to the hole.

Antetokounmpo has given his coach Mike Budenholzer a lot to work with and it will be up to him to make the parts work. A bench lineup of Lowry-Westbrook-Middleton-Griffin-Jokic doesn’t seem promising, but we’d be foolish to think NBA All-Stars couldn’t work it out. The truth of the matter is that if Team Giannis can’t keep up shooting the ball, they may be out of it before the fourth quarter.

MVP Picks

Kevin Durant (GSW) (+600)

Regardless of the drama involved with Durant’s pending free agency, he will certainly be using the All-Star Game as a platform for his greatness. A two-time NBA Finals MVP, Durant has all the skills to win the MVP Award. He is unstoppable scoring the ball, runs the break with anyone, and is long and athletic enough to fill the stat sheet with intangible plays. If Durant gets hot, he may be adding another trophy to his collection.

Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL) (+600)

The only things working against Giannis in this match is his inability to shoot the ball and the fact that his own coach Mike Budenholzer will be managing the minutes. He surely doesn’t want to overload his young star, but otherwise Giannis will have free reign. Nobody can stop Giannis one on one and he has the passing ability to rack up the assists. If his teammates can convert on his dimes, he’ll be filling the stat sheet quickly.

Russell Westbrook (OKC) (+1200)

Don’t sleep on Russell Westbrook. The NBA All-Star Game may very well be the only place people praise a “chucker” the likes of Russ. He is already a two-time winner of the All-Star MVP Award and it came from his boundless energy running the floor and ability to get scorching hot from range. In the most positive way of saying it, Westbrook has the level of selfishness that guarantees he will have an opportunity to take home the All-Star MVP Award.

Best Long Plays

Stephen Curry (GSW) (+700)

Is there anyone that is more fun to watch just shoot the ball than Stephen Curry? Curry is within range of the basket as soon as he enters the gym and the format of an All-Star Game gives him all the confidence to fire away. Understated are his playmaking abilities, which will surely be put to use on the playmaker bereft Team Giannis as well.

Kemba Walker (CHA) (+750)

Never count out the home town player. Kemba Walker will be representing the home town Charlotte Hornets in this match and usually players take notice of that. Don’t forget that Kemba is a deadly scorer in his own right. Able to get through any defence and fire from anywhere within the halfcourt line, the home town kid has the ability and the story to land the MVP Trophy in his cabinet.

Paul George (OKC) (+850)

Paul George is having an incredible season and he is certain to let the world know it on All-Star Sunday. George can shoot the lights out and he has the athletic acumen to thrill the crowd with show stopping dunks. With his teammate Russell Westbrook on the team, he is sure to receive plenty of assistance and encouragement in his endeavour toward the All-Star MVP Trophy.

Odds to Win All-Star MVP

Player (odds)
Giannis Antetokounmpo (+600)Kevin Durant (+600)
LeBron James (+600)Stephen Curry (+700)
Kemba Walker (+750)Joel Embiid (+850)
Paul George (+850)Kyrie Irving (+900)
Anthony Davis (+1000)James Harden (+1000)
Russell Westbrook (+1200)Kawhi Leonard (+1400)
Dwyane Wade (+2000)Ben Simmons (+3300)
Blake Griffin (+3300)Bradley Beal (+4000)
Damian Lillard (+4000)Karl-Anthony Towns (+4000)
Klay Thompson (+4000)Dirk Nowitzki (+5000)
LaMarcus Aldridge (+5000)Kyle Lowry (+6600)
Nikola Jokic (+6600)Khris Middleton (+8000)
D’Angelo Russell (+10000)Nikola Vucevic (+10000)

Team Giannis versus Team LeBron Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have Team LeBron favoured over Team Giannis by 6, with an over/under of 120. The total for the game is set at 316 after last seasons NBA All-Star Game was sub-500 with a 148-145 Team LeBron victory over Team Steph.