2018 NBA All Star Grades

[Intro]

Ah yes, a spectacular ending to an amazing weekend.

Team Lebron edged out Team Stephen 148-145 to conclude All-Star weekend.

The game and overall feel was completely different from what we were accustomed to before, but well worth it.

The biggest stars of the NBA were in uniform for an exhibition match where Lebron James and Stephen Curry handpicked their teams.

Let’s see how those stars performed in tonight’s game.

 

[Team Lebron]

Lebron James

636545936325885168-Zgame33
Lebron James celebrating his third All Star MVP Award (Photo Courtesy of Richard Mackson USA Today Sports)

Lebron James captured his third All Star MVP award Sunday night while being the oldest player on the court.

James totaled 29 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists and few big plays in the final two minutes of the game. He drilled a step-back 3-pointer over first time All Star Joel Embiid to tie the game at 144-144 with 1:30 remaining.

After DeMar DeRozan knocked down his second free throw, James followed up his 3-pointer with a go-ahead layup off a Kyrie Irving feed, putting the final touches on another spectacular All Star performance.

Grade: A+

Russell Westbrook

636545924760439031-Zgame29
Russell Westbrook (0) flying in for the rebound (Richard Mackson USA Today Sports)

The reigning regular season MVP Russell Westbrook had himself an almost usual Westbrook game.

He ended the game with 11 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists, almost joining the small club of triple double performers for the All Star game.

Westbrook was his usual electrifying self playing to almost 100 percent during some stretches of the game. His play was vital for the win tonight but not enough to secure the hardware in his hometown of Los Angeles.

Grade: A

Kevin Durant

 

636545931678459377-Zgame31
Kevin Durant (35) celebrating with LeBron James (23) after securing a victory at the All Star game. (Richard Mackson USA Today Sports)

The first overall pick of the new formatted All Star game was his usual self, quiet but efficient.

Durant’s play during the final seconds of the game alongside LeBron James help secure the tight win for Team LeBron.

Durant finished with 19 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. He was also the only play alongside LeBron to play more than 30 minutes.

Grade: A

Kyrie Irving

636545922247418922-Zgame27
Kyrie Irving (11) jumping over defenders for the tough layup. (Richard Mackson USA Today Sports)

Say what you want about the flat earth theory believer and his reasoning for leaving LeBron and the Cavaliers, but this guy can put on a show.

Possibly the best showman in basketball was also close to a triple double stat line.

Irving finished the game off with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists one of which was the game clinching dime to none other than his former teammate Lebron.

Grade: A

Anthony Davis

636545846863211693-Zgame4
Anthony Davis scores on the easy layup during the first half. (Richard Mackson USA Today Sports)

Last year’s All Star MVP had himself a ehhh kind of game, far behind his MVP performance last year.

It’s clear that the famed exhibition match is more of a guard and forward kind of game but the rare flashes of big men dominance gives us that nostalgia of old school basketball.

Davis finished with only 12 points and managed to grab only 2 rebounds. Don’t get it twisted, he’s still one of the leagues premier big men.

Grade: C

Bradley Beal

Bradley+Beal+NBA+Star+Game+2018+CfJZLYM_PZ9l
Bradley Beal darting a pass down court. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America)

Not much here on Bradley Beal. He was his usual self scoring 14 points while knocking down four of his eight three-point shots.

It wasn’t a memorable performance but a solid one.

Grade: B

Goran Dragic

download (1)
Goran Dragic in his first All Star game. (Manny Navarro Miami Herald)

This All Star selection was LOOOONNNNNNG overdue. Goran Dragic has been solid for the better half of his career.

He’s leading a Miami Heat that is poised to make some noise in the playoffs. However, the Dragon didn’t leave much of a mark, only totaling 2 points and 4 rebounds. Hopefully this will not be the last of the Dragon in the All Star game.

Grade: D+

Paul George

636545859685713888-Zgame10
Paul George (13) rising over Klay Thompson (11) for the jumper. (Bob Donnan USA Today Sports)

The California kid felt comfortable in the Staples Center Sunday night, giving the Lakers a glimpse of what they could acquire in Paul George come this offseason.

George ended the night with 16 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists, showcasing his two-way efficiency for the star hungry Lakers fans.

Maybe with the love they showed George over the weekend, it may sway his decision come free agency time.

Grade: B+

 

Lamarcus Aldridge

460x1240
Lamarcus Aldridge looks on as Karl Anthony Towns goes in for the bucket. (Scott Strazzante The Chronicle)

One block in four minutes of action.

Remind me again on how he even got selected for the All Star game.

Grade: F

Victor Oladipo

636545867691841209-USATSI-10628772
Victor Oladipo guarding Kyle Lowry. (Richard Mackson USA Today Sports)

The first time All Star tried his best to leave a mark, but with the array of talent on the court Oladipo didn’t get to fully impact the game.

He was valuable on the defensive end, his finished in a three way tie for the lead in steals with three.

This is not the end for Oladipo.

Grade: B-

Kemba Walker

180216_kemba_blog
Kemba Walker next to his All Star jersey. (Matt Rochinski / hornets.com)

The Bronx product fit right in with the big names that the NBA had to offer. He finished the game with 11 points and 2 rebounds and a beautiful alley-opp pass to Lebron James.

He could’ve been a bit more greedy, but at least he was there. Big shoutout to the Bronx.

Grade: B-

Andre Drummond

636545854375127846-Zgame8
Andre Drummound with the epmathic dunk. (Richard Mackson USA Today Sports)

Not much flashes from the big man representing Detroit. He did however, finish with 14 points on a perfect 7-7 from the field.

In a game not built for the big man, he definitely left his mark on the paint.

Grade: B

[Team Stephen]

Stephen Curry

636545836795843159-Zgame3
Captains Lebron James (23) and Stephen Curry shake hands at half court before the game. (Richard Mackson USA Today Sports)

Captain Stephen Curry had his hands all over his game, although we did suspect him of exploding in the exhibition game.

He ended the game with 11 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists, he could’ve given us more but this isn’t the Finals only an All Star game.

Grade: B+

James Harden

636545846880839806-Zgame6
James Harden in for the bucket during the first half. (Richard Mackson USA Today Sports)

Just as Curry, Harden had his fingerprints all over this game nearing a triple double in the contest.

The bearded one finished with 12 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds. He didn’t get the All Star MVP nod, but he could very well finish with the NBA MVP come season end.

Grade: A+

Joel Embiid

D4RU4R7K7NBGNE7AIWLHACLQJ4
Joel Embiid after drilling a 3-pointer in Westbrook’s face.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The best man in the game pull out all the stops in front of the world last night.

The Sixers superstar finished with 19 points and 8 rebounds. This was his first time in the All Star and it will not be the last time we see him in this exhibition game.

Grade: A 

Giannis Antetokounmpo

636545862536788164-Zgame13
Giannis Antetokounmpo on the chase down block. (Richard Mackson USA Today Sports)

The future face of the NBA had his versatility on full display, leaving no doubt in my mind that LeBron could be passing him the torch when all is said and done.

The Greek Freak ended with 16 points and 7 rebounds to at least keep his team in the game during the late stages.

Grade: B+

Karl Anthony Towns

636545859546092993-Zgame9
Karl Anthony Towns (32) getting fouled on by Andre Drummound. (Richard Mackson USA Today Sports)

The Dominican big man put the world on notice last night. He’ll be competing for the title of best big man in the league and last night was the first of it.

The Timberwolves franchise cornerstone only adds on to the hype surrounding the young team. He ended the game with 17 points and 10 rebounds and was a presence on both ends of the floor.

We’ll have plenty of years for Embiid and Towns to go at it for the next few years.

Grade: B+

DeMar DeRozan

636545876670322763-Zgame16
DeRozan driving past Lebron for the easy deuce. (Bob Donnan USA Today Sports)

Los Angeles. DeMar DeRozan. All Star game.

A match made in heaven. The L.A. native left his mark on the court and as well on the fans in the stands. His 21-point performance tied for with teammate Damian Lillard for the team’s leading scorer.

Let’s not forget to mention he lead the game in free attempts for an exhibition game.

Grade: A

Al Horford

Al Horford, Kyrie Irving
Al Horford and Kyrie Irving enjoying their time during All Star weekend. (Richard Mackson USA Today Sports)

The second to last pick in the fantasy draft.

A 6 point and 5 rebound performance, what else do you want from Al?

Grade: C

Draymond Green

2018 NBA All-Star Game
Draymond Green with the block on Kyrie Irving. (Garrett Ellwood/ NBAE via Gettys Image)

The highlight for Green’s night game on a block against Kyrie Irving, other than that not much of a memorable performance.

We’ll probably see him next year and he’ll contribute more.

Grade: C-

Klay Thompson

20180218-asg-recap-1905
Klay Thompson going head to head with teammate Kevin Durant. (Garrett Ellwood/ NBAE via Gettys Image)

Klay caught fire in the early stages of the game but cooled down as it progressed.

The Warrior guard finished the game with 15 points and 4 rebounds. Not much to ask for from the best 3 and D player in the NBA.

Grade: B

Damian Lillard

download (2)
Damian Lillard is all business at the All Star game. (Bob Donnan USA Today Sports)

Third times the charm and it’s about damn time.

Probably the most underrated player in the NBA was selected after numerous snubs, but the California native put on a memorable performance.

The Trail Blazerz leading man posted 21 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Hopefully this performance stays in the mind of the fans, players and coaches during next year’s process.

Grade: A 

Jimmy Butler

download (3)
GOT EM!

He logged in 0 minutes for the game, but he does lead the lead in minute per game so a break was needed.

Grade: None 


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply