NBA All-Star Break News
Ryne Oshiro, Staff Writer
The 2021 National Basketball Association (NBA) season is quickly approaching the halfway point and that means the annual all-star break is set. The all-star game starters were announced in the middle of February with Kevin Durant and LeBron James leading the fan votes for their respective squads. Durant, who came off a complete season in 2020 where he sat out due to an Achilles tear, looks like the Most Valuable Player NBA fans saw back in 2014. The game will take place on March 7 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta.
There are ten starters from the West and East, but the tricky part is that the teams have not been chosen yet. With Durant and James leading the fan vote, they now are both captains of a team they get to select. The other eight starters are comprised of Western and Eastern conference players: alongside James in the West are Golden State Warriors’ point guard Steph Curry, Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Dončić, the Denver Nuggets Nikola Jokić, and the Los Angeles Clippers Kawhi Leonard. As for the East, joining Durant is Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal, the Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid, and Durant’s teammate on the Brooklyn Nets, Kyrie Irving. The all-star draft will take place three days before the game on Mar. 4 and will be broadcasted on TNT at 8 p.m ET. The reserves for the NBA all-star game will be announced on Feb. 23 and will also be a part of the captain’s choices for the two teams. The two coaches on each side will be Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder and his staff for Team James, while the Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers and his staff will coach Team Durant. For James, this is his 17th straight all-star selection, which is now an NBA record.
Lebron is currently averaging 25.6 points per game, 7.9 assists, and 8.2 rebounds according to the NBA. Durant is also having a great comeback season with 29.0 points per game, 5.3 assists, and 7.3 rebounds which are all similar stats to his 2014 MVP season. As for the guards, Curry is averaging 29.9 points per game, Dončić is nearly averaging a triple-double with 29.1 points, 9.4 assists, and 8.6 rebounds as his averages. On the other side, Irving is averaging 27.7 points per game and 5.7 and 4.7 assists and rebounds respectively. The last guard, Beal, leads the NBA in points with a whopping 32.9 points per game. As for the forwards and centers, Jokić, Antetokounmpo, and Embiid are all averaging double-double numbers with marks of 26.6, 28.4, and 30.3 points to go along with 11.1, 11.9, and 11.3 rebounds per game. Rounding out the group is Leonard who is averaging 26.9 points per game, 4.9 assists, and 6.1 rebounds.
As the mid-way point approaches, the Philadelphia 76ers are leading the Eastern Conference with a 20-11 record, and the Brooklyn Nets are right on their tail with a 20-12 record. Although the midway point isn’t where these teams will end, it is a great indication for teams to improve and make adjustments. For the Western Conference, the Utah Jazz has a 25-6 record which is enough to be the league’s current best. Trailing behind them are the LA Lakers and Clippers who are both 22-10. Six teams from each conference are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs while the remaining 7-10 place teams will have a play-in tournament to help determine who will get a shot to compete for the title.