Surprisingly, defense was actually visible in spurts at last night’s NBA All-Star Game, partially stemming from Giannis Antetokounmpo giving it his all in a losing effort for Team Stephen, as they fell 148-145 to Team Lebron. Giannis tallied 16 points, seven rebounds and two assists on the night. The final score was a far cry from last year’s ludicrous 192-182 total, but Giannis fell short of the 30 points he put up last year. Still, he had enough enticing highlights to make it worthwhile.
Unfortunately, the festivities started out with a lowlight instead, as teaspoon-sized comedian Kevin Hart used his specific brand of exhausting comedy to introduce Giannis with jokes that were lazy three years ago.
Thank goodness he spent so much time crafting original material. Please just exclude him from all proceedings next year NBA. After a prolonged introduction, the game finally got underway. One of Giannis’ first major highlights was actually defensively, even though they dubiously called this a goaltend.
Later on, he took little care for anyone standing in his way at the rim, even if they were his own teammates.
The game continued at a pace that actually resembled some semblance of real basketball even, as Ben Golliver notes this was the closest and lowest scoring game of the past several years.
2018 NBA All-Star Game is lowest scoring (293 combined points) since 2013, down 81 points from last year's record. Also, closest margin (3 points) since 2012. pic.twitter.com/BpLrqBE1T7— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) February 19, 2018
Most importantly though, Giannis got a chance to stick it to Russell Westbrook with some good natured ribbing over their potential traveling calls. I think Russell might still be salty about Giannis bending the baseline in OKC for that game-winning dunk.
Overall, the actual excitement of the game may have even eclipsed the opportunity to see our beloved Giannis yam on the NBA’s elite. Lebron James won the game’s MVP, but I’m hoping for that crown to one day rest atop Giannis’ head in succeeding years. Here are his full highlights from the night.