Aside from the frigid weather in Toronto, Canada, 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend was easily one of the best in recent memory. Everything from the Celebrity Game to the Dunk Contest had fans going crazy, and the All-Star Game itself was no exception. Hell, the weekend even managed to pack in a fair amount of drama with the whole Aaron Gordon-Zach LaVine thing.
The Western Conference won 196-173 over the Eastern Conference in a game that shattered every imaginable scoring record.
The previous high-score for a conference was 163—that got crushed. The combined score record was smashed by 48, and Paul George came one basket away from an All-Star Game record 43 points, finishing instead with 41 due to some last minute defense called for by Gregg Popovich. George also broke the record for 3-pointers, drilling nine of them in the game.
The West had nine players in double-digits, including 26 from Steph Curry, 23 from James Harden and Kevin Durant, and 24 from Anthony Davis with most of them coming off crazy alley-oops from Chris Paul. Russell Westbrook took home his second straight All-Star Game MVP, which is about the only thing Kobe Bryant didn’t do over the course of his All-Star appearances.
The game seems to be receiving some criticism for being so high scoring, but, in my opinion, at least, the prolific scoring power of these players is exactly what I’m paying to see. The majority of fans aren’t there to see one side or the other win; they want to see crazy 720 degree slams and crazy assists from the best players in the world.
Defense can be exciting, sure. A blocked shot will definitely get the crowd on their feet, but lock-down defense and a missed field goal isn’t going to get everyone riled up. Once again, the All-Star Game isn’t Home vs. Away; it’s just the best in the world putting their skills on display.
So score away, All-Stars. You’re there because that’s what you’re good at after all.