Okay, we'll admit it. We fell for the hype. We thought it would be better, but it wasn't. The NBA had its All-Star Saturday night last night and it had a whole new format. They put the Eastern Conference participants against the Western Conference participants in each competition. It sounded like it could develop into a fun and intense rivalry and that the events could be more entertaining. We were wrong. The whole event proved to be disappointing and it certainly didn't live up to the hype.
What went wrong?
Shooting Stars Competition
- We were hoping to see a father-son match-up in the finals with the Curry's taking on the Hardaway's. Unfortunately both teams struggled with the half court shot and were eliminated in the first round.
- There's nothing else negative we can really say about this event. It's not very exciting, which is why it is probably the first event of the evening. However, it was nice to see some of the retired players come back and participate in the event.
- The new format to make it a two-person team was intriguing, but there were some downfalls. For example, DeMar DeRozan put up a great time, but his teammate Giannis Antentokounmpo struggled which gave their team a poor overall time. We're not saying that DeRozan would have won the event, but his time would have probably given him a chance in the finals.
- The whole point of the event is to see who is the most consistent in the areas of dribbling, passing and shooting. We still don't know who the best is for this year.
- It is great that Damian Lillard and Trey Burke won the event, but why did it end there? Why didn't they go against each other one-on-one to see who the best was between the two of them?
- Some of the shooters didn't even look like they cared to be there. Joe Johnson ran out of time and finished with a score of 11.
- The addition of the money ball rack was interesting and provided a new twist to the event. However, scores are now inflated and cannot be compared to past three point contests.
- They got lucky that many shooters struggled. By taking the top East player and putting them against the top West player, they could have ran into a huge problem. What if all three East shooters were above 20 and the highest West player had a score of 19? How could you not allow the best shooters to shoot? Luckily for the NBA they didn't have to deal with that problem?
- The only exciting part was when Bradley Beal hit six three's in a row to force a tiebreaker. Other than that, the whole event lacked intensity and excitement.
The Dunk Contest
- The dunk contest didn't really feature any dunks.
- The first round (freestyle round) which featured all three dunkers together could have been much better. They were too slow and wasted too much time standing around. We envisioned all three dunkers having a ball and slamming it down one after another. That clearly didn't happen.
- The Battle Round only gave each participant one dunk.
- They didn't give the best dunkers a chance to go against each other. Since the East swept the Battle Round, they should have let John Wall, Paul George, and Terrence Ross go up against each other with the original rules to determine the best. Some may say there isn't enough time for that – well then get rid of the 45 minute intro and the abundance of commercial breaks.
- Terrence Ross didn't even have a fair chance at defending his slam dunk crown. He dunked first and had a nice dunk, but that was it. After seeing what John Wall did, Ross didn't even get a chance to try and go out and beat that dunk. Terrible.
What went right?
Here is another look at Wall's dunk.
Overall, the whole night was a disappointment. Besides John Wall's impressive dunk and Kendrick Lamar's performance, there wasn't really much to get excited about. Let's hope that the NBA fixes this problem by the time All-Star Weekend comes to Toronto in 2016.
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