Whether you really find yourself immersed in the All Star game experience or not, it's nearly inarguable that the NBA puts forth the best product to showcase its stars' considerable talents. The entire event stretches a little bit too long, with singers holding every note during the anthem, and extravagant stages being quickly put up for the sake of glitzy player introductions. When the game finally gets going, the lack of intensity is easily notable, but increases the potential for some Harlem Globetrotters-esque fireworks.
I've never been much of an All Star game enthusiast myself, but found myself tuning in to see how Kyle Lowry would perform as a starter. Right off the bat, it was evident that the nonchalant play all-around wasn't suitable for Lowry's skill-set as he got off to an 0-5 start from the field. Stephen Curry was dazzling us with his handle, LeBron James and John Wall were showing us their athletic prowess, but poor Kyle Lowry had no charges to take.
As the intensity started to pick up though, Lowry started to showcase his credentials as well. This was one of the best highlights of the night:
— Romy (@romyaquino) February 16, 2015
To end the night, Kyle shot 4-13 for 10 points, had 8 assists and a team-leading 4 steals. He did shoot 2-11 from three point range, but hopefully that just results in a regression to the mean during games that actually count. Most importantly though, he made it through the game uninjured and played a non-crippling 26 minutes.
As for the game itself, both teams put up an average of about 40 points a quarter. As expected, defense was lackadaisical, and both teams were satisfied trading blows offensively. It remained a close game throughout, however, with the East leading by 1 at half (83-82), tied after 3 (122 a piece), before the West went on a run to close out the game 163 -158. Here's a look at how wacky these games get:
- It was fun seeing Mike Budenholzer trot out a lineup of 4 of the Hawks starters, with Kyrie Irving or Jimmy Butler playing the role of the missing Demarre Carroll. Kyle Korver took full advantage of the synergy he had with his teammates and hit 7 of his 12 three point attempts.
- Stephen Curry's handle is just electric. He only needs a sliver of space to get his shot off, and when you add his court vision and shooting ability, we're witnessing one of the most skillful players of our generation.
- LeBron James' athleticism's demise might have been greatly exaggerated. He was throwing down vicious dunks all night, including this jam from Lowry's pass. Look like a guy who's lost a step?
- Russell Westbrook was downright ridiculous tonight too. He was hitting shots from anywhere he wanted, and had a few ferocious jams on his way to an MVP performance of 41 points on 28 shots.
Westbrook's head is at the rim on this alley oop. Ridiculous. https://t.co/D7WfP2BGLP— NBA Legion (@MySportsLegion) February 16, 2015
So, that about wraps up New York's show. Next? Toronto 2016. We're up.