Where’s The Defense?

By Chris Gallagher (@chrisgallagherc)  Comments
Updated: February 22, 2017

Another year of almost 200 points scored by each team in the NBA All Star Game. This years all-star game featured 374 points scored shattering the record of 369 set a year ago.

The western conference led by all-star center Anthony Davis who scored 52 points and broke the record for most points scored ever in the game and Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook who added 41 points of his own. The eastern conference was led by Milwaukee Bucks center Giannis Antetokounmpo, who scored 30 points and Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, making his 13th All-Star start, with 23 points.

The game featured no defense played by either team and was a basically a giant game of pick up basketball. All Star games are meant to entertain the fans, but at what point does the game get boring to watch. Everyone loves to see Stephen Curry pull up from way behind the three-point line or Lebron James soar in for a breakaway dunk, but while all this is entertaining, the game could really use actual defense played by both teams.

In recent years in the NBA All Star Game the fans have gone from seeing little defense played to no defense played at all. Something must be done by NBA commissioner Adam Silver in order to convince players to start playing defense. In other sports like the NHL and the MLB changes were made to the All Star Game to give it more meaning while keeping the same entertainment value. The MLB made the All Star Game worth home field advantage in the World Series, which caused players to play the game with increased intensity while the NHL changed its all-star format to a three on three style tournament. The NBA would benefit greatly from changing up its all-star format and making the game worth something.

Former NBA star Reggie Miller was one of many people to show his dismay with the effort put in on the defensive end of the floor. Miller was quick to say that the current players in the NBA don’t take the All Star game seriously. “You watch the All-Star Game, the showcase of the league, and you can see it, he said. “There’ll be guys on defense who won’t block or box out — and those are fundamentals I was taught in high school — or won’t be able to see the man and the ball at all times, which is another fundamental. You see a lot of that, and that’s bad basketball. You don’t see give-and-go basketball. You see one-on-one. And basketball is not an individual sport. It’s a team sport.” The All-Star Game was once “a strictly competitive game with a playoff feel,” the former all-star said. “It was a great honor to be picked, and guys didn’t want to lose. That was it in a nutshell.”

The game may be just for fun and it may mean nothing but at some point we all want to see the worlds best players going full speed and playing defense and during this years all-star game we saw none of that. The great plays will always be appreciated and remembered for a long time but all of the fans would love to see the game mean something to the players and there be a will and desire to win.

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