After a long weekend of events, the 2015 NBA All-Star Game is finally set to get underway on Sunday night. The Eastern Conference takes on the Western Conference at Madison Square Garden in the 64th annual contest.
The West has been the better conference in recent years, especially this season, with 10 teams above .500 at the All-Star break. Only six teams in the East have winning records, and all but three teams are within two games of the final playoff spot. While the West got the upperhand each year from 2011-2013, the East managed to prevail last season, winning 163-155.
Kyrie Irving was named the 2014 All-Star MVP, and he’ll participate in the game this year. Chris Paul and Kevin Durant, who won the award the previous two years, will come off the bench for the West. Kobe Bryant was named the MVP in 2011 and 2009, while Dwyane Wade won the award in 2010, but both players will miss the game with injuries.
Durant, who’s missed much of the season with injuries, was expected to replace the injured Anthony Davis in the starting lineup. However, head coach Steve Kerr will reportedly go with LaMarcus Aldridge, instead. The Portland Trail Blazers big man is averaging 23.6 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. Durant is averaging 25.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists, but he’s one contest shy of missing more than half of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s first 53 games.
Davis is one of three players voted in by the fans that won’t take the floor. Damian Lillard replaced the injured Blake Griffin on the roster, and DeMarcus Cousins was named to the team because Bryant is out for the year with a torn rotator cuff.
All five Eastern Conference players that were voted in by the fans will start, including Carmelo Anthony, who's expected to sit out the rest of the season because of a knee injury. He’ll be joined by Kyle Lowry, who is starting in his first ever All-Star Game.
Start Time: 8 p.m. ET
TV Channel: TNT
Online Stream: TNT Overtime