On Sunday night, we were all treated to what was easily one of the most entertaining editions of the All-Star game in recent memory. It was Team LeBron that emerged victorious on the evening, edging out Team Giannis, 157-155. Much like previous All-Star contests, though, it wasn’t until late in the game that both teams began taking the game seriously. It was as if a switch was turned on at one point in the fourth quarter. Speaking after the game, Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo opened up about his team’s game plan late in the contest, saying that they tried to capitalize on what they perceived to be a defensive weak spot for their opponents — specifically one James Harden.
Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo on Team Giannis’s late-game offensive strategy in All-Star Game: “Offensively, we were just trying to find whoever James Harden was guarding. That’s who we thought we had an opportunity to score on.” pic.twitter.com/LCBlHk50eD
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) February 17, 2020
Houston Rockets eight-time All-Star James Harden is not exactly the best defender in the league. As a matter of fact, he is notoriously known for being a bit of a slack on the defensive end on more than a few occasions. Antetokounmpo and company were well aware of this and did their best to take advantage of the same.
At the end of the day, however, it was still Team LeBron that came away with the hard-fought victory, thanks in large part to the outstanding performance of Los Angeles Clippers reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. The 28-year-old, appearing in his fourth All-Star game, led the way for his side, finishing with a game-high 30 points on 11-of-18 shooting, along with eight triples, seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Leonard’s performance was enough to earn him the inaugural Kobe Bryant All-Star Game MVP award in what was truly a matchup for the ages.