Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo’s strategy was to draft first-time NBA All-Star players because they play harder
NBA has announced the results of the 2019 All-Star Game Draft. The top vote-getters, LeBron James of the Lakers and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks, each drafted their 14-man squads. After the draft, Antetokounmpo revealed his strategy.
Giannis was telling people that his strategy was to pick first time All Stars because he figured they would play hard. He wants to win.
— Frank Isola (@TheFrankIsola) February 8, 2019
The NBA All-Star game is infamous for its inflated scores, as players tend to take it easy on defense to avoid injury. However, Antetokounmpo has already shown that this year might be different. He wants to win.
The first-time All-Stars on Antetokounmpo’s roster include Nikola Jokic, Khris Middleton, D’Angelo Russell, and Nikola Vucevic. The fifth, Ben Simmons, was originally drafted by Antetokounmpo, but was traded to Team LeBron for Russell Westbrook.
Both teams’ full rosters are as follows:
— NBA (@NBA) February 8, 2019
The All-Star Game switched to the team draft format last season. While many fans appreciated the change, some were puzzled as to why the draft was held in private. This year, the league responded by televising the entirety of the draft.
This was Antetokounmpo’s third consecutive All-Star selection. This season, the 24-year-old is averaging 27.0 points, 12.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists. According to Basketball Reference, he ranks second in the NBA in Win Shares and first in Defensive Rating. For his career, he has averaged 18.3 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists.
The 2019 NBA All-Star Game will be held in Charlotte on February 17. The game will air at 8:00 PM EST on TNT.
As in 2018, the game will be played for charity, with the winning team receiving a larger donation to the charity of their choice.