With the NBA All-Star reserves announced on Tuesday, LeBron James and Stephen Curry will soon draft their All-Star teams and will be announced on Thursday. However, Raj Sawhney and Sully Akbari decided to draft their own teams and simulate the game on NBA 2K18. Raj selected the captain from the Eastern Conference in LeBron James and Sully selected the captain from the Western Conference in Stephen Curry by default and drafted from there.
Here is how the draft went down. Team Raj had the first and Team Sully had the first pick to select from the reserves, just how it will be when James and Curry draft their own teams. The results are below.
Round 1 - All-Star Starters
Team Raj, Pick No. 1 - Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
Team Sully, Pick No. 2 - James Harden, Houston Rockets
Team Raj, Pick No. 3 - Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics
Team Sully, Pick No. 4 - Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
Team Raj, Pick No. 5 - Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
Team Sully, Pick No. 6 - DeMarcus Cousins, New Orleans Pelicans
Team Raj, Pick No. 7 - Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Team Sully, Pick No. 8 - DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors
Round 2 - All-Star Reserves
Team Sully, Pick No. 9 - Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
Team Raj, Pick No. 10 - Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
Team Sully, Pick No. 11 - Jimmy Butler, Minnesota Timberwolves
Team Raj, Pick No. 12 - Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves
Team Sully, Pick No. 13 - Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks
Team Raj, Pick No. 14 - Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
Team Sully, Pick No. 15 - John Wall, Washington Wizards
Team Raj, Pick No. 16 - Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Team Sully, Pick No. 17 - LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs
Team Raj, Pick No. 18 - Al Horford, Boston Celtics
Team Sully, Pick No. 19 - Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
Team Raj, Pick No. 20 - Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers
Team Sully, Pick No. 21 - Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
Team Raj, Pick No. 22 - Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers
Here is how the teams look:
Now, how will these teams perform? Well, luckily for us, NBA 2K can help us with that. We created the teams on NBA 2K18 and simulated it on 'MyLeague' mode. Team Raj had his team on the Cleveland Cavaliers and Team Sully had his on the Golden State Warriors. And no, we did not intend for a Warriors-Cavaliers NBA Finals rematch for the fourth time, we chose those two teams because of the team the respective captains play for.
Team Sully defeated Team Raj by just one point, with the final score being 123-122. Team Sully was down by 15 points at halftime and mounted a big comeback in the second-half. It seems that defense was an emphasis in this game as the score wasn't in the 150's and the fact that it possibly came down to the final possession, which is uncommon in previous All-Star games.
Here is the box score for Team Sully:
Cousins led the way for Team Sully, recording a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Cousins' frontcourt mate Davis also recorded a double-double, scoring 18 points and 10 rebounds. Team captain Stephen Curry was the floor general for Team Sully, recording a double-double with 14 points and 10 assists. DeRozan scored 20 points, and Aldridge made the most out of his minutes, scoring 15 points in 15 minutes on 6-of-7 shooting, very efficient night for him.
(Don't mind Anderson Varejao as we couldn't have teams with less than 12 players).
Here is the box score for Team Raj:
Things looked good for Team Raj as his team was up by 15 at halftime. Unfortunately for his team, they couldn't withstand Team Sully's comeback, allowing for 66 second-half points, which ended up costing them the game. Thompson led the team with 19 points while draining four three-pointers and Antetokounmpo was right behind him with 18 points. Team captain LeBron James seemed to once again had to carry the load, even for his All-Star team! He scored 16 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and dished out eight assists. It was a balanced effort from everyone on Team Raj but it wasn't enough to secure the win.
(Once again, don't mind Deron Williams as we couldn't have teams with less than 12 players).
The Game itself
Hopefully, we can expect a similar game like this for the real All-Star Game in L.A. on February 18, 2018.