NBA 6-Pack: Chris Broussard reflects on an unconventional NBA All-Star Sunday
Another All-Star weekend is in the books, and the second half of the NBA season is set to begin Wednesday.
Still, Chris Broussard wanted to take a moment to reflect on one of the more unusual All-Star "weekends" in NBA history, one that was condensed into a few hours on a single Sunday.
Let's see what Broussard had to say about the NBA's midseason showcase.
1. What did you think of the one-day All-Star format? Should it be something the NBA considers adopting moving forward?
Broussard: I loved the one-day format. But I don't recommend that the league adopt it permanently because that would take away from the event that "NBA All-Star weekend'' has become. What would the league do on Saturday night if everything were on Sunday — or on Sunday if it decided to have everything Saturday? During normal times, All-Star weekend lasts from Thursday to Sunday. It's a huge event for the NBA, and having everything on Sunday would take away from that, in my opinion. Also, if you start getting big names or even current All-Stars in the Slam Dunk Contest, having it at halftime would be a problem. What if Zion Williamson had been in the Dunk Contest? He would've been worn out, and it might have taken away from his performance in the game and the dunk contest. For those reasons, I say keep it as it is, even though yesterday's one-day showcase was spectacular.
2. The 3-Point Contest was a thriller, with Steph Curry closing the show in dramatic fashion. Is there any doubt that Curry is the greatest shooter of all time?
Broussard: No. And I've been saying it – that Steph is the greatest shooter of all time – for six years now. I'm not positive, but I might have been the first national voice to say that. Simply put, he changed the game. Basketball is played differently because of Steph. In addition to that, he's the greatest "small'' player ever, edging Isiah Thomas. Steph and Isiah are the only two small players ever to lead "mini-dynasties.''
3. What did you make of the Slam Dunk Contest? Did Anfernee Simons deserve to win? How did you judge it?
Broussard: I was fine with Anfernee Simons winning it, almost by default. Cassius Stanley was totally robbed on his first dunk. That dunk was a 49 at worst! His second dunk was weak, though. Plus, he missed it a couple of times. Obi Toppin missed as well, and his second dunk wasn't all that. So on sheer, "Wow, his head was above the rim,'' Simons was a worthy winner. It was a fairly disappointing Dunk Contest overall, though. Next year, I want to see this lineup: Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, Zach LaVine, Aaron Gordon, and Derrick Jones Jr. That's probably wishful thinking, though.
4. Last year’s All-Star Game was both intense and dramatic. What did you make of this year’s game as a whole?
Broussard: I think the game has been better the past two years. The new format has been a success and has led to players playing harder. Because this game wasn't close, though, it wasn't as good as last year's.
Broussard: I thought Steph had the best game, but I could have lived with Dame getting the MVP. Those were by far the two most impactful players, particularly Steph, who did major damage early when the game was still relatively in doubt or competitive. But how do you not reward 16-for-16? I get it: Nine of Giannis' baskets were dunks, and four more were layups. Still, the All-Star Game is always a bunch of uncontested dunks and layups, especially over the past decade, yet no player has ever been perfect from the field when taking more than eight shots. I have no problem with Giannis getting the MVP, just because what he did was unprecedented and historic.
6. What’s the biggest storyline you’re looking forward to closely following as the second half of the season begins?
Broussard: Well, the biggest story is Anthony Davis' health. A healthy Anthony Davis is the only thing (besides the Nets themselves) that can stand in the way of a Brooklyn march to the title. The Lakers, when healthy, and Brooklyn are clearly the two best teams in the league. If Davis isn't healthy, Brooklyn will run away with it, kind of like Golden State did with Kevin Durant. Also, I want to see Brooklyn's "Big 3" play together more. KD, James Harden and Kyrie Irving have played only seven games together. I want to see them on the court together for at least 25 games in the second half of the season. I'll also be watching Kyrie closely to monitor his mental state. If he doesn't have any concerns in that regard that impact the team, the Nets look like world-beaters.