For fans of chucking threes, slamming dunks and absolutely zero defense, you came to the right place. The future of the NBA was on full display with the World Team taking on the USA Team. The World Team, led by Jamaal Murray, Buddy Hield, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric and Joel Embiid, put on a sweet display of shooting, crisp ball movement and team basketball. The USA team, led by our very own Dennis Smith Jr., Donavon Mitchell, Jaylen Brown, Brandon Ingram and John Collins, dazzled with high-flying jams, jaw-dropping athleticism and eye-popping plays. However, the most important stat line belonged to our adult son Smith Jr. who finished with seven points, six assists and four rebounds.
Any hope the USA Team thought of keeping this game close was dashed at the first substitution midway through the opening quarter. The World team flexed it’s muscles when it brought in players like Lauri Markkanen (he’s really good) and Bogdan Bogdanovich to make sweet string music from deep. Bogdonavich and Buddy Hield, who make up part of the Sacramento Kings regular season backcourt, bombarded Team USA from deep to go a combined 8-of-16 from behind the arc. Both ended the first half with 14 points. The Boston Celtics’ second year forward Jaylen Brown led the USA Team with 14 points.
Here were the first half highlights:
Our child Dennis Smith Jr. got Team USA on board with a sweet dish to the Atlanta Hawks’ rookie forward John Collins.
Donovan Mitchell went all 2004 All-Star Game Tracy McGrady and detonated on the break early in the first.
The two electric rookie guards played the two man game resulting in Smith Jr. skying for the alley oop from Mitchell.
Weren’t sports supposed to be this country’s thing:
Just like in match and science, the US trails Team World 78-59 at the half— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) February 17, 2018
The teams continued to play two different games in the third period. The World Team rained fire from deep while the USA Team seemed allergic to anything other than a dunk. After three quarters, Team World hit 20 threes with Bogdanovich canning seven of them. In the adults’ all-star game, the defense generally picks up in the fourth quarter, but with the World Team so far ahead, the final period in the kids’ all-star game turned into a preview of tomorrow night’s dunk contest. The World Team outscored the USA Team in every quarter, and 12 more three pointers propelling them to a 155-124 romping of the Americans.
The World Team was led by Buddy Hield’s 29 points (5-14 from deep), but it was his sweet shooting running mate Bogdanovich who stole the MVP honors scoring 26 points including 7-13 from deep. Other notable World Team stat lines included Ben Simmons’ 11/6/13, and Jamaal Murray’s 21/6/7.
The USA Team didn’t have nearly the scoring parity like their opponent as Jaylen Brown was able to steal the show with 35 points and 10 rebounds. Arguably the theft of the draft, Kyle Kuzma, led the second unit with 20 points.
Here were the second half highlights:
Someone this big shouldn’t be able to move like this.
Have Celtics’ fans told you this guy is 19 years old?
Seriously though, think I gained my Freshman 15 when I was 19, and he’s out here doing windmills.
This might be the most nonchalant 360 dunk I’ve ever seen.
Why isn’t this guy in the dunk contest?
I’m not sure what’s nicer: the dish or the finish?
It was a fun first night of all star weekend, and the young guns showed the future is bright for the NBA. Tomorrow night is what we’re all waiting for, though, as Smith Jr. competes in the 2018 Verizon Slam Dunk Contest. Be sure to follow along with us as we watch the Mavs best rookie in decades look to bring the first slam dunk trophy back to Dallas.