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FanPulse results: All-Star rule changes and MFFL confidence

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Luka Doncic will make his first appearance in the All-Star Game, as will a new scoring format.

NBA: All Star-Rising Stars Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Friday. It’s FanPulse. You know what time it is. It’s time to check in with the fans and see how they feel about the latest NBA headlines. This week, we’re diving into the All-Star Game. But before we get to that, you too can participate in SB Nation’s weekly FanPulse voting.

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This year, the scoring format for the NBA All-Star Game is getting an overhaul. There will still be two teams, picked by captains Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James, duking it out for league supremacy. Luka Doncic is on Team LeBron, by the way. However, this won’t simply be a team-with-the-most-points wins ordeal. It has some wrinkles.

In order to make the game more competitive—because let’s be honest, the game hasn’t been all that interesting in quite some time—the NBA decided to tweak things. I would do a disservice to you, dear reader, trying to explain the changes. So, here’s how the league describes the rule changes, which will also serve to honor the late Kobe Bryant:

In the 69th NBA All-Star Game, Team Giannis and Team LeBron will compete to win each of the first three quarters, all of which will start with the score of 0-0 and will be 12 minutes long. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the game clock will be turned off and a Final Target Score will be set.

The Final Target Score will be determined by taking the leading team’s total cumulative score through three quarters and adding 24 points – the 24 representing Bryant’s jersey number for the final 10 seasons of his NBA career. The teams will then play an untimed fourth quarter and the first team to reach the Final Target Score will win the NBA All-Star Game.

For instance, if the cumulative score of the first three quarters is 100-95, the Final Target Score would be set at 124 points. To win the NBA All-Star Game, the team with 100 points would need to score 24 points in the fourth quarter before the team with 95 points scores 29 points, and vice versa. With no minimum or maximum time on the clock in the fourth quarter, the NBA All-Star Game will end with a made basket or a made free throw.

As part of NBA All-Star 2020, more than $1 million will be contributed to Chicago community non-profit organizations through NBA Cares outreach efforts. These efforts will culminate during the NBA All-Star Game when each team will play for a Chicago-based charity beneficiary, as selected by team captains Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The community organization selected by the winner of each of the first three quarters will receive $100,000 – a total of $300,000 donated to charity for those three quarters. The winner of each of the first three quarters will be the team with the higher score at the end of the 12-minute quarter.

The winning team in the NBA All-Star Game (i.e., the team that reaches the Final Target Score first) will earn $200,000 for its community organization.

If the first or second quarter ends in a tie, the $100,000 charity award for that quarter will be added to the next quarter’s award. If the third quarter ends in a tie, the $100,000 charity award for that quarter will be added to the award of the team that wins the NBA All-Star Game.

If one team wins each of the first three quarters and reaches the Final Target Score first, $500,000 will be donated to the winning team’s charity and $100,000 will be donated to the losing team’s charity.

Phew, got that? OK, so at the end of the day, it’s essentially whichever team scores 24 points first in the final frame will win the game. I think I have that right. Regardless, charities will be the big winners that night and no one is complaining about that.

As for the formatting change, fans think that the shift is a good thing.

That’s a slim margin for the popular vote. The electoral college therefore declares those who said the game won’t be more competitive the winners. Tough break, but that’s just how elections work in America.

Jokes aside, hopefully the game is a little more entertaining this year. At least Doncic will be there. That’s reason enough to watch.

Speaking of Doncic, his latest ankle injury has fans of the Dallas Mavericks a little concerned. Confidence in the team took another dip this week, which is understandable considering the roller coaster ride the team is on when it come to how it plays at home and away.

Doncic will return in the next few games, or at least that would match the six-game timetable that Head Coach Rick Carlisle laid out after the injury. Yet, with four games remaining before the All-Star break, including Friday’s game against the Washington Wizards, I wouldn’t be surprised if Doncic sat out until after the break. When he does return, I imagine confidence in the team will tick back up.

That’s if for FanPulse this week. Remember to SIGN UP so you can have your voice heard!