LeBron’s All-Stars too strong for Giannis’

The Western Conference have dominated the All-Star game in recent years with six wins in the last eight.

LeBron James helped the Eastern Conference secure bragging rights last season as Team LeBron overcame Team Stephen in the first year since a minor rebranding.

James has since swapped Cleveland Cavaliers for LA Lakers and the three-time NBA champion will lead a team from the West packed full of quality.

Milwaukee Bucks talisman Giannis Antetokounmpo takes charge of the Eastern Conference team, but it is hard to see anything other than a convincing win for Team LeBron.

Team LeBron can beat the spread

Team LeBron really is the definition of an All-Star line-up with James joined by Golden State Warriors pair Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, Houston Rockets’ reigning NBA MVP James Harden and Oklahoma City Thunder star Paul George in the starting line-up.

Backing them up are the likes of Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis and LeMarcus Aldridge who all have more All-Star selections than all but one of Team Giannis’ starters.

Giannis is joined by Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving as he makes his sixth All-Star appearance, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, Kawhi Leonard of Toronto Raptors and Charlotte Hornets’ Kemba Walker.

On paper, the All-Star 2019 game could be the most one-sided contest this clash has been in a long time and with the handicap set at -6.5 points for Team LeBron they look excellent value at 1.91 to beat the spread.

All-Star games produce big scores

In four of the last five years the winning team has scored at least 163 points in the All-Star game and Team LeBron are worth a mention at 1.86 to score more than 158.5 points in total.

Admittedly, Team Giannis has some real quality when it comes to defending play – with Embiid averaging 13.5 rebounds per game and 14.9 over the last 10 games.

However, the likes of Harden, Curry and, of course, James are all capable of scoring heavily and Team LeBron should be able to pass the 158.5 mark.

Harden can shine in star-studded line-up

James Harden will be desperate to make a big impression as he lines up alongside James and Curry and can make his presence felt by scoring over 21.5 points at 1.90.

Harden is by far and away the main man for Houston but he will have to accept a lesser role in the All-Star game. But, even if James and Curry outshine him, 21.5 points looks a fairly modest total for the Rockets star – who is averaging a career high 36.6 points per game and has scored at least 30 in his last 31 games.

Giannis can prove himself worthy

Giannis Antetokounmpo may not have immediately sprung to mind as a potential All-Star Eastern Conference leader before the campaign began but there can be no arguing the Bucks man is there on merit.

Team Giannis’ best chance of winning way well be to follow the Milwaukee model and keep him involved in the offence as much as possible by limiting his defensive duties.

Embiid is a player who should be able to do that, and Giannis – who is averaging 27.2 points per game – can take advantage by scoring over 21.5 points at 1.90.