Lots of points, lots of dunks, not a lot of All-Star defense

NBA Players Declare Independence (In Marketing, Anyway)

Defense was in short supply on Sunday night during the NBA's showcase game, one where Anthony Davis smashed a 55-year-old record with 52 points and the Western Conference beat the Eastern Conference 192-182.

Davis, a four-time All-Star selection, made his intentions of going after the MVP clear nearly immediately after the 2017 All-Star game was moved to New Orleans and the Western Conference did all they could to put him in a position to do that on Sunday. It was a record for most first-half points combined, breaking the mark of 182 set previous year.

Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook had 41 points for the West All-Stars, and his former Thunder teammate Kevin Durant, now with Golden State, added 21.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, aka The Greek Freak, was the best player on the floor for the East, finishing with 30 points.

2017 NBA All-Star Game MVP Anthony Davis wears the Nike Air Max Audacity 2016.

No. Ignoring the question of whether the players could pull off that 82 times a year before the postseason, it wouldn't take long for defense-less basketball to get boring.

Davis, 23, also had 10 rebounds.

Gordon Hayward didn't come right out and say it, but you could tell he thought Sunday's All-Star Game was somewhat of a joke.

"I was just having fun, just trying to live in the moment", Antetokounmpo said. The West, however, came back to end the first half ahead 97 to 92. Stephen Curry added 21 points for the West - where a subplot emerged as DeMarcus Cousins played only two minutes, prompting some speculation that a trade sending him out of Sacramento might be looming.

The thinking seems to be if you're going to play a game that doesn't mean anything, why not try to make it fun? "But I think that was strictly coaching". Both teams want to win, but it doesn't have the competitiveness and intensity of a regular-season game, and certainly not a playoff game.

Kerr said perhaps there needs to be some incentives for the players and to perhaps get some charities involved.

If I was Adam Silver, I'd be concerned that the weekend was a dud of such epic proportions, from the slam dunk competition to the halftime show to a game bereft of any competitive juices.