The 2022 NBA All-Star Game is coming to Cleveland, and it will again feature the biggest stars in professional basketball. The starting lineups and captains for the game were revealed during an NBA on TNT broadcast, and some familiar faces will again be front and center when the All-Star Game tips off on Sunday, Feb. 20 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
The starters for the NBA All-Star Game are determined by a vote split between the fans (50 percent), media (25 percent), and players (25 percent). There will be five starters from the East and five starters from the West, but the teams are no longer put together down conference lines. Instead, the top individual vote-getters as determined by the fans in each conference will be named captains, and have their teams named after them.
The captains will then pick their teammates one-by-one, with the ability to choose from either conference. The captain with the most votes gets the first pick. Last year’s captains were LeBron James and Kevin Durant. The All-Star draft will be televised by TNT on Feb. 10, after the All-Star reserves are announced on Feb. 3.
Here are the 10 players will be starting the 2022 NBA All-Star Game.
LeBron James, captain, Los Angeles Lakers: James turned 37 years old this season, but he’s still one of the best players in the NBA. LeBron has had to become more of a scorer this season because of the Lakers’ deep-rooted issues, and he’s responded by putting up 29.1 points per game on 52 percent shooting from the field. LA has been a disappointment all season mostly because of Anthony Davis’ injuries and Russell Westbrook’s cold shooting, but James remains as consistent as ever on the floor. How long can he possibly keep doing this? This is LeBron’s 18th straight All-Star appearance in the 19th season of his career. James is 4-0 as a captain in the All-Star Game.
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets: The reigning MVP, Jokic is something of a one-man show for the Denver Nuggets this season because of injuries to top teammates Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. It’s too bad, because Jokic may be the best player in the world and just simply doesn’t have the help to compete deep in the playoffs. Jokic is every bit as good this year as he was during his MVP campaign last season. Keep your eyes out for his signature highlight-reel passes during the main event.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors: The Golden State Warriors are back to looking like a championship contender again, and Curry remains as dazzling as ever. Curry set the league’s all-time three-point record this year, and has been considered the front-runner to win MVP for most of the season. However, a recent shooting slump has taken a hit to Curry’s percentages (he’s down to 37.3 percent from deep) and possibly his MVP chances. Either way, Steph remains perhaps the greatest show in the sport. It’s always fun to see him in the All-Star Game.
Andrew Wiggins, Golden State Warriors: Wiggins is the biggest surprise name to start the All-Star Game. Wiggins was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, and it feels like he’s finally fulfilling his potential. Curry and Draymond Green remain much more vital to the Warriors’ success, but Wiggins deserves credit for becoming more efficient as a scorer. Wiggins is averaging 18 points per game while shooting 40 percent from three-point range.
Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies: The Grizzlies are the biggest surprise team in the West, and the 22-year-old Morant has been the catalyst for everything they do. He’s putting up more than 25 points and nearly seven assists per night, and he’s done it on thrilling drives and aerial acrobatics around the rim. Memphis went on a big winning streak when Morant was hurt earlier in the year, but there’s no doubt he’s the leader of the Griz and one of the best young talents in the game.
Kevin Durant, captain, Brooklyn Nets: Durant currently has a sprained MCL in his left knee that was given a 4-6 week timeline on Jan. 15. If KD is healthy by the front-end of that timeline, he could play in the All-Star Game, but it’s probably safer to assume he won’t. Durant was named All-Star captain last year despite not playing in the game due to injury, and still fulfilled his duties as captain. By now you know there is no better scorer in the league than KD: he’s leading the NBA with 29.3 points per game at the moment.
DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls: DeRozan has been the biggest reason the Chicago Bulls went from a laughingstock to a contender in the Eastern Conference. He’s been lights out in crunch-time for the Bulls, using his deadly mid-range scorer to help the Bulls consistently win close games. Chicago’s lineup has been beat-up all season, but DeRozan’s reliable offense has been the team’s one constant during their shockingly good season. This will be the fifth All-Star Game of DeRozan’s career, and the third time he’s been a starter.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks: The Greek Freak might be the baddest man in the NBA right now. Antetokounmpo just led the Milwaukee Bucks to their first championship since 1971 by dropping a 50-point masterpiece on the Phoenix Suns in the title-clinching Game 6. He already has two MVP trophies on his mantel at 27 years old, and he could win his third this year. Antetokounmpo really personifies everything great about the sport, and his sixth All-Star selection is just another bullet point on what’s shaping up to be an all-time career.
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers: Embiid finished runner-up for MVP last season, and he’s having an even better season this year. Despite top teammate Ben Simmons holding out as he demands a trade, Embiid has kept the Sixers competitive in the Eastern Conference while turning in a dominant campaign. He’s currently averaging 29 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game while playing elite defense and knocking down threes at a career-best 38 percent rate. This could be the year the 27-year-old wins MVP.
Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks: Trae Young went from a rising star to a certified superstar in last year’s playoffs as he led his Atlanta Hawks on a charmed run to the conference finals. The Hawks have been one of the league’s biggest disappointments this season, but Young has continued his stellar individual play. He’s currently averaging 27.7 points and 9.3 assists per game which puts him in the top five of both categories.
When are the 2022 NBA All-Star reserves announced?
The All-Star reserves are announced on Feb. 3.
When is the 2022 NBA All-Star Game?
The NBA All-Star Game tips off on Sunday, Feb. 20. in Cleveland, Ohio at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.