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2022 NBA All-Star Game: Handing Out Grades for Each Player

Stephen Curry scored 50 points and hit 16 threes to lead Team LeBron over Team Durant. The Crossover hands out grades.

The All-Star Game was awesome, with Team LeBron squeaking past Team Durant. Here’s a grade for every single player who participated.

TEAM LEBRON

LeBron James: A

LeBron hit the game-winner. He was excellent and cared and probably wanted MVP. If not for Curry magic and his own three-ball actually falling, he would’ve had it.

Giannis Antetokounmpo: A-

His energy level was typically higher than everybody else throughout the entire game. He was the only player to get down in a defensive stance and fouled Dejounte Murray on a jumper in the third quarter. Throughout, Giannis was Giannis. When he wanted to score, he scored. When he wanted a rebound, it ended up in his hands. Giannis continues to be different.

Nikola Jokić: B

It was fascinating to watch Jokić—who did not care at all about anything except passing the ball and pretty much refused to shoot even when wide open—and contrast that approach with Joel Embiid, who very (very, very) much wanted to win MVP. Respect to the Joker, who’s the best player in the world and still nearly finished with a triple double.

DeMar DeRozan: C-

He got started with a side-step midrange jumper over Embiid. Pitch perfect.

Team LeBron guard Stephen Curry (30) holds the Kobe Bryant Trophy after the 2022 NBA All-Star Game.

Steph Curry: A++++++++++++++++++++

He hit his first shot from the corner. And then over the next couple of hours Curry proceeded to thaw Cleveland out from the tundra it’s been in all weekend. The greatest shooter who ever lived put on yet another show for fans who booed him mercilessly at every turn. In the third quarter, only Curry could stop Curry by pulling up a few feet behind half court. Right before that he hit a 35-footer, turning back to run on defense while the ball was still in flight. Iconic stuff—50 points for the game’s MVP.

Jarrett Allen: A+

This grade was cemented when he had two power dunks on his first two touches. For him to then play in crunch time and make a couple of huge plays … chills. Shout out to Allen and his undefeated comfy fits.

Jimmy Butler: D-

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Luka Dončić: D-

He hit his first two threes, putting Team LeBron ahead at the end of the first quarter. And then … crickets. At some point Luka will care about the All-Star Game. I thought this year would be when it started, but I was very wrong.

Darius Garland: B

I don’t have advanced stats for this game, but my money is on nobody dribbling as much as Garland, who took a minute to get going but carried Team LeBron for a stretch, thanks to Chris Paul’s thumb injury and Donovan Mitchell’s absence.

Chris Paul: Incomplete

Playing with a fractured thumb, Paul still managed to be one of two players who committed a foul in the first quarter.

Fred VanVleet: C+

Fun first All-Star experience for Freddie All-Star, who took threes when open and even made a couple!

TEAM DURANT

Jayson Tatum: C-

A 4-for-10 night for Tatum, who missed all four of his threes and didn’t really make any notable imprint on the game.

Andrew Wiggins: D-

His 15 minutes were the fewest among all starters. But he did get an assist!

Joel Embiid: A+

The windmill was absolutely nasty. The back-and-forth with Jokić was legendary. The thirst for MVP was terrific. If it weren’t for Steph, Embiid would be the story of this game. If he wanted to score, he did (even though Allen and Giannis made a few huge blocks on him down the stretch).

Ja Morant: C+

It took four minutes for Ja to convert his first lob, a reverse jam assisted by Trae Young. He then had a missed dunk in the second quarter that further validated his need to resuscitate the slam dunk contest. He once said he’ll consider entering it for $1 million. Someone double it. So far as the actual game goes, expectations were sky high for Morant to shimmer just a bit brighter than he did. He scored the same amount of points (6) as Rudy Gobert.

Trae Young: B-

The first play of the game was a lob to Young that was immediately broken up, but he quickly made up for it with a three. He led all players with 10 assists (and when it’s all said and done might break the career All-Star assist record).

LaMelo Ball: B+

He didn’t play in the first quarter, but then found himself on the court when the game ended. Ball played hard. His defensive effort was as high as anyone (not named Giannis) in the game.

Devin Booker: A-

He entered the game looking like he wanted the MVP, picking up LeBron full court and drilling his first three. Only Embiid had more points at the end of the first quarter. None of it was flashy, but Booker showed why he’s an assassin and it was impressive.

Rudy Gobert: D+

Who knew Rudy had a 360 in him? Go, Rudy!

Khris Middleton: D-

If the expectations weren’t already so low this would be an F. All due respect to an NBA champion and Olympic gold medal winner, but it’s still unclear why Middleton was here!

Dejounte Murray: A+

He didn’t appear in the first quarter, but once he checked in Murray played like someone who understood the assignment. A natural showman, he went between the legs to assist a Gobert dunk, hit a corner three and spent most of his first stint doing pretty things with the ball. When he turned the temperature up on defense, Curry threw the ball into the fourth row. Murray also completed a self-alley-oop in the third quarter. This man is a point guard.

Karl-Anthony Towns: C+

Towns was feeling himself early on. Not even 24 hours removed from winning the three-point contest, he launched a logo three (that didn’t go in) and threw down a nasty reverse dunk in transition.

Zach LaVine: B-

We need LaVine back in the dunk contest. His transition 360 would’ve earned a higher score from Saturday night’s judges. He also hit a monstrous pull-up three near the end of the game.

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