NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks: 2024 NBA All-Star Game (February 18)

Sunday brings us the 2024 NBA All-Star Game, taking place in Indiana with a scheduled tip time of 8 p.m. ET on DraftKings and FanDuel. There are several options in the player pool worth analyzing to find the top NBA DFS building blocks and NBA DFS picks. Let’s dig into the NBA DFS picks and core plays for the All-Star Game like Tyrese Haliburton and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Subscribe today for access to our industry-leading resources, including our lineup generator (available for NFL, NBA, MLB and PGA), our DFS simulation tools (available for NFL, NBA, MLB, PGA and MMA) and our industry-leading projections for every sport.

NBA DFS Picks & Building Blocks Today for the NBA All-Star Game

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NBA All-Star Game Format, Rules & Stats to Know 

Things are going back to the 2017 version of the NBA All-Star Game with the teams based on a player’s conference and a timed fourth quarter, rather than the Elam Ending format that has been in play the last four years. For those wondering, yes there have been six traditional All-Star Games that have gone to overtime: 2003 (2OT), 1993, 1987, 1984, 1980 and 1954.

Previous Box Scores

Narrative Connections to Indiana

This year, it is a bit of a stretch for narratives, especially when compared to recent iterations of this exhibition in Utah, Chicago, Cleveland and Charlotte.

  • Tyrese Haliburton is the point guard for the hometown Pacers.
  • Paul George spent his first seven seasons in the league with Indiana after getting drafted 10th overall by them.
  • Jalen Brunson was Mr. Basketball in Illinois back in 2015, going to high school just outside of Chicago, but there’s sort of a Midwest connection with Indianapolis just three hours away.
  • Devin Booker has a similar connection. He grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and stayed in that area through his freshman year of high school before moving to Mississippi for his last couple of seasons before college.

Fantasy Stats

Blocks are few and far between, and steals typically are the result of bad passes. The Elam format did help make the final quarter a little more interesting, but more often than not, teams are typically content to just trade buckets, with accuracy, not defense, being the differentiator for runs.

This game is all about dunks and 3-pointers. Today’s players are so good when unguarded from a distance that they make things look easy. Only three times in the last nine games has a team converted fewer than 50% of their field goal attempts.

Steals, mostly due to errant passes, have been far more prevalent than blocks over the last nine exhibitions and free throws are almost nonexistent.

  • 2023: Three blocks, 15 steals, four free throw attempts
  • 2022: Seven blocks, 24 steals, nine free throw attempts
  • 2021: Three blocks, 24 steals, 10 free throw attempts
  • 2020: 14 blocks, 25 steals, 39 free throw attempts
  • 2019: Seven blocks, 17 steals, 15 free throw attempts
  • 2018: Eight blocks, 20 steals, 28 free throw attempts
  • 2017: Two blocks, 32 steals, eight free throw attempts
  • 2016: Two blocks, 31 steals, seven free throw attempts
  • 2015: Two blocks, 32 steals, 15 free throw attempts

In this nine-game timeframe, there have been 26 double-doubles recorded along with one triple-double (Kevin Durant posted a stat line of 21-10-10 in 2017, though technically, James Harden got there as well with 12-7-12 and 10 turnovers in that same game). It is a mostly even split for double-doubles being achieved with rebounds or assists to go along with points.

One fact that holds, both with the Elam format and the traditional one, is that not much defense gets played — unless it’s particularly close down the stretch. The players do not want to embarrass each other or risk injury.

This also bears out with fouls called. Last year, the teams combined for just eight. Listing out the last eight games in reverse chronological order there have been seven, eight, 16, 35, 15, 24, 16 and 16 fouls.

Playing Time

When it comes to playing time, more often than not, the starters and of course the “captains” typically get extra run. There are no captains this year, so that designation could be applied to the superstars, though keep in mind LeBron, Durant and Lillard are getting a little long in the tooth.

Newbies typically have drawn the short end of the stick when it comes to minutes, though sometimes we also see veterans content to play only a couple of stints on the court. Because of the Elam ending used over the last four years, it is harder to track who received minutes in the untimed quarter, so please understand that this was an estimate provided by the BasketballReference.com box scores.

Looking at last year and setting aside Giannis, who started and played just 20 seconds while dealing with an injury we saw Ja Morant started and played only 20 minutes, in his second-ever All-Star Game. First-timers Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was on the court for just 10 minutes, Haliburton received 13.8, De’Aaron Fox got nine, Jaren Jackson Jr. had eight and second-timer Jrue Holiday was on the floor for only nine minutes.

Bigs can also lose out on minutes, though that has been changing as the center position has evolved. Last year Joel Embiid (27.5) and Nikola Jokic (20.4) started for Team LeBron, while Antetokounmpo was the nominal center for his team. Off the bench, Domantas Sabonis had 11.7 minutes, though Bam Adebayo who is typically classified as a center had 23.6 minutes.

In 2022, Joel Embiid (30.6) and Nikola Jokic (21.1) were the starters, with Rudy Gobert (12.5) and Jarrett Allen (23.7) working as the reserves.

This year with Embiid injured, it is just Jokic as the “true” center. Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns and Adebayo are interchangeable among both frontcourt positions and are more like power forwards.

NBA DFS Picks for the 2024 All-Star Game

Coaches

Glenn Rivers of the Milwaukee Bucks will direct the Eastern Conference and Chris Finch, the third-year head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, will oversee the Western Conference.

Western Conference Starters

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: The 25-year-old has leveled up again after his breakout performance last season. This year he is on the NBA MVP short-list, and while he is unlikely to win the trophy, he should have one in his future. Last year, in his inaugural appearance in this event, he played just over 10 minutes off the bench and provided nine points, seven assists and a pair of rebounds.

Luka Doncic: There is no need for Doncic to dominate the ball, so he tends to settle in as a facilitator and 3-point scorer in this format. In his last three appearances, one off the bench and two as a starter, he has averaged 25.2 minutes with 6.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists. Let other gamers take the risk of having a third consecutive underwhelming fantasy performance drag down their rosters.

Check out BetMGM which is offering under 11.5 points at -120, while most books have lowered the milestone to 10.5, also sign up through this link and bet $5 to get $150 in credits, win or lose. Full details here.

Kevin Durant: The last time he set foot on the court for the All-Star Game, KD was named the MVP. Of course, this was back in 2019, and he has missed each of the last three games due to injury, including in 2021, when he was the captain of Team Durant. Expect the 35-year-old and 14-time All-Star to drop a couple of threes but otherwise enjoy the show via a terrific courtside view.

LeBron James: Is it a coincidence that after finally losing in the sixth game where he served as a captain, the Association went back to the “old” format? This is his 20th appearance in this game for James, and in the last three years, he played 14.4, 36.3 and 13.0 minutes. Guess which game was in Cleveland … let the less savvy gamers ride with the Old All-Timer.

Nikola Jokic: Over the last three seasons, we have seen Jokic take a back seat in this exhibition. Similar to Doncic, there is no need for him to dominate the ball, so he is content to rebound and pass. In these games, two as a starter and one off the bench, he has played between 19 and 21 minutes, taking a total of 13 field goal attempts, four of which were from beyond the arc. He has averaged 6.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.3 assists per outing, which is steady but not spectacular DFS production.

Check out Caesars Sports Book which is offering Jokic for under 7.5 points at -125, while most books have lowered the milestone to 6.5, also sign up through this link and receive up to $1,000 in bet credits if your first wager loses. Full details here. Caesars also has the “lowest” game total, currently available for over 358.5 at -115.

Western Conference Reserves

Devin Booker: Now we are getting to some players that we can recommend, starting with Booker. This is a good spot for him to showcase his range and tally a couple of flashy dunks. In 2022, he came off the bench, playing 30 minutes for Team Durant, and while we should not expect him to get four steals again, he did take 18 field goal attempts, half of which were from downtown. This year he is averaging 37.9% from 3-point range, which is approaching a career-high.

Check out PrizePicks which is offering Booker for over 18.5 points, also sign up through this link and receive a up to a $100 FIRST Deposit Match + ONE FREE MONTH of OddsShopper Premium. Full details here.

Stephen Curry: This will be the 10th All-Star Game for Curry, who missed last year with an injury, but who was the MVP in 2022 in Cleveland. Expect something around 18-20 minutes of playing time and at least a dozen field goal attempts, mostly from long range. In 2021 as a starter for Team LeBron, he played 22 minutes with 19 field goal attempts and 16 were from downtown. Efficiency will be his key to fantasy success.

Anthony Davis: Mr. Glass started and played 20.3 minutes for Team LeBron just before the 2020 pandemic shutdown. The Brow tallied 20 points, nine rebounds, one assist and a trio of blocks. Tonight something along the lines of 15 minutes is a reasonable expectation, accompanied by 20 combined points and rebounds.

Anthony Edwards: Last year Edwards was a late add to the fun, getting in as the injury replacement for Zion Williamson. This season he arrived via his own merits, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to showcase his ability to score from all three levels on the court. Edwards is averaging a career-high 27 points per game, on a career-high 47.1% success rate, including 38.6% on 6.9 3-point attempts. Shortly, he will be contending for the NBA scoring title.

Paul George: Gets the “hometown” bump for having been drafted by the Pacers. In his last two All-Star Games, he has gone 0 for 9 and 5 for 7 from long range, with eight and 17 points. He should be in the middle of that for a baseline, with some upside. Additionally, he has a couple of dimes and boards in each game, as well as one steal in each, since he just can’t help himself.

Kawhi Leonard: This is his sixth All-Star nomination, though he last appeared in the 2020-2021 iteration of this exhibition. It is hard to envision more than 12-15 minutes and maintaining health for the latter half of the season is key, with this being the best chance he and George have had for a deep postseason run.

Karl-Anthony Towns: While this is his fourth time playing in this game, it is just his second since the 2018-19 season. In his last ASG, KAT played 14.2 minutes, with nine points, six rebounds and three assists. That is a reasonable expectation for Sunday night’s action.

Eastern Conference Starters

Giannis Antetokounmpo: After being chosen by LeBron for two seasons, Antetokounmpo was himself a captain last year, and though he only made a ceremonial appearance, the team he crafted took out The King. Technically, that gives him the upper hand on James and a chance to put his stamp on things. Setting that aside, in the last four healthy All-Star Games for Antetokounmpo, he has thrived, averaging 20.3 field goal attempts with a 74% success rate in just under 26 minutes per outing. This has resulted in 32.0 points, 10.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.75 combined blocks and steals, putting him as a strong contender for the multiplier slot.

Tyrese Haliburton: Hali gets a major boost for the hometown angle, and anything less than a double-double will be disappointing for all involved. Currently, Haliburton leads the league with 11.7 assists per game, and he is back to playing regular minutes. This exhibition should not be too stressful for his tender hamstring, so join The Masses in rolling with the pride of the Pacers. Being from the host team should help him clear the minutes ceiling typically capping a second-year participant.

Check out Caesars Sports Book which is offering Haliburton for over 9.5 assists at -135, while most books have shied away from this specific prop for the hometown hero. Sign up through this link and receive up to $1,000 in bet credits if your first wager loses. Full details here

Damian Lillard: This will be the eighth All-Star appearance for Dame Time, and he has piled up the points in each of his last two outings. In these games coming off the bench, he has averaged 22.2 minutes, with 21 and 20 field goal attempts resulting in 26 and 32 points. In each of these game, he ended up with eight made 3-point attempts.

Check out UnderdogFantasy which is offering Lillard for over 6.0 made 3-pointers, also sign up through this link and receive a up to a $100 FIRST Deposit Match. Full details here.

Jayson Tatum: Last year, Tatum showed out with a tremendous performance, which resulted in the MVP Award, rolling up 55 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in a hefty 35.3 minutes. Tatum has the perfect skill set for this game, with a career 37.4% conversion rate from 3-point land plus a chip on his shoulder having fallen short in recent playoffs while also being boxed out for the NBA MVP. He is another potential contender for the multiplier slot, though we need to remember he did benefit last year from Antetokounmpo doing more coaching than playing.

Trae Young: Filling in for Joel Embiid as an injury replacement, we may or may not see Young start. Young is another player well-suited for this event, with long-range scoring and facilitation skills. In his last two All-Star Games, he has averaged 17.4 minutes with 11.5 points and 10.0 assists, with a double-double in each of those tilts.

Eastern Conference Reserves

Bam Adebayo: There is no real need for defense or rebounding in this game, which curbs the DFS appeal for Adebayo. He does not have 3-point range, and there are very few half-court sets. Injuries have kept him from actually suiting up, but in the last two events where he did, he averaged 17.6 minutes per game with a total of seven field goal attempts. To his credit, he made six, but that along with a pair of rebounds and a pair of assists has him on the outside looking in for fantasy gamers.

Paolo Banchero: This is the first ASG for Banchero, though he did appear in the Rising Stars Challenge each of the last two seasons. It would be a surprise to see the former top selection of the 2022 NBA Draft play more than a dozen minutes.

Scottie Barnes: This is another first-timer who is likely to be doing more cheering than playing. Barnes has elevated his game to a top level over last season, but he still is well down the NBA echelon of stars. He was named as the injury replacement for Julius Randle, and much like fellow noob Banchero, he is unlikely to get much action.

Jaylen Brown: Similar to his Boston teammate, Brown has a diverse game that fits well in this exhibition. He has appeared in two of the last three events, averaging 25.5 minutes with 28.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Things could be a little crowded for the Eastern Conference, but Brown is an interesting tournament play, particularly if he carries the questionable tag for the “sore shoulder’ that kept him out of Wednesday’s game.

Jalen Brunson: This is the first time that Brunson has been named an All-Star, and while he is the cornerstone of the New York Knicks, he is likely to take a back seat in this event if tradition holds. Essentially, he is interchangeable with Haliburton, Lillard and Young, but he would be the perfect player to call on if coach Glenn Rivers wants to give his own point guard a lighter role.

Tyrese Maxey: Another rookie to this event, Maxey does have a promising set of skills that should have him thriving — if he gets the playing time. Perhaps his old coach will eschew traditions and give him some extra run.

Donovan Mitchell: Missed one event with an illness, but he has made the squad five times overall. Last year, with the game taking place in Salt Lake City, the former Utah Jazz stalwart paired up with Tatum to take down Team LeBron. It would be a shock to see Mitchell receive 30 minutes and 25 field goal attempts again, but he does have an edge over all the Eastern Conference players who have not yet earned their stripes.

Final Thoughts on the NBA DFS All-Star Game for Sunday, February 18

This is a fun event and there is an edge available if you have read this far. Do not be afraid to completely take players out of the pool such as Adebayo, Banchero, Barnes and even Doncic. Remember this is a fun exhibition event and to play within your means, focusing on entertainment. There are still a couple of Sportsbooks offering +1.5 to +2.5 for the Eastern Conference, though most have now flipped over and are laying points with the younger Eastern Conference team.

Be sure to tune in tonight to the NBA All-Star Game Live Before Show on the Stokastic YouTube channel at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing [email protected].

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