3 of our favorite plays from All-Star Weekend

Plus: 10 moments you may have also enjoyed from the events

Welcome back to A Farewell to Takes, our quick trip around the NBA and WNBA. All-Star Weekend’s unofficial host Tyrese Haliburton came to our studio for last week’s episode of The Old Man and the Three. I especially loved this conversation about a play design from Quin Snyder.

Last night, I went live on our YouTube to react to everything that happened over All-Star Weekend, including the triumph that is Steph and Sabrina’s 3-Point Contest. This morning, I spoke to Nekias and Steve for today’s episode of The Old Man and the Three Things, where we talk about the three teams to watch after the break.

On this week’s A Farewell to Takes:

  • Nekias Duncan of The Dunker Spot shares 3 of his favorite plays from All-Star Weekend

  • Steve Jones Jr. of The Dunker Spot lists the 10 things he enjoyed from the events

  • Nekias recommends a story about basketball artists

Thanks for reading! —JJ

These were Nekias’s favorite plays from the weekend

All-Star Weekend used to be a natural source of joy and entertainment for me. Ridiculous star power, fun competitions, celebrity antics, and a highlight-filled All-Star Game to cap off the festivities. It doesn't hit the way it did when I was a #youth, but the weekend is still generally a fun one. This year was no different, though there's obviously room for improvement. Look no further than an apathetic Adam Silver congratulating the East for their record-setting performance.

One of the ways I "find the fun" during All-Star Weekend that I'd recommend for other hoop heads? Pinpointing when actual offense is being run during these competitions. We know we're getting between 20-60% effort at any given time — aside from whoever wants to win the Celebrity All-Star Game MVP — so bemoaning that will lead to an unbearable experience. Do yourself a favor and make a game out of the games; I sure did!

Here are some of my favorites from the weekend.

1) Chris Finch opens the Elevator

I'm a sucker for a good Elevator set, and Wolves/West head coach Chris Finch brought the goods with this one. The false action between Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luka Dončić could've been enough. Dončić could simply fly off the handoff from Jokić and flow into two-man game from there. Instead, you get SGA cutting through and lifting up the "Elevator" doors and getting a wide open triple out of it. It looked cool at half-speed; just imagine the satisfaction one must get seeing it run correctly in an actual game.

2) Team Pau flipping the script

I surely didn't have Team Pau as a one-game wonder; I had them winning the whole darn thing. At the very least, they gave us some fun stuff with Victor Wembanyama early on.

Sign me up for any inverted pick-and-roll with a big that can actually handle the ball — even more so for a 7'4 demigod. Using Jaime Jaquez Jr. here is smart, as he's a good screener and possesses the footwork to flip-and-run before defenses can get set. Pairing those two together, while also making sure the right corner is empty (to eliminate a tag on the roll) is quality stuff.

3) Team Detlef goes to Spain

If you've followed me for any amount of time, you know that Spain (or Stack, fine) pick-and-roll is one of my favorite actions. The G-League squad not only going with a Spain variant, but kicking things off with a Ram screen (the primary screener receiving a screen before flowing into the pick-and-roll) is incredibly pleasing to your boy. I should've known then that the upset was really in play. —Nekias

10 things Steve enjoyed about All-Star Weekend

The All-Star Break has come and gone and before regular NBA action returns, wanted to highlight some of my favorite moments from a thrilling All-Star Weekend.

  • The Celebrity All-Star game featuring Puka Nacua and Micah Parsons on a mission to prove they could hoop and delivering the football classics (face up, through the legs, cross over, spin move, finish)

  • Team Jalen taking the Rising Stars Challenge with a team built on size (Chet Holmgren, Dereck Lively II, Walker Kessler, Jeremy Sochan, Jalen WIlliams, Benedict Mathurin). The fun for me was realizing they were daring teams to shoot because the size was in the paint and they could attack on the other end.

  • Victor Wenbanyama cursing on National TV by quoting Pop. I just was not ready.

  • Anthony Edwards talking about how strong his left hand three was in the lead up to the All-Star Break and then going all in on the left hand bit during the Skills Challenge which resulted in one shot off the side of the backboard and a second miss. Add Victor’s post game quote of “They wanted to have fun”, pausing and adding “Fun is winning” and I will be seated for the Wolves/Spurs matchup on February 27th.

  • All Tyrese Maxey + Scottie Barnes Skills Challenge Content. They can’t catch a break on the team ups.

  • The 3-Point Contest featuring a four way tie for first with 26 points between Trae Young, Tyrese Haliburtion, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Damian Lillard. Which lead to Damian Lillard prevailing in dramatic fashion in the Final with 26 points.

  • That 26 points is the same amount that Sabrina Ionescu got in her challenge vs. Stephen Curry by the way. An important and fun moment that should be highlighted in the proper fashion.

  • Jacob Toppin likely should have advanced but Mac McClung once again put on a show. I respected Jaylen Brown leaning into the left hand bit, even if Donovan Mitchell did not share the same confidence.

  • The All-Star Game featured the East scoring 211 points and I am sure a lot of discourse. I salute Tyrese Haliburton for scoring 15 points early in under two minutes, Damian Lillard responding by side eyeing the MVP trophy and unleashing a barrage of deep threes. Jaylen Brown tried to sneak his way in there, Karl-Anthony Towns was determined to get to 50.

  • My favorite moment was Nikola Jokić pump faking everyone on two dunks. That or Luka Dončić getting a dunk, trying to throw it off the backboard and missing, immediately followed up by Damian Lillard hitting a pull up from half court.


Tyrese Haliburton came to the studio to record an in-person episode of The Old Man and the Three with JJ and Tommy. He talked about a fantastic play from Quin Snyder, the game ball incident with Giannis, his new partnership with Pascal Siakam, and much more.

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What Nekias enjoyed reading last week

As an X's and O's junkie, it's always important for me to turn my brain down a notch and appreciate some of the things that aren't so granular. Mirjam Swanson knocks this piece out of the park by highlighting a few basketball artists, but specifically my guy Beau Estes — the voice behind NBA.com's daily top 10. Getting insight from him — and even a real-deal peak at him doing the countdown — is awesome stuff that I can't recommend more. —Nekias

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