The NBA is a very talented landscape right now, and superstars of all ages are having an impact on the game. But which group of players are better: those under 30 years old or those over 30 years old?
In order to find the conclusion, we have grouped the starting lineups of the under 30s against that of the over 30s. The benches are also included, with 7 players on each end. Here is the superstar showdown between the best players over 30 and the best players under 30.
PG: Kyrie Irving vs. Stephen Curry
At the point guard spot, Kyrie and Curry will go head to head on offense. Irving creates his own shot, moves well to get open, and drains threes in the face of opponents. Kyrie will be methodical in this game and his approach at scoring will greatly benefit his team.
Stephen Curry will catch fire in this game, leading all players in scoring. Curry will have a big game from deep, going 7-13 from three, and also coming up big on the boards. Curry does a great job at affecting the game in many ways and therefore outplays Kyrie.
SG: Luka Doncic vs. James Harden
Both superstar players in this position thrive on offense, and with the ball in their hands. Luka is only a third-year player but is already an unstoppable offensive force. Doncic has a career average of 25.7 PPG already, and his playmaking is probably his best attribute.
Similarly, Harden is an entire offensive force on his own. He holds a career average of 25.2 PPG, and his playmaking might also be his best attribute. Both superstar guards will be the primary ball handlers and playmakers for their teams and will hold the keys to the offense.
SF: Kawhi Leonard vs. LeBron James
The showdown between two superstar forwards and the second most anticipated matchup. Kawhi Leonard brings a tough defensive mindset while The King does his job with the ball in his hands. In the end, it is hard to bet against The King.
Kawhi plays tough defense on LeBron and forces him into more of a playmaking role, and also holds him to below 50% shooting. But LeBron grabs a triple-double and by sharing the playmaking duties with James Harden, he controls the pace of the game.
PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. Kevin Durant
By far the most anticipated matchup is between Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant. The Greek Freak has a triple-double, scoring the ball and playing exceptional all-around defense. He does a great job at attacking the paint and making things happen.
On the other end, Kevin Durant reminds us why he is a 4-time scoring champion. Durant holds a career average of 27.0 PPG, which is more than 20.8 PPG set by Giannis, and that offense proves to be the difference.
C: Nikola Jokic vs. Dwight Howard
This is the first lopsided matchup. Nikola Jokic is an MVP player, a triple-double threat, and arguably the best passing big man we have ever seen. On the opposite side is 3-time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard, who is way past his prime.
Jokic is having a magical season putting up 26.1 PPG, 11.0 RPG, and 8.8 APG. Dwight Howard, in a backup role, is providing 6.8 PPG and 8.3 RPG. Jokic will pretty much have his way with Howard, who is not the same player he used to be. Jokic has a massive game but it won't be enough in the end.
Below 30s Bench: Ben Simmons, Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum, Zion Williamson, Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid
Over 30s Bench: Chris Paul, Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook, DeMar DeRozan, Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Nikola Vucevic
The bench of both teams is extremely stacked as expected. For the Under 30s, Tatum and Davis lead all scorers while Booker plays his part as well. The size of the Under 30s is very daunting, as only Howard and Vucevic have to handle the likes of Zion and Embiid off the bench.
But Chris Paul, Damian Lillard, and Paul George have big games to help the Over 30s in the end. The scoring ability of the trio paired with the double-double threat of Russell Westbrook is massive. Both benches play well, but the Over 30s get a massive boost from Paul, Lillard, and George.
The first quarter is back and forth, with the first 12 minutes ending with an even score. The Under 30s have Nikola Jokic grabbing a near double-double with 8 points and 8 rebounds, while Stephen Curry drains 3 three-pointers in the quarter alone. The impact of Jokic cannot be ignored and the Over 30s address it in the second quarter.
The second quarter is much of the same, with Zion and Embiid playing big minutes as well. The size of the Under 30s is playing a bigger role, and LeBron James plays a large part in defending the paint. His size and basketball IQ help his team get stops, while James Harden and Kevin Durant heat up. The Under 30s have massive points in the paint advantage, but the Over 30s manage to score the ball well to grab a 65-62 lead.
The third quarter is where Over 30s double the bigs. This forces Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving to have a big scoring quarter, with Tatum and Booker contributing well. The Over 30s play a tough defensive lineup for much of the quarter with Paul, Butler, George, LeBron, and Howard. But the Under 30s catch fire and enter the 4th quarter with a 95-85 lead.
The 4th quarter is where big plays happen. Under 30s slow down on offense just a little bit, which gives James Harden and LeBron James the space to take over. On 5 straight occasions, Harden and James generate a total of 14 points off of drives and jumpers. Their offense is invaluable, and they are able to get big buckets from Curry and Durant down the stretch.
Curry has 3 more three-pointers, taking his total to 7, and Durant has 10 big points. As great as Jokic and the Under 30s bigs are, LeBron James and company are too experienced and impactful on offense to lose this and take the victory.
Under 30s vs. Over 30s 116-1120
LeBron James (25 Points, 10 Rebounds, 15 Assists)