It’s all about the benjamins baby. Despite a global pandemic, we will have an NBA All-Star game. Atlanta will host a shortened bubble of the usual All-Star weekend, as the NBA All-Star starters were announced yesterday on TNT. We have the group of 10 guys that captains LeBron James and Kevin Durant will have at disposal for selecting in the All-Star Draft for their starting lineup. The only thing left to do is the reserves that will be announced in a couple of days, as I will give you my predictions and thoughts on who is deserving of playing in the most star-studded game of the year in Atlanta for the East.
Starters: LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Nikola Jokic, Stephen Curry, and Luka Doncic
29.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 7.7 apg
“Dame” is the biggest no-brainer choice, as a lot of fans are mad he isn’t starting. He has been dominating the NBA lately, as he put the Blazers on his back because of the injuries of his co-stars C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic, propelling them to a great 18-10 record momentarily. I don’t think there is another player in the league currently you would want with the ball in hand in clutch situations instead of Lillard.
24.2 ppg, 4.4rpg, 5.1apg
When you are the best player on the best team in the league, you usually make your way into the All-Star game. “Spida” has shown significant improvement this season, as his Jazz has stunned the league with a fantastic record of 24-5 to this point. Mitchell has improved in almost every statistical category, as he is well-deserving of the nod.
14.2 ppg, 13.4 rpg, 2.7 bpg
If you think Gobert is not deserving, you need to watch a Jazz game. His game goes far beyond stats, as he is anchoring their defense perfectly and controlling the game on that side of the floor. On the other end, Gobert is great on offense, rolling hard and finishing the looks he gets at high efficiency. He is a huge part of the Jazz being the best team in the league at the time, as they definitely deserve 2 All-Stars with Gobert and Mitchell.
24.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 5.5 apg
PG-13 came into this season with a mission, as he has been trying to clear his name and image after that brutal playoff performance last year. He has been doing a great job, shooting an incredible 47.8% from the three-point line and showing us he is looking a lot more comfortable this year in his role alongside Kawhi. George is an All-Star lock, but he needs to continue this type of game in the postseason.
24.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.4 apg
Booker has established himself as one of the premier guards in the league this season, leading the Suns to relevancy. They are in the playoff picture with a great 17-10 record, thanks mostly to Booker, who has thrived playing alongside Chris Paul. That’s usually what CP3 does, making his teammates All-Stars. We will see if the young Suns led by Booker and Paul can make some noise when it counts.
25.0 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 3.1 apg
This was the first real dilemma for me, as I had to think hard about who I would rather reward between the Pelicans duo of Zion and Ingram. In the end, I went with Zion because of the incredible run he has been on lately and the unbelievable efficiency he is showing, shooting 62.5% from the floor. It seems we have become pretty used to Zion dropping 30 points without missing more than a couple of shots. Maybe I’m biased because of wanting to see him in an All-Star game because of his unbelievable dunking ability, but still, he is very deserving. If the Pelicans had a better record, both Zion and Ingram would be locks for the game. But they are still very young, as they both will be there for years to come.
22.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 3.0 apg
Even though he has had a pretty disappointing season, dropping his stats, “AD” still has been averaging All-Star numbers this season, being the second fiddle to LeBron and key to the Lakers remaining at the top of NBA rankings. Davis will be selected, but because of the recent injury he suffered, he will most likely be out for the game and replaced with one of the honorable mentions below.
Honorable mentions: Brandon Ingram, De’aaron Fox, Demar Derozan, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chris Paul, Mike Conley