The starters for the NBA All Star Game have been released and it caused a bit of controversy. They changed the voting system. Previously, fans voted for the starters and there was a feeling that the fans could vote in someone who was undeserving. The players and the media now have a 25% stay in the starters and the fans vote counts for 50%. Points are awarded based on your position. If there is a tie then the number of votes received from the fans would break the tie. On to the business of the day
Western Conference Starters
How Westbrook is not a starter, I will never know. The man is leading the league in scoring and is averaging a triple double after more than 40 games. No one has done that since the 60’s! Apparently, Curry, Westbrook and Harden were tied on points after all was said and done but Curry and Harden had higher fan numbers. I’m not on the Golden State band wagon so that curry magic dust does not affect me. Harden deserves to start though because he is playing probably the best basketball of his career and the Rockets are winning too. They are currently 2nd in the west.
Durant, Anthony Davies and Kawhi Leonard deserve their spots on the league. Durant is averaging over 26 points a game on .544% shooting (.405% from 3) and leads his team in scoring. Those numbers are better than his career average and he seems to be thriving out in Golden State. I left him off my All Star list because he sold out OKC and I thought Boogie Cousins deserved to start. As usual Anthony Davies is putting up monster numbers. Last I checked, he’s third in the league in scoring and second in blocks. Kawhi is also having the best season of his career averaging just over 25 points and he’s in the top 5 in the league in steals.
On to the east…
For me, the back court should have been 2 out of the following John Wall, Kyle Lowry, Demar Derozan and Isaiah Thomas. I think so because those four have elevated their game this season in a way Kyrie hasn’t (my opinion). Check these numbers out. John Wall is averaging 23.1 points per game, he is third in assists, he leads the league in steals and since December, his team owns the best record in the East. Kyle Lowry is putting up 22 points a game and about 7 assists and his team are second in the East. Demar Derozan is averaging 28 points per game. Isaiah Thomas is fourth in the league in scoring and leads the league in 4th quarter and is carrying Boston this year. Kyrie Irving is doing okay but he is not doing anything extraordinary which is why I don’t think he should be there.
For the front court, Lebron is well Lebron he earns his spot by default. I am happy Giannis is there because he is doing things no one has ever done before. The only one I’m sort of on the fence about is Jimmy Butler. Yes he has a max contract and yes he is the best player on the Bulls and he pulled off a 50 point game recently. I just feel for some reason he is not outstanding offensively. Maybe a B+ (maybe I just need to watch more Bulls games) which is why I went for Hassan Whiteside who I knew wasn’t going to get near the team.
The game takes place towards the end of February and there will be a few interesting things to see not least how Westbrook and Durant handle being team mates.