For the starting positions, I think these deserve to go to players who are making their teams better, and making their teams win.
In the West, it’s pretty obvious that Harden, Luka, LeBron and AD should be starting, since they’re all in the MVP race. Jokic gains the last spot due to the Nuggets solid record and the quality of his recent play.
The East isn’t as clear cut, but obviously Giannis gets in. The Heat have been phenomenal and have outperformed all expectation so far, and they’re headed by two monsters in Butler and Adebayo, so I think they thoroughly deserve it. The Celtics have been consistently good, headed by their new recruit Kemba. And in a pretty shallow guard group in the east, I think Ben Simmons gets the last spot, as the Sixers are doing alright for now, and Simmo’s been the most consistent performer for them.
- Kemba Walker
- Bradley Beal
- Pascal Siakam
- Giannis Antetokounmpo
- Joel Embiid
- Domantas Sabonis
- Jimmy Butler
- Bam Adebayo
- Khris Middleton
- Trae Young
- Jaylen Brown
- Spencer Dinwiddie
- Luka Doncic
- James Harden
- LeBron James
- Anthony Davis
- Nikola Jokic
- Kawhi Leonard
- Paul George
- Russell Westbrook
- Donovan Mitchell
- Damian Lillard
- Karl Anthony-Towns
- Chris Paul
For the most part, these selections were quite easy to make.
When it comes to All-Star selections, winning should play a big part in who makes it and who doesn’t. This is why a vast majority (9 out of 10) of my selections are from teams that are the 6th seed in their conference or higher.
This made the second spot in the East backcourt tough. Kemba is a shoe in, that’s almost indisputable, but that second spot is a tough choice. If Jimmy Butler was considered a guard, which he has been for the virtually the entirety of his career, then he would be there in a heartbeat. Bradley Beal, based purely off his amazing play for a team that has done much better than expected of them, secured himself that spot in my voting.
Butler and Siakam were in a close contest for the last frontcourt spot in the East. Siakam, for me, has played better than Butler so far through the season. But if he continues to miss more games – as he hasn’t played since the 18th of December – than I may have to change that spot to Jimmy Butler.
East: I wish I could vote:
Devonte Graham, Jaylen Brown, Domantas Sabonis and Nikola Vucevic
All these players have teams in the top 5 seeds, whilst Trae Young has had a phenomenal season in offense, his team is dead last in the NBA and therefore will unlikely get the starting gig (but maybe on the bench). Giannis is likely the MVP this season, Siakam has continued to improved (but needs to get back from injury), Kemba is leading the Celtics resurgence and the Sixer big two speak for themselves.
I wish that Graham gets some credit for his insane improvement this season and the fact that Charlotte are 9th in the East! Jaylen Brown has been only slightly better than Tatum this season and will likely be on the bench. Sabonis and Vucevic are both powerhouse forces with teams in the playoff race and never get the credit they deserve.
West: I wish I could vote:
Lou Williams, Devin Booker, Brandon Ingram
Besides Giannis, here are the other top 6 players in the NBA. LeBron and AD have brought back showtime and sit atop the West, Luka and Harden are willing their teams to huge wins behind insane triple doubles and Kawhi without even trying is probably one of the best two-way players in the league.
I would love for Lou Williams to finally get an All-Star nod after his outrageous snub last season. Devon Booker (despite his team being trash) is always fun on offense and would suit the style of the All-Star Game well. Ingram is the most deserving, with the current ascension of the Pels (without Zion), Ingram has been their go to player and has shown that he can be a leading player on a team. I’m a Lakers fan so I have to have the big two Lakers on my list.