We're getting closer and closer to All Star weekend and voting is well under way. The leading vote getters have been no surprise. My choices for NBA all stars are not that far off. Some selections, however, don't make any sense. Lonzo Ball and Isaiah Thomas who are both fan favourites have neither played enough nor performed at a level that warrants an appearance in the big game. We all know fans vote for their favourites (looking at you Zaza.) but I'm going to try being subjective. These are the 5 best players in each conference and my choices for the 2018 All Star game starters.
After the fallout of the trade that shocked us all, Kyrie has the Celtics winning at a high level. Nearly every night he fills Sportscenter with highlights of crazy crossovers and ankle breakers unlike anyone else in the league. Kyrie has the stats, wins, and narrative that we all hope for in an All Star. He's an easy choice for me.
Is Oladipo a candidate for Most Improved Player of the Year? Probably. He's putting up crazy scoring numbers averaging almost 25 points per game and is making the Paul George deal look better and better for the Pacers while keeping them in playoff contention. Once again this pick was easy. Maybe if John Wall had been healthy he would have taken this spot but Oladipo has truly earned it.
Lebron will start the All Star game for the next 50 years.
The Greek Freak wass leading the league in votes early on and I'm all over that bandwagon. The kid is the most entertaining player in the league in my opinion and anyone who doesn't think he should be here is losing their damn mind. Giannis has been stellar and the All Star game's soul purpose is to exhibit players just like him.
I had Embiid in this spot prior to DeRozan's recent run of remarkable scoring but DeMar has changed my mind completely. The Raptors' bucket getter has been lights out as of late. He's improved his three point shot and shown the ability to play inside a ball movement heavy offence. His willingness to pass the ball and involve teammates has only endeared him to me more each game. This has been the best I've seen him and he belongs on the court with the best.
Honorable Mentions: Joel Embiid, Kristaps Porzingis, Bradley Beal
Until his recent injury Harden has been one of two players leading the conversation about who looks like this year's MVP. He's been absolutely unreal and the Rockets have been on fire. The beard is one of the most unstoppable offensive players we've seen in a long time and what better place than the All Star game to forget about defense. (Other than the playoffs?)
To me, Curry and Westbrook are interchangeable at this spot but missed games from Steph and the recent play of the Thunder have me giving it to Russ. He's nearly averaging a triple double again and who doesn't want to see him destroy the rim along side the best in the league.
He's Kevin Durant, the second best player in the league. He's an All Star. Duh.
While the Pelicans have been no more than average, the two towers who represent them have been absolutely dominant. At this point it might even be fair to call Anthony Davis underrated. The only big man in the west who is remotely close happens to play along side him.
Next to Anthony Davis, Demarcus Cousins has still managed to stand out. Once more, an offensive player fits nicely in the most offensive game of the year. The All Star game is all about scoring and these guys get BUCKETS.
Honorable Mentions: Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, Jimmy Butler, Donovan Mitchell
My ten may not be surprising, they may be exactly what you were expecting, but that's how it should be. The choices were obvious and I'm not about to spit hot takes for hot takes sake. This is an exhibition of the best players in the league, not necessarily my favourite. That list would look a little different (Can I start Javale McGee 10 times?). Maybe I'd throw in a Michael Beasley or Nick Young, who knows, maybe even Cameron Payne. Unfortunately the all star game is one of the least exciting parts of all star weekend but hopefully with the new schoolyard style, 'captains pick teams' format we'll see guys step up their defense and bring us a good one for a change. Either way we'll be sure to get some fun throw downs and an abundance of half court thees to tie us over until the real basketball resumes and we can either watch as our teams fight for a playoff spot, coast their way there, or enjoy a wonderfully miserable tank to close out the season. Who gets your vote for an All Star game starting spot?
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