Over the course of the last couple of years, everybody’s talking about how the Eastern Conference has been softer than the Western Conference and how the best players in the world rather go East.
However, some of the league’s best rising talents are working their hearts off to put that narrative aside and prove that both conferences are very competitive and feature the best players in the world.
And judging by what we’ve seen so far out of the 15th Eastern Conference teams and how their players have fared so far, we’re going to let you know about our prediction for the upcoming All-Star Game:
Trae Young is putting up incredible numbers this season and it’s crazy to think a lot of people called him a bust less than a year ago. So far, he’s averaging 28.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 8.5 assists, 1.2 steals, and 3.4 three-pointers per game on 45/38/86 shooting. If that’s not All-Star worthy, then I don’t know what it is.
Ben Simmons is yet to take that step forward we all expected, but still, he’s been a major force in both ends of the floor for the Philadelphia 76ers. Playing top-notch defense and showing some of the sickest handles in the league, he’s averaging 14.4 points, 6.7 rebounds, 8.1 assists, and a league-leading 2.1 steals per game at this moment.
Derrick Rose almost made the cut last year, so we’re rooting for him to keep it up and make it back this to the All-Star Game this season. He’s one of the leading candidates for Sixth Man of the Year and has been the lone bright spot in the Pistons’ offense. So far, he’s averaging 16.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game on 48/32/86 from the floor.
The Washington Wizards are in no position to contend right now. However, that hasn’t stopped Bradley Beal from bringing his A-Game night in and night out and trying to compete at the highest of levels. So far, he’s averaging 27.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 2.7 three-pointers and 1.0 steals per game.
After a somewhat underwhelming sophomore season, Jayson Tatum is once again showing glimpses of greatness and reckless scoring ability. If he keeps it up, he’s finally going to make it to his first All-Star Game. Thus far, he’s scoring 20.8 points with 7.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.5 three-pointers, and 1.4 steals per game.
Injuries have kept Zach LaVine from taking a step forward on his career. However, he’s playing with a chip on his shoulder right now and wants to prove that he’s one of the finest scorers in the league. The Bulls’ record won’t help his case, but his averages of 23.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.3 steals, and 3.0 triples per game will certainly do.
Andre Drummond has led the league in rebounds per game in back-to-back seasons and is on pace to do it once again this year. He’s improved a lot as a rim-running big man and his presence alters a lot of shots down low. He must be traded, but so far, he’s averaging 17.8 points wit an insane 16.7 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 1.8 blocks per game.
Guard – Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker has done an outstanding job to fill in Kyrie Irving’s shoes. He hasn’t backed down from any challenge and has proven to be more than capable of leading the Boston Celtics to success, so he’s definitely going to be an All-Star Game.
Walker keeps making strides as a defender and is one of the biggest entertainers in the league so far. With averages of 23.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 0.9 steals, 3.8 three-pointers per game and the Celtics fanbase having his back, he can’t miss the cut.
Guard – Jimmy Butler
When Jimmy Butler decided to sign with the Miami Heat, most people thought he was making a mistake as the team wouldn’t be in a position to compete. A third of the season has gone by, and clearly Butler has proved everybody wrong.
Butler’s presence has made a huge impact on both ends of the floor for his team and he quickly embraced his role as an alpha dog. So far, he’s averaging 20.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 2.1 steals, and 1.0 triples on 43% from the floor.
Forward – Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the most entertaining player in the league and it’s not even close. He’s a freak of nature, a guy that can dunk from the free-throw line, and that has the handles and moves of a guard trapped in the body of a big man.
The Greek Freak continues to lead his team in pretty much all major stat this year and with his averages of 31.7 points, 12.8 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.2 blocks, and 1.6 triples per game with 56% FG, there’s just no way he’s not an All-Star starter.
Forward – Pascal Siakam
Pascal Siakam went from late 1st round pick to the G-league, to role player, to third-gun, to Most Improved Player. Now, he’s one of our early candidates to win the MVP for the way he’s embraced his new role with the Raptors now that Kawhi Leonard is gone.
Siakam keeps improving on both ends of the floor and it doesn’t feel as if he’s going to take his foot off the gas any time soon. So far, he’s averaging 25.1 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.0 steals, and 2.5 three-pointers per game with 45% FG from the floor.
Forward – Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid hasn’t been as good as he was – stat-wise – last season and we hold him to a high standard, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been a stud all year long. Most importantly, he’s looked quite healthy for most of the season so far.
Embiid has made it clear that he wants a shot at the ring and he’s definitely playing like a man on a mission, as you can tell by his averages of 22.7 points, 12.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.3 blocks, and 1.1 three-pointers per game.