The NBA finally revealed this years’ All-Star Game starters, and while some superstars got snubbed of the nod, they’re a lock to be chosen by the coaches.
It’s never easy to choose which players deserve to get an All-Star nod the most, as we’re talking about the greatest players all across the globe.
However, there are a handful of players that have stood out from the rest of the pack all season long, so even if they didn’t make the first cut, they’re definitely going to be in the big game. Let’s break it down:
East All-Star Reserves
20.3 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 6.5 APG, 1.8 SPG
Jimmy Butler has embraced his role as a leader perfectly with the Miami Heat. He’s got them 2nd in the Eastern Conference despite the fact that their roster is full of young and inexperienced players.
He’s playing the point, checking the rivals’ best scorer, and his energy is just contagious in both ends of the court.
16.0 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 8.5 APG, 2.2 SPG
Ben Simmons doesn’t get any love at all just because he doesn’t shoot threes. However, he’s one of the best two-way players in the world and one of the main reasons why the Philadelphia 76ers are Championship contenders.
He’s a deadly matchup in defense and is currently leading the league in steals per game, all while shooting 57% from the floor. He just doesn’t need a jump shot to impact the game.
27.8 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 6.4 APG, 1.0 SPG
Bradley Beal has been the lone bright spot on a terrible year for the Washington Wizards. He’s been the best shooting guard in the league outside of James Harden, scoring at will, defending and even setting his teammates up as a point guard when needed.
He’s not getting the attention and praise he deserves because of his team’s poor record, but the Hawks have a worse record and Trae Young still made the cut.
19.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.0 SPG
Everybody talks about Giannis Antetokounmpo and for good reason, but the Milwaukee Bucks wouldn’t be nearly half as good if it wasn’t for Khris Middleton.
He may not be a flashy player, but he does all the little things that get you wins, and he does them well. Middleton plays hard on every single possession. He doesn’t take any plays off, and should be an All-Star this season.
21.5 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 2.9 APG, 1.4 SPG
Jayson Tatum is playing the best ball of his young career. He just keeps getting better as years go by, and this season he’s definitely earned an All-Star nod.
He’s taking over games in the clutch time and is a much better defender people give him credit for. The sky seems to be the limit for Tatum, as he keeps posting impressive numbers despite sharing touches with Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown, and Gordon Hayward.
15.8 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 4.6 APG, 1.2 SPG, 1.2 BPG
Erik Spoelstra took a major chance by trading away Hassan Whiteside but that proved how much he trusted Bam Adebayo. Needless to say, he’s paying him back with outstanding play in both ends of the floor.
He’s one of the best passing big men, a solid rim-runner, and also a great defender in the paint. He’s been the Miami Heat’s X-Factor this season, as you can tell by his numbers.
17.3 PPG, 15.7 RPG, 2.7 APG, 2.1 SPG, 1.8 BPG
Andre Drummond is just too good to continue wasting his prime years with the Detroit Pistons. He’s not getting the credit he deserves because of his team’s poor record, even though he’s leading the league in rebounds and should be one of the candidates for the Defensive Player of the Year award.
He’s a rebounding machine and a physical presence all teams would crave having on their roster.
West All-Star Reserves
28.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 7.6 APG, 1.0 SPG
Damian Lillard isn’t getting as much love as he deserves from the fans, but he’s finally drawing a lot of praise from his peers and the media. He’s a lock to make it back to the All-Star Game judging by the way he’s performed thus far.
Even so, the fact that his Portland Trail Blazers have struggled all year long took a toll on the people’s opinion on him again.
25.3 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 7.3 APG, 1.6 SPG
Russell Westbrook is a polarizing player. Either you love him or you hate him. However, numbers don’t lie, and numbers show he should be an All-Star.
Westbrook is proving people wrong this season by taking a back seat to James Harden and do whatever it takes to win basketball games. He may not be a fan favorite, but you just have to respect his game.
17.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 6.4 APG, 1.6 SPG
Chris Paul is turning back the clock and playing with a chip on his shoulder after the Houston Rockets traded him.
He’s proving again that he’s one of the best two-way players in the world, and leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a playoff berth even though everybody thought they were going to be far off this year. He’s been the main star of a great story and deserves to come back.
26.5 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 6.3 APG
Devin Booker has been balling his heart out since he made it to the league. However, the Phoenix Suns have been so dysfunctional and the Western Conference so full of stars that he hasn’t been able to make it to the All-Star Game.
But now that the Suns are still fighting for a spot in the playoffs and there’s no Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson, he has the ultimate chance to get his first nod.
25.5 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 4.3 APG
Brandon Ingram has also played with a chip on his shoulder throughout the entire campaign. People doubted him and the Lakers traded him away, but he’s now the prime candidate to win the Most Improved Player of the Year award.
He’s shown glimpses of greatness thanks to a new-found shooting stroke as well as great defensive instincts. He’s finally balling, and we couldn’t be happier for him.
19.4 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 6.4 APG, 1.0 SPG
Once again the Denver Nuggets are sitting among the elite teams in the league. However, people never seem to care about it, and that’s why Nikola Jokic isn’t an All-Star starter.
Even so, he’s a lock to make it to the All-Star Game after once again embarrassing every defender he faces with his outstanding passing ability and dribbling skills for a big man. He’s an entertainer, so entertain us.
15.6 PPG, 14.5 RPG, 1.7 APG, 2.0 BPG
Rudy Gobert doesn’t play the kind of game that gets fans off their feet, until he swats a shot way into the stands. The defense also deserves a spot in the All-Star Game, and there aren’t many defenders as good as Gobert.
He’s once again a prime candidate for the Defensive of the Year Award, so coaches better stop snubbing him and recognize his value.