Now that we’ve seen who’s set to start in this year’s All-Star Game, there are just a couple of things left to figure out. One: who’s going to be drafted 1st overall, and who’s going to make the reserves.
More often than not, reserves deserve it as much - if not more - as the starters, but with so many great players in the league, is never easy to decide who should make it and who may want to try again next year.
Even so, there are a handful of players that we all know there’s no way in hell are going to be snubbed, either because fans love them or just because nobody can deny they’re All-Star worthy. Today, we’ll give you 7 locks per conference to make it to the big game.
There just can’t be an All-Star Game without Anthony Davis. We’re talking about the best big man in the league, even though his supporting cast has been unable to help him carry the load and make it to the playoffs.
Also, Davis always takes All-Star Games on a personal level, and now that he’s been snubbed of a starting role, we should all be scared. This year, he’s averaging 29.3 points, 13.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.
DeMar DeRozan started off the year on a huge run, but he’s not been his usual self since the start of this calendar year. Either way, he’s a lock to make it to the All-Star Game with the Spurs in playoff spots.
DeRozan is keen to prove the world the Raptors were wrong when they traded him to get Kawhi Leonard, and the All-Star Game may be a perfect scenario to do so. This season, he’s posted averages of 21.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game.
LaMarcus Aldridge may not be your average athletic big man or a guy that wows you with athleticism or versatility, but he’s been posting All-Star caliber seasons for years and this one has been no different.
Maybe he won’t get much love from the fans but coaches recognize his value as one of the best mid-range scorers in the game, as his averages of 20.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game can tell you.
You know Russell Westbrook is always trying to prove that he’s better than everybody else and that he just loves to be on the spotlight in All-Star Games. He competes and stat pads like on a regular season game.
Either way, you just can’t leave the 2nd best player on the 3rd best team in the West out of the playoffs. Moreover, you can’t snub a guy that’s averaging a triple-double for the third straight season, averaging 21.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and 10.7 assists per game.
Damian Lillard never gets enough love, and I personally think things are never going to be different unless he leaves a small market team like the Portland Trail Blazers, as other team’s fans don’t actually see him play.
Lillard is one of the most dominant scorers in the game and he just keeps on leading the Blazers to playoff spots against all odds. This season, he’s posted averages of 26.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game.
Klay Thompson has had his ups and downs this season, but he’s proven to be one of the best scorers and shooters in the world with some heavenly performances, let alone his top-tier defense.
There’s no way the Warriors shouldn't have a third player in this year’s All-Star Game and Thompson deserves to get the nod here. So far, the Splash Brother is averaging 21.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.
We tried, but we couldn’t get Derrick Rose to start in this year’s All-Star Game, but there’s no way he’s not going to make it after all he’s been through and playing the way he’s played all year long.
Rose is finally back to being his old self. He’s confident, he’s driving, he’s finally back mentally and physically. This season, the former MVP has posted averages of 18.6 points, 2.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game.
Jimmy Butler may not get much love from his teammates, but he can truly ball. He’s one of the best two-way players in the league, and he’s earned his All-Star nod. Hopefully, he’ll want to play this year.
Butler is an odd fit for the Philadelphia 76ers, but even so, he’s made them a better team since being traded. This season, he’s averaging 19.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game, a slight regression from last season.
Blake Griffin is posting MVP-caliber numbers but the Detroit Pistons are so god damn awful that his best efforts are just going to waste with them unlikely to make the playoffs even in the lesser Eastern Conference.
Either way, Griffin is definitely living up to his contract. He’s more mature, a much more complete player and he’s even improving in the defensive end, posting averages of 26.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game.
Andre Drummond has been a beast in both sides of the glass as per usual, and he’s truly embraced the fact that he’s no longer the alpha dog for the Pistons, developing a great connection with Blake Griffin.
Even if that doesn’t translate in team success, Drummond keeps establishing himself as one of the best big men in the league. This season, he’s averaging 16.5 points, a league-leading 14.9 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game.
Ben Simmons is drawing a lot of heat for his lack of a jump-shot, and even though we agree to the fact that he should be able to knock down three-pointers, we wouldn’t rush him to take bad shots just to ease his doubters.
Simmons is great at what he does and a once-in-a-lifetime kind of talent. He’s a walking triple-double threat, and one of the craftiest playmakers ever. So far, he’s averaging 16.6 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game.
Kyle Lowry is finally helping his team win games in other ways that don’t exactly include scoring. His outside shot has been off, but he’s finally made his teammates better with his playmaking.
With the Raptors sitting at the top of the Eastern Conference, Lowry should get more praise and recognition this year. So far, he’s posted averages of 14.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and a league-leading 9.4 assists per game.
If Washington Wizards mess around and make the playoffs, the Bradley Beal should be in the MVP conversation. Well, maybe that’s a reach, but he’s been a major stud all season long for the sluggish Wizards.
Beal has become the best player on the team even when John Wall is healthy. He’s been more aggressive, a better defender, and a lights out shooter. This season, he’s averaging 24.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game.
And obviously, we can’t snub Dwyane Wade out of his last All-Star Game. That’s just not happening, especially with fans showing that much love for the Flash. He’s a lock to make it no matter who gets snubbed.
Wade has had a hell of a career and is one of the best shooting guards to ever lace them up. I truly hope he wins this year’s All-Star Game MVP. He’s averaging 13.8 points, 3.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game this season.