While there hasn't been an official venue set for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game and the game itself hasn't been confirmed, the voting has opened for the All-Star teams themselves. Fans can vote for which players are deserving of being an All-Star, and there are many qualified candidates. A lot of players have had good seasons, and as such, the All-Star voting is going to be packed full of different names.
While there are many players who are of the caliber to be All-Stars, there will be only 10 players who are the starters for a potential game. The starters are determined by a combination of fan, media, and player voting. Here are our predictions on the All-Star Starters for each conference.
Eastern Conference Starters
Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid
Kyrie Irving starting at the point guard spot in the Eastern Conference is almost a foregone conclusion. His game style is very conducive to an All-Star setting: fans love watching slick handles and isolations, and Kyrie Irving brings both aplenty. He is currently averaging 27.9 PPG, 4.8 RPG, and 5.8 APG. Those are the numbers of an All-NBA player, and with the Brooklyn Nets being one of the most exciting teams in the league, Irving will definitely get a lot of fan votes. Combine the fans loving his dribble moves with everyone else respecting his basketball ability, and you can see why Kyrie Irving will get the nod.
Jaylen Brown is having a huge breakout season: he is currently averaging 27.1 PPG, 5.6 RPG, and 3.5 APG. Jaylen Brown is known as an elite two-way wing, and he has had a huge breakout season. With the Boston Celtics being a big market, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will likely both be All-Stars, but in terms of pure basketball play, Jaylen Brown deserves the nod to be the starter. The Celtics are a contender in the Eastern Conference, and Jaylen Brown has had a stellar season. Anyone can recognize the improvement Jaylen Brown has made, and that will be reflected in the All-Star voting.
Kevin Durant will obviously be an All-Star starter. Durant has come back from a huge Achilles injury this season, but he looks like he hasn't lost a step. Durant's averages are some of the best that he's had during his career: 30.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG, and 5.5 APG are MVP caliber, so it's almost obvious that he's the All-Star starter. Durant is a polarizing player, but his basketball abilities speak for themselves, and he has fans from all over the world. Kevin Durant is going to be one of the starters in the All-Star game: he is one of the top players in the world.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is one of the most popular players in the league, while also being one of the most talented. Giannis Anteteokounmpo's signature move is dunking on an opponent, and in a game that emphasizes flashiness, that's obviously something that fans want to see. Giannis Antetokounmpo won MVP last year, and it looks like he is continuing his regular-season heroics: 26.8 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 5.6 APG are his stats for the season. Giannis Antetokounmpo will be an All-Star starter this year: he was an All-Star captain for the last two years, so it would make sense for him to be a starter.
Joel Embiid is making an MVP case for himself in Philadelphia 76ers, and there is no better center within the Eastern Conference. The 76ers are playing through Joel Embiid, and his numbers reflect that: he is putting up 27.7 PPG, 11.1 RPG, and 2.8 APG during the 2020-21 season. Embiid is a popular social media personality as well, often known for his funny Twitter antics. Joel Embiid is playing out of his mind, has a huge following, and is the best center in the East: all those factors should land him the starting position for a potential All-Star game.
Western Conference Starters
Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Nikola Jokic
Stephen Curry's name alone should explain why he is an All-Star starter. Aside from Curry's accolades, he is just a fun player to watch: deep threes, floaters over two defenders, the wizard handles. We could go on and on about why Stephen Curry is mesmerizing with the basketball. The numbers back Stephen Curry up, as 27.7 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 6.0 RPG are elite numbers for an All-Star. While the Warriors are currently the 9th seed in the Western Conference, they should make it back to a playoff seed soon. Stephen Curry is one of the most popular players in the league and is widely considered to be the best point guard in the NBA. There is no reason for him not to be a starter.
Damian Lillard is an extremely intriguing player to watch. Currently, Lillard is without his running mate in CJ McCollum. That has led to increased usage for Damian Lillard, and he has been putting on a show. Lillard is currently averaging 28.8 PPG, 4.8 APG, and 7.1 APG. The Western Conference second guard spot was pretty much a lock for James Harden before this season. However, with Harden out of the Western Conference, the spot is open. Damian Lillard has made his case as an All-Star starter: he is an elite shot creator who rises up in the clutch.
LeBron James is still the best player in the world, so he will probably be an All-Star starter. James is currently averaging 25.5 PPG, 7.8 RPG, and 7.5 APG. LeBron James is an all-around forward who can do everything on the basketball court. The Lakers are doing well, and LeBron James is having a good season: that simply makes him a lock to start the game due to his skill and his status as a legend among the NBA community. LeBron James is the best of the best, and he would obviously get a ton of fan votes as well.
Kawhi Leonard will most likely make it as a starter because he is the best player on the Los Angeles Clippers and one of the best forwards in the game. Leonard's shot creation is elite, and he is one of the players who can claim that they've beaten LeBron James in a Finals matchup. Kawhi Leonard is averaging 25.9 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 5.7 APG this season. Leonard is averaging a career-high in APG and still has his smooth isolation game. Though he has a quiet presence for a superstar, Leonard is still lethal on the court, and skill-wise, there is no question that he deserves the position. Leonard will most likely get a lot of votes as well, coming from Los Angeles Clippers and Toronto Raptors fans.
Nikola Jokic has turned himself into a triple-double machine. Nikola Jokic is the best center in the Western Conference and the best passing big man in the league. Nikola Jokic's stats are elite: 25.2 PPG, 11.8 RPG, and 8.9 APG are all great benchmarks for a center and are the numbers you want your superstar to be putting up. Jokic's passing is a thing of beauty, and his post-game is elite. Nikola Jokic is in the MVP conversation, and he is a unique player who fans love to watch. Most players who are in the talks for the MVP award end up starting in the All-Star game and Jokic is no different.