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2022 Western Conference All-Stars So Far: Stephen Curry And LeBron James Are Still The Best Players In The West

2022 Western Conference All-Stars So Far: Stephen Curry And LeBron James Are Still The Best Players In The West

The NBA season is about a fourth of the way completed. For some, it might feel too early to start thinking about the league’s rundown of All-Stars. However, it’s never too early to start thinking about the best players in the league right now. The All-Star Game is scheduled for Sunday, February 20, 2022, so there is plenty of time for some players to fall or be added to this list.

If the All-Star Game was tomorrow, there is a lineup that can be displayed. For the Western Conference, the Golden State Warriors appear to be back, while the Phoenix Suns are proving that last year’s run to the NBA Finals was no fluke. Once the votes are in, tied with their play, these would be the Western Conference All-Stars so far.


Starters


Steph Curry

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Stats: 27.8 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 6.6 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.6 BPG

Outside of Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo, if we had to carve out a third finalist for the MVP, Steph Curry’s name would be in the mix. The Warriors own the best record in the NBA and a lot of that has to do with the reigning scoring leader, who hasn’t lost a step in that department. Curry is second in the league in scoring and is shooting a league-high 13.1 three-point attempts and hitting at a 41.2% clip.

Curry was once shooting 98% from the free-throw line. Now, he is shooting 94.2%, but he still leads the league. He is also the leader among all point guards in player efficiency rating (PER). Curry is also a very popular player, so the votes will surely confirm his spot in the starting lineup. With that said, his play has also done the same.


Luka Doncic

(via Hoops Habit)

(via Hoops Habit)

Stats: 25.5 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 8.2 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.6 BPG

There’s a valid argument that this spot should go to Chris Paul, but for now, we are saying that the votes are going to be given to Doncic. The star for the Mavericks isn’t having a bad season. He is third among all point guards in points per game, third in rebounds, and fifth in assists. This class of point guards is very deep, so even with Doncic gnarly averaging a triple-double, he is ranked top-5 in most categories.

Doncic’s play would land him on the All-Star team in any other year. Since he is a popular player, he will get a lot of votes. Even with all the votes, he will get, a 25/8/8 season is a masterful start to the season.


Paul George

Paul George

Stats: 25.9 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 5.1 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.4 BPG

Remember when we all counted out the Clippers? When Kawhi Leonard was lost for the season, we expected the team to be in the lottery. Well, that’s a little extreme, but if the season ended today, the Clippers would be the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference. The reason for the team competing has a lot to do with George, who is a fringe MVP candidate right now.

George is leading all shooting guards in points per game. His 22.0 shots per game also lead all the players at the position, but so do his 9.5 field goals made per game. George is second to only James Harden in double-doubles as well. With the Clippers competing for a playoff spot, it puts the team back in the mix into title contention if Leonard can make a return sometime in April or May.


LeBron James

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Stats: 25.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 6.8 APG, 1.8 SPG, 0.7 BPG

This is purely about votes. As long as LeBron James is in the league, he will get votes to make the All-Star team, but also to start. These numbers are not among the top for the players in his position, but they are good enough to validate an argument that he is an All-Star.

LeBron is playing well enough to keep the Lakers in the playoff conversation despite the team’s slow start. The team would be the No. 8 seed, but a win here and there could propel the team to the No. 4 seed. LeBron has built such a legacy that these votes are fueled by his past accomplishments. With that said, his numbers are good enough to make it, but it’s not truly fair that he would be a starter either.


Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic

Stats: 26.2 PPG, 13.7 RPG, 6.4 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.9 BPG

The reigning MVP should get a shot to start again. Jokic is fourth in the league in scoring, second in rebounds, and leads the league in PER. Jokic is in the MVP conversation as a top-5 player despite the Nuggets playing at .500 this year. The Nuggets have battled injuries, specifically the loss of Jamal Murray.

The key stat that backs up Jokic is his PER. He is leading the league in efficiency, which is what led to him winning the MVP last year. With the Nuggets struggling to stay above .500, his chances right now of being an MVP finalist is low, but he remains a top-5 player in the league.


Bench


Ja Morant

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Stats: 24.1 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 6.8 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.3 BPG

Morant is going to be mentioned for now, but we don’t know the severity of his injury, so we have added a sub at the end of the bench players. Morant was having a stellar season, which is reason to believe that he would be making his first All-Star appearance this year. Morant ranks fourth among point guards in points, while he is shooting 47.6% from the field.

The most impressive stat is Morant’s PER rating, which is second to only Curry. Morant had the Grizzlies playing competitive basketball as the team is currently ranked No. 5 in the conference. Memphis has no star on this team outside of Morant and he is just 22 years old. This team continues to play competitive basketball.


Chris Paul

Chris Paul

Stats: 15.4 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 10.1 APG, 2.1 SPG, 0.3 BPG

As mentioned, Paul should be a starter for the All-Star team, but Doncic will probably beat out Paul on votes. The Suns are tied with the Warriors for the best record in the Western Conference and they previously bested the Warriors in a regular-season matchup. These Suns are no joke and even at 37 years old, Paul appears to have no signs of slowing down.

Paul is the league leader in assists and is fourth in steals. The Suns are in the midst of a 17-game winning streak and own an 18-3 record. It would be fitting that Paul is named a starter and he does deserve that honor.


Devin Booker

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Stats: 23.2 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 4.5 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Along with Paul, Booker has been playing exceptionally well this season. Booker is leading the team in scoring and shooting 40.3% from the three-point range. It’s the best long-range shooting of Booker’s career. Not to mention, this is a career-high in rebounds as well. With the Suns’ current record, the team deserves two All-Stars on the team and Booker is equally deserving.

If Booker keeps scoring at a high rate the Suns keep winning, we should expect to see both players in February suiting up at the All-Star Game. Last year’s run to the Finals certainly helped his case. Booker is going to get votes, especially after being compared to Kobe Bryant at one point.


Donovan Mitchell

Donovan Mitchell

Stats: 23.2 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 5.0 APG, 1.9 SPG, 0.2 BPG

Mitchell is averaging the fourth-most points among shooting guards and the Jazz as a team owns the third-best record in the Western Conference. As long as Mitchell and the Jazz keep succeeding, this is an easy answer for Mitchell to be named an All-Star. Mitchell also has been highly efficient this season.

According to the stats, Mitchell has the second-highest PER among shooting guards, trailing only James Harden for players averaging a high volume of minutes. In recent years, Mitchell has not been as efficient. This year, the Jazz are playing consistently and should remain in competition for a top-3 spot in the standings.


Draymond Green

Draymond Green

Stats: 8.2 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 7.7 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.9 BPG

The Warriors have one of the best records in the league, which means that multiple players will be represented. The question is going to who is added alongside Steph Curry. Jordan Poole is having a solid season. Andrew Wiggins is putting another great year together. While those players look good on paper, the ultimate glue guy has been a healthy Draymond Green.

Green is going to get votes for his past accomplishments, but you have to take into account his defense. Green is pushing for an All-Defensive First Team bid this year. His offensive numbers are dangerously close to his numbers his the 2016-2017 season, while his 55% shooting from the field is a career-high by double digits.


Anthony Davis

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Stats: 24.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.3 SPG, 2.3 BPG

Despite having to play center at times, Davis has been the most consistent player for the Lakers this year. Davis is making a bid for Defensive Player of the Year because of it. He is second in the league in blocks, while he is ranked third in PER among power forwards. His 51.8% shooting from the field is another solid statistic.

As previously mentioned, Davis has been the most consistent player on the team. Russell Westbrook is having a tough time fitting in, while LeBron has battled injuries and suspensions. The Lakers remain in the playoff race because of the steady play from their future All-Star.


Karl-Anthony Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns

Stats: 23.5 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 3.2 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.0 BPG

The Timberwolves are in the playoff race. If the playoffs started tomorrow, the Timberwolves would be the No. 7 seed. With Towns healthy, the team has been fairly competitive. While D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Edwards have also played well, the most consistent has been their star, who hasn’t made the All-Star team since 2018.

Towns are taking the second-most field goal attempts among centers with 16.4 per game. The more impressive stat is that he is shooting 44.0% from the three-point range. There are guards and forwards not even averaging that. Keep an eye on Minnesota for the next two months because if the team can remain competitive, Towns should be back on an All-Star team.


Rudy Gobert (Sub for Morant)

Rudy Gobert

Stats: 15.1 PPG, 14.5 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.0 SPG, 2.1 BPG

With Morant’s future on hold, it’s worth mentioning that Gobert could be added to the list via subbing for Morant, or just outright in place of another player on this list. Gobert is on pace to win another Defensive Player of the Year Award as his blocks count is fourth in the league while leading the league in rebounds.

Offensively, Gobert is second in the league in double-doubles by just one game at the moment. His field goal percentage is a career-high as his 73.1% shooting clip leads the league. Gobert is shooting about seven times a game and still averaging 15.1 points per game, which is also a career-high at the moment. 

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