It’s always fun to watch the All-Star game every year. We get to see the best in the world showcase their skills with minimal defense. I decided it would be interesting if I made my list of who I believe should be all stars. I’m starting with just the 5 starters from each conference in this article so it isn’t too long.
Trae Young – Atlanta Hawks (Backcourt)
Just in his second season, Ice Trae has been phenomenal. His 28.9 points is good enough for 4th in the NBA, and he is also tied for fourth in assists. He has incredible range, is fun to watch, and seems like a perfect fit to go off in an All-Star game. It’s no surprise that Young is the leading vote getter for eastern conference guards.
Kemba Walker – Boston Celtics (Backcourt)
I think Kemba Walker is deservant of his second consecutive all-star start. Looking at guards in the east this year, he has been second best (Kyrie Irving hasn’t played enough games for me to put him in). Almost 22 points, with a PER of 21.7 and 4.2 win shares. It’s no question Kemba is a huge reason that the Celtics hold down the 2 seed in the east.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – Milwaukee Bucks (Frontcourt)
How much really needs to be said. It’s Giannis. He’s been having a similar season to his MVP campaign last year, and he is established as the best player in the east over the past couple years. Averaging almost 30 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 assists per game surely gives Giannis a spot as an all-star starter, and it enters his name in the MVP convo for another year.
Joel Embiid – Philadelphia 76ers (Frontcourt)
While he just got hand surgery, Joel has been dominant on the inside this season. He might be the most feared post presence in all of the NBA. 23.4 points and 12.3 rebounds, and elite defense has helped the anchor of the Sixers stay solid while they have some offensive troubles. Assuming he will be back healthy in time for the all-star festivities, Joel Embiid should get a starting nod.
Jimmy Butler – Miami Heat (Frontcourt)
I gave Jimmy the slight edge here over Pascal Siakam. I’ve been very impressed with the way Butler has been able to propel a young, inexperienced Miami team to a 3 seed in the east. He has flourished as a veteran leader, and best player in Miami. He’s playing a well rounded game (20.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 6.5 assists), and is performing well as always on the defensive side of the ball. Choosing between the two stars was tough, but for the final eastern conference starting spot, Jimmy Butler gets the edge.
Luka Doncic – Dallas Mavericks (Backcourt)
What does Luka do to follow up a stellar rookie season? Enters his name in to MVP conversation. Luka is leading the league in triple doubles (11), and is averaging 29.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 9 assists. Leading a Dallas team that doesn’t really have any business contending in the west to a couple games within reach of a top playoff spot is impressive. There’s no debate Luka’s a star, and he deserves a starting spot in this year’s all-star game.
James Harden – Houston Rockets (Backcourt)
We know what Harden does. A career high 37.7 points this season is unreal. It looks like he’s gonna run away with his 3rd scoring title. He’s tied for the highest efficiency rating in the league, and his win shares are at 8.4, which is also first in the NBA. Harden’s incredible shot creating, and legendary stepbacks are perfect for him to put on a show in Chicago.
LeBron James – Los Angeles Lakers (Frontcourt)
LeBron is no stranger to all-star games, as this year will mark his 16th time participating. He’s having another great season this year in L.A. 25.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, and a career high 10.7 assists. Passing sure gets easier with Anthony Davis on your team. King James has led the Lakers to the second best record in the NBA this year, and is top 5 in win shares and box plus/minus so far this year. No question that LeBron deserves a starting spot this season, as he’s making another MVP campaign at 35 years old.
Kawhi Leonard – Los Angeles Clippers (Frontcourt)
While the Clippers have been slightly underperforming this season, Kawhi Leonard has been retaining his status as an elite two-way player. 25.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and an effective field goal percentage just under 50% proves that this has been one of Leonard’s best seasons. He’s also still tearing it up on the defensive end, with a defensive rating of 102.9, and 1.9 steals per game. Kawhi has consistently been fearless on both sides of the ball, and is performing like an all-star starter should.
Anthony Davis – Los Angeles Lakers (Frontcourt)
Anthony Davis seems to be a lock for his 7th straight All-Star game. The second half of the Lakers two headed monster has held up his end of the duo. 27.1 points, and 9.4 rebounds to go along with a top 5 placement in win shares (6.9). AD has remained an elite defender this season, and has propelled the Lakers from a team missing the playoffs to the top team in the west. No question Davis is killing it, and there’s no question he’s a top 3 forward in the west.
- Kevin Barnett