The 2020 All-Star game will be the weekend of February 16th. It’s not exactly around the corner, but I believe we have a decent feel of who we think is good enough to play in the annual exhibition game.
Obviously it makes sense to split it between Eastern and Western conferences even though players will be voted on who goes where.
# SHOE INS
* Giannis Antetokounmpo – Extremely obvious choice. 20 games in and he’s still playing like an MVP, he has been as good – if not better – than he was last year.
* Pascal Siakam – Holy shit. What a player. I’m sure Nick Nurse said during the offseason to the team: “Okay, 12-15 more shots just came up for grabs” and Spicy P decided that he and Fred VanVleet are going to take all of them. 25/8 per game, my only concerns are that he doesn’t really get to the line often enough and he occasionally has really strange turnovers. But he’s going to be at the all star game.
* Joel Embiid – He’s scored 0 points in a game. He’s been suspended 2 games. He’s rested on some nights. But he’s still an All-Star and playing like it. I personally watch Sixers games the most and have noticed that he’s not as much of a force on defense against other bigs as he was last year but he still gets the job done. Offensively, he’s reading double teams in the post MUCH better than he was last year so his turnovers have taken a dip. He’s still the second best player in the East.
* Jimmy Butler – Jimmy’s averaging 19/5/6 on an abysmal 42% from the field including 24% from 3. So why is he an obvious choice? Because he’s a leader. Because the Heat are the 3rd best team in the East record-wise and because the Heat win. He has been fairly clutch in the few times Miami has needed him and he seems to be fairly at home.
* Kemba Walker – the best player on the Celtics (but not by much). The former free agent seems to love it there in Boston. A 10 win streak really showed that Boston ain’t going no where, and it also helps to have a 39 point performance against the Nets right after sitting out the Kings game. He looks good.
* Jayson Tatum – Fun fact, if Jayson Tatum becomes an All-Star this year, he will be the first player that Danny Ainge had drafted that had become an All-Star. That is all I want to say about this.
* Lebron James – Lebron is in his 17th year. Lebron is one of the best defensive players in the league in his 17th year. Lebron is averaging 26/7/11 in his 17th year. Lebron’s defensive box +/- is his best since 2012, and higher than 2013 when he placed 2nd in DPOY voting to Gasol. Lebron is good.
* James Harden – he put up 60 in 3 quarters. He’s getting to the line 14.4 times a game, the most in his career by 3.4. I believe this is the most FTA/G of all time. I had to double check to make sure he was averaging 39 points a game.
* Luka Doncic – 30/9/9. European freak. Carrying the hell out of Dallas after what seems like a lackluster season so far for Porzingis (not to say he isn’t playing like an All-Star, he is, it’s just that the hype over the past year and a half might have been a bit overblown). He’s also 3rd in MVP tracking according to basketball reference. lol.
* Nikola Jokic – the thicc ass Serbian will be an All Star this year. Don’t let the decline in offensive production deceive you. He’s running the offense at center, everything revolves around him. Because, he has a teammate that does all of the heavy lifting in a pinch….
* Jamal Murray – who woulda thought that Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic would be perfect compliments of each other’s games? He’s most certainly stepped up his defense so far this season, he’s pretty ‘clutch’ if that’s what the kids are looking for these days, and it looks like that 5 year, 170 million contract might have been worth it.
* Kawhi Leonard – for a second there, I thought that he really wasn’t as good as he was last year. Last year he only played 60 games but took Toronto to their first ever championship. I thought at around game 12 or so into the season that he just wasn’t as good as he was last year. But, turns out, rest is good for NBA players. Kawhi has only played 15 games so far but off rest days he has been nothing short of elite.
* Anthony Davis – the second best player on the best team in the league. Really not much you can say about that.
* Donovan Mitchell – he will get his first All-Star appearance this year, and it won’t just be for the dunk contest. He’s taken absolute control over the Jazz offense and has been one of the best players at making his own shot in the league in his third year. He’s shooting more efficiently, he’s getting to the line more often, and he’s turning it over less. He deserves some recognition finally.
* Eric Bledsoe
* Khris Middleton
* Fred VanVleet
* Ben Simmons
* TJ Warren
* Kyrie Irving
* Karl Anthony Towns
* Devin Booker
* Russell Westbrook
* Bojan Bogdonavic
* Kristaps Porzingis
* Paul George