02 Feb NBA All-Star Reserve Predictions
The reserves for the 2023 NBA All-Star game are going to be announced today at 5:00pm. This year has seen a lot of newer faces find their way into All-Star consideration. Here are my picks for who I think deserves the reserve roster spots.
Here is a reminder of the starters that were chosen last week to represent both the East and the West.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)
Jason Tatum (Boston Celtics)
Donovan Mitchell (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets)
Lebron James (Los Angeles Lakers)
Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)
Zion Williamson (New Orleans Pelicans)
Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)
The West Reserves
There are always two levels of snubs when it comes to All-Star selection. Who got snubbed from the starting lineup, and who got snubbed from the game as a whole. Let’s talk about starting lineup snubs. These are guys that are going to make the playoffs without a doubt, but they may have gotten overlooked for a starting position. In my opinion, there really aren’t a lot of snubs here. Just a couple of names.
Starting with the west, Domantas Sabonis (Sacramento Kings) is the first name that comes to mind. Sabonis is having a stand out year. Although he is only averaging 18.8 points per game, he is leading the league in rebounds per game at 12.4, is 10th in shooting percentage at 61.5% and is 13th in the league in assists at 7.1 per game. This is another example of a great player in a small market that doesn’t get the love that he deserves.
Another example of this in the west is with the Utah Jazz’ own, Lauri Markkanen. Markkanen is having the kind of year that could lead to Most Improved Player nods towards the end of the season. He is averaging 24.9 points per game which is nearly 8 points more than his career average. Lauri is playing out of his mind right now and has only missed a minor amount of games. Both Lauri Markkanen and Domantas Sabonis are locks for the All-Star game.
Other locks in the West would include Damien Lillard (Portland Trailblazers), Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies), and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder).
The other names I have chosen to round out the west would be De’Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings) and Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers). Some names to note that could find themselves on the outside looking in are Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis Grizzlies), and Paul George (Los Angeles Clippers). I would be willing to switch out Anthony Davis for Jaren Jackson Jr., but I also believe in a large market bias when it comes to these decisions being made.
The East Reserves
Let’s talk about the East All-Star Reserves by talking about their starting lineup snubs. First to come to mind is Joel Embid (Philadelphia 76ers). Embid has had another stand out season so far. He is leading the league in points per game at 33.5. How does someone lead the league in points and not make the starting lineup of an All-Star game? Not to mention the fact that he is averaging a double-double with 10.1 rebounds per game. Embid may be the biggest starter snub this season.
The other starter snub in the East is Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers). Again, this is another player that is averaging a double-double, but in the points and assists column. Haliburton is first in assists in the league with 10.2 per game. Tack on the 20.2 points per game and you have yourself a legit starting guard. I would have taken Tyrese over Kyrie as the starter any day of the week.
The only other locks for the East would be Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics) and James Harden (Philadelphia 76ers). There is a lot more debate here than in the West. The other names that I have as reserves are Jalen Brunson (New York Knicks), Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors), and Julius Randall (New York Knicks). There are more names in the East of players that could be deserving. Two of those players hail from Miami in Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler.
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