Whiteboard: Unmistakable, flawless picks from NBA All-Stars reserves
The NBA All-Star rosters should be announced Thursday night, but before then, we’re giving you our solid picks.
About three weeks ago, I attempted to compile the All-Star rosters for both conferences. A lot has changed since then: starters have been announced, injuries have taken their toll, and hot and cold streaks have brought subtle adjustments to player rankings. Before the replacements are announced on Thursday night, I wanted to review the starting options and share my no-fail picks for the replacements.
Eastern Conference NBA All-Star starts
Save: Kyrie Irving
Save: Donovan Mitchell
Front Yard: Kevin Durant
Front Yard: Jason Tatum
Front Yard: Giannis Antetokounmpo
There were no real surprise additions here. I had Tyrese Haliburton on my initial ballot to replace Kyrie Irving, but Haliburton ran out of time. The voters also rejected Joel Embiid in favor of Jayson Tatum, a reasonable approach to an impossible decision.
Given these departures and how things have turned out over the past three weeks, here’s who I’ll pick for the All-Star reserves.
Eastern Conference NBA All-Star Reserves
Save: Darius Garland
Save: Tyrese Haliburton
Save: James Harden
Front yard: Joel Embiid
Front yard: Pascal Siakam
Front yard: Jimmy Butler
Front yard: Julius Randle
There are some tough choices to be made here, and I’m well aware that I’m leaving out Jaylen Brown, Trae Young, DeMar DeRozan, Bam Adebayo, Kristaps Porzingis, Jalen Brunson, and a handful of other players with solid arguments.
For me, Embiid and Siakam are sure values that don’t need to be developed. I’d say Haliburton and Garland were the second and third best goaltenders in the East behind Mitchell, and both are terrific shooters with impeccable shooting percentages. Harden is far from his prime, but what he’s done this season seems more valuable to me than Brown, Young, DeRozan or Brunson.
In the frontcourt, I chose Butler and Randle over Porzingis and/or Adebayo. Randle was an absolute beast, bringing back some of the magic of two years ago. Butler’s season has been overshadowed by many others, but he’s still averaging 22 points, 6 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game while shooting over 50% from the field and leading the league in steals per game.
Western Conference NBA All-Star starts
Save: Steph Curry
Save: Luka Doncic
Front square: LeBron James
Front square: Zion Williamson
Front square: Nikola Jokic
Aside from Steph Curry replacing Ja Morant, this is the same starting lineup I picked three weeks ago. Curry’s inclusion is entirely defensible, but when you look at the reserves, things get even more complicated.
NBA Western Conference All-Star Reserves
Save: Ja Morant
Save: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Save: Damian Lillard
Save: Anthony Edwards
Front square: Domantas Sabonis
Front square: Lauri Markkanen
Front Yard: Paul George
Damian Lillard has been on an absolute tear over the past few weeks, and those big games and his storied legacy probably mean he stole a spot from De’Aaron Fox (who I included last time). There’s no argument for letting go of Gilgeous-Alexander or Edwards at such short notice, especially in Devin Booker’s time.
I think Sabonis and Markkanen are (or should be) locked in, which creates more room in the frontcourt. You could make a case for Kawhi Leonard or Anthony Davis, but they all missed a lot of time. Aaron Gordon and Mikal Bridges have similar arguments, but I lean toward Paul George, who is slightly more accessible than Leonard or Davis, and more efficient when on the court than Gordon or Bridges.
So there you have it. Flawless, flawless star lists.
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Hosts Ethan Skolnick and Brady Hawk take a look at the All-Stars roster and share their picks for starters and backups in the Western Conference. Subscribe to the show on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
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Latest NBA Trade Rumors
We’re eight days away from the NBA trade deadline. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest trade rumors:
- 76’s: Kyle Neubeck reports that the 76ers are looking for a reserve big man: “The other big need on the roster that I’m a little surprised to hear the Sixers are prioritizing is five Reserves.”
- Knicks: SNY.tv’s Ian Begley reports that the Knicks are interested in Pistons swingman Saddiq Bey: “The Knicks are among the teams that have shown some interest in Saddiq. I don’t know how far the talks went, but man, obviously a Villanova guy, a wing player, could help the Knicks in terms of depth. »
- Nuggets: Chris Haynes reports that the Nuggets are looking increasingly likely to trade Bones Hyland. (VIDEO)
- Warriors: The Warriors have expressed interest in 76ers defensive end Matisse Thybulle, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
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