The NBA announced this year’s All-Star game starting lineups last night, and as with every year, there are guys who absolutely deserve to be there, and guys who got snubbed. Here are my snubs for each conference.
Eastern Conference Starters:
G: Kyrie Irving; Cleveland Cavaliers
G: DeMar DeRozan; Toronto Raptors
F: LeBron James; Cleveland Cavaliers
F: Giannis Antetokounmpo; Milwaukee Bucks
F: Jimmy Butler; Chicago Bulls
Snub: Isiah Thomas; Boston Celtics
For me, it comes down to IT and Kyrie, DeRozan has been one of the most dominant scorers in the entire league all year and has earned the start. Statistically, other than Thomas averaging 5 more points than Irving, they’re statistically even. So why is Isiah the snub? It’s because he means so much more to his team’s success this season than Irving does to his. Irving plays with two other superstars in fellow All-Star starter LeBron James and Kevin Love. The closest player to star status playing with IT is Al Horford, who is an All-Star caliber player but not on the same level as Irving’s teammates. IT has been Boston’s superstar this season and has owned the 4th quarter. Value comes into this equation, and the Celtics without IT’s superb play this season are nothing, the Cav’s would be ok without Kyrie’s performance.
Western Conference Starters:
G: Steph Curry; Golden State Warriors
G: James Harden; Houston Rockets
F: Kevin Durant; Golden State Warriors
F: Kawhi Leonard; San Antonio Spurs
F: Anthony Davis; New Orleans Pelicans
Snub: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
Russell Westrook is having a historic season. He’s averaging a triple double for goodness sake! With 21 on the season, he has more than all of this year’s All-Star starters combined (Harden 13, James 3, Anteokounmpo 2, Durant 1). Steph Curry is a great player, on a great team, and he’s having a fine season (24.6 ppg and 6.1 apg), but it doesn’t even compare to Westbrook's stat line (30.6 ppg, 10.4 apg, 10.6 rpg). Oklahoma City is a good team, but they’re nothing without their feisty point guard playing out of his mind. He is the biggest snub of all.
Photo Credit: (basketballbicker.com)