The NBA just announced the 2017 NBA All-Star starters on Thursday. And with the new arrangement of the combination of 50% fan vote, 25% media and 25% player voting — they mostly got it right this year (sorry Westbrook).
Eastern Conference Starters
Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and DeMar DeRozan
Western Conference Starters
Stephen Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and Anthony Davis
Clearly no Heat players made this list here, and you can also see Dwyane Wade missing as well. So this begs the question, who will be a reserve? And from our perspective, does Hassan Whiteside deserve to be in the list?
Here are the potential Eastern Conference reserves (there are 7 spots):
- Kyle Lowry: 22.2 PPG, 7.1 APG
- John Wall: 23.1 PPG, 10.3 APG
- Kevin Love: 20.7 PPG, 10.8 RPG
- Isaiah Thomas: 28.7 PPG, 6.0 APG
- Andre Drummond: 14.5 PPG, 13.6 RPG
- Hassan Whiteside: 17.3 PPG, 14.2 RPG
- Kemba Walker: 23.0 PPG, 5.3 APG
- Dwight Howard: 13.7 PPG, 13.0 RPG
- Joel Embiid: 19.9 PPG, 7.8 RPG
- Paul George: 22.0 PPG, 6.1 RPG
- Paul Millsap: 17.8 PPG, 8.1 RPG
- Carmelo Anthony: 22.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG
That’s a list of 12 players who legitimately have a reason to be considered for an All-Star selection this year. Remember, there are only 7 spots available, unless an injury creates an additional spot. These selections are made by a vote from the coaches in the NBA. So this has nothing to do with the media or anything like that.
So, let’s break it down.
Here’s who is absolutely getting a selection, no question about it: Kyle Lowry, John Wall, Kevin Love and Isaiah Thomas.
That’s four selections right there. Here’s why: Lowry’s stats and the status as maybe even the best player on his team that is second in the conference. Wall is having a great year averaging a double-double and leading his team to the middle of the conference. Love is averaging a double-double on the clear best team in the East. And Thomas is near the top of the league in scoring while his team is 3rd in the East.
That leaves 3 selections to debate about.
I don’t know how you break this down to Hassan’s favor. Traditionally, the coach’s have given the nod to guys on playoff teams — not just stat stuffers. Whiteside leads the league in rebounds and is near the top in blocks. But his team is bad.
Guys like Paul George, Kemba Walker and either one of Dwight Howard or Paul Millsap seem more likely to get the go ahead than Whiteside. They have great numbers AND their teams are winning and in the hunt. I don’t think Carmelo will be extending his All-Star streak this year, and I think Drummond will be left off as well.
I think Whiteside deserves to be considered but I don’t think he deserves to make it in this year, with these other reserves. And a lot of that comes down to winning. If Whiteside has those same exact numbers and his team is .500 — then I think there’s legit reason to see him jump one of those guys. But winning is key.
There’s been plenty of talented players over the years that kill it in the stat sheet, but their teams were bad and they watched the All-Star game from home. I think that will, unfortunately, be Hassan Whiteside this year as well.
Let’s hear from YOU. What do you think should be or will be the East reserves?