The starters for the 67th NBA All-Star game were announced earlier this month. LeBron James lead the voting in the East. He’s joined by Kyrie Irving, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, and DeMar DeRozen who were voted in as starters. In the West, Steph Curry lead the voting and is joined by fellow starters Kevin Durant, James Harden, Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. In a change of format James and Curry will captain each team, and draft their team from the full all-star pool of players. The reserves will be announced on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Eastern on TNT. Here are the seven players from each conference that I think should make the all-star team as reserves this season.
Eastern Conference Reserves
Backcourt: Bradley Beal, Shooting Guard, Washington Wizards
In his sixth season, Bradley Beal should finally be making his all-star debut. He’s averaging career highs in points (23.6), rebounds (4.3), and assists (3.7). He should have been and all-star last year, but should be a lock for the team this year.
Backcourt: Victor Oladipo, Shooting Guard, Indiana Pacers
Who would have thought that we’d be talking about Oladipo as an all-star when he was traded for Paul George in the off-season? He’s having a career year averaging 24,2 points, more than six more points than he’s ever averaged in a season.
Frontcourt: Kristaps Porzingis, Power Forward, New York Knicks
Some argue that the Unicorn should be a starter instead of Embiid. Porzingis has shown solid improvement every season in his three years in New York and is leading the league in blocks with 2.3 a game.
Frontcourt: Kevin Love, Power Forward, Cleveland Cavaliers
Kevin Love is having another good season for the Cavs. While his numbers have taken a dip this season from last year, he’s still one of the best forwards in the East and deserving of his fifth all-star selection this year.
Frontcourt: Andre Drummond, Center, Detroit Pistons
Even though the Pistons are currently on the outside of the playoff picture, Drummond should make his second career all-star appearance. He’s still a monster on the boards, leading the league in rebounding with 15 a game, and shooting a remarkable (for him) 63% from the free-throw line.
Wildcard: Kyle Lowry, Point Guard, Toronto Raptors
Lowry’s scoring is down this year (averaging just 17 points a game) but he’s helped lead the Raptors to the third best record in the league. He should join teammate DeMar DeRozen on the roster once again.
Wildcard: John Wall, Point Guard, Washington Wizards
There are others who some think might deserve the nod over Wall, but when you average 19 points and nine assists on a solid playoff team you get put ahead of the other contenders. I think Wall earns a spot for the fifth consecutive season.
Snubs: Hassan Whiteside, Al Horford, Ben Simmons, Goran Dragic
Western Conference Reserves
Backcourt: Russell Westbrook, Point Guard, Oklahoma City Thunder
Westbrook is a lock to make this year’s team. while he may not be the MVP he was last season, he’s still putting up huge numbers to lead the Thunder to solid contention for a top four seed in the West.
Backcourt: Jimmy Butler, Shooting Guard, Minnesota Timberwolves
After a shaky start to his Timberwolves career, Butler has turned himself into a legitimate MVP candidate while turning the Wolves into a real contender in the West behind Houston and Golden State.
Frontcourt: Karl-Anthony Towns, Center, Minnesota Timberwolves
KAT probably should have made his all-star debut last year, but the Wolves were so bad he didn’t warrant consideration. This year is different as he’s still averaging 20 points and 12 rebounds and the Wolves are in third place in the West.
Frontcourt: LaMarcus Aldridge, Power Forward, San Antonio Spurs
Aldridge has held down the fort for the Spurs this season while Kawhi Leonard has only played in nine games this season. Aldridge should be a lock to get back to the game after missing out last year.
Frontcourt: Paul George, Small Forward, Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder maybe didn’t fleece the Pacers as much as we thought in the Paul George trade, but George has still been great for the Thunder. He’s second in the league in steals, and still scoring 20 points a game in a line-up that also features Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony.
Wildcard: Damian Lillard, Point Guard, Portland Trail Blazers
Lillard has been snubbed the last two years but I think he gets in this time. Once again he’s proven he’s one of the most dynamic players in the game, and has the Trail Blazers in the playoffs right now. I don’t think he can handle being left out for a third straight year, but I don’t think he’ll have to worry about it.
Wildcard: Chris Paul, Point Guard, Houston Rockets
My last entry is Chris Paul. I know he’s missed 19 games this season, but when he’s played he’s just been so good. The Rockets have the second best record in the league and deserve to have two players represent Houston.
Snubs: Klay Thompson, CJ McCollum, Devin Booker, Donovan Mitchell