On Thursday the NBA Announced the All-Star Game reserves and of course there were players who were absolutely deserving and your annual snubs. Coaches around the league voted for 14 players to be named as reserves, seven in each conference. The starters in the Western Conference, which were announced last week, are Kobe Bryant (Lakers), Kevin Durant (Thunder), Russell Westbrook (Thunder), Steph Curry (Warriors) and Kawhi Leonard (Spurs).
James Harden (Rockets) – Harden is the second-leading scorer in the NBA at 27.2 points per game, trailing only Steph Curry (29.9). He is also averaging 5.4 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game. The Rockets are currently 25-23 and are 7th in the Western Conference.
Draymond Green (Warriors) – Green has had one hell of a season for the reigning, defending NBA champions. He is a stat sheet stuffer and has a huge impact on the NBA’s best team. He averages 14.7 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 7.2 assists per game this season. He is shooting 45.7% from the field and 41.4% from beyond the arc. This is Green’s first season as an All-Star.
Klay Thompson (Warriors) – It’s no surprise that the Warriors would send a trio of players to the All-Star Game as they are the NBA’s best team boasting a record of 42-4. Thompson is averaging 20.9 points per game this year and is shooting 42.7% from three-point land. One half of the Splash Brothers, Thompson can light up the scoreboard at will. He is also a huge reason as to why this team is so good with a chance to break the Chicago Bulls’ 72-10 record.
DeMarcus Cousins (Kings) – The center position in the NBA is sort of an afterthought, especially when you have three small forwards starting for the West. If the center position was one that needed to be voted on, no doubt Boogie Cousins would be a starter. Quite frankly, he should have been a starter. It would be hard to remove any of the starters, but Cousins definitely deserves to be one. He is averaging 27.2 points per game ranking him third in the NBA to go along with 11.2 rebounds per game, ranking him fourth in the league. His team’s 20-26 is no indication of how he has played this year.
Chris Paul (Clippers) – Chris Paul is having a season you would expect from Chris Paul. He is averaging 18.6 points and 9.6 assists per game. He is the guy who runs the ship for the Clippers. Paul has helped lead this team to a 30-16 record, putting them in the four seed of the West, all while not having Blake Griffin for a good period of time.
Anthony Davis (Pelicans) – There is no doubt Davis will be a perennial All-Star as his career progresses. This season he is averaging 22.9 points per game while corralling 10.2 rebounds a night. He is in the top-10 of both categories. Unfortunately for Davis, his Pelicans are just 17-28.
LaMarcus Aldridge (Spurs) – This might be the most questionable of all the reserves. Aldridge is averaging 15.9 points per game and grabs 8.8 rebounds per game. He is enjoying success thus far in his first season with the Spurs as they have a record of 39-7, second-best in the NBA. While he is having a good season for a really good team, should he have made the All-Star games? That is certainly debatable.
Three Biggest Snubs
- Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers) – The Trail Blazers were completely depleted in the offseason and many thought Lillard wouldn’t be able to lead this team without all his supporting cast. Well he has proven that isn’t the case whatsoever. He is leading this team in scoring at 24.3 points per game and assists at 7. 1 per contest. Those totals rank him 6th and 7th. Lillard has led the Blazers to a 31-26 record, slotting them in the 8th seed for now. Now that is damn impressive after nobody gave this team a shot. He is proving why he is the franchise player for years to come.
- Dirk Nowitzki (Mavericks) – Nowitzki has been an All-Star in 13 of his 18 seasons. This year he will not add to that list. He leads the Mavericks in scoring at 17.6 points per game. He is shooting a hair under 40% from three at 39.8%. He has helped lead the Mavericks to a 26-22 record, which is good enough for the 6th seed in the West. Not bad at all for the 7-foot, 37-year old.
- DeAndre Jordan (Clippers) – If anyone from the Clippers deserved to be named and All-Star, it should be DeAndre Jordan. The center is averaging 11.9 points and 13.6 rebounds (2nd in the NBA) per game. He is a defensive stopper and also shoots 71.2 from the floor, which could see him leading the NBA in field goal percentage for the fourth-straight year. His abysmal 42% from the free throw line is troublesome, especially when teams mercilessly foul him night in and night out. However, in the All-Star game, that game tactic would not be implemented as there is little to no defense played in the exhibition game.