The NBA All-Star teams were finalized on Tuesday, and some players that were left off the rosters were not happy about it, to say the least. The players were selected the same way as usual, but this year’s game will be played a little different. LeBron James and Steph Curry were the two top vote-getters, which makes them the captains of each team. From there, the teams will be chosen by the captains in a backyard basketball fashion. Shockingly (not), James received the most votes among players, so he will be rewarded with the first pick. The captains will switch off picking from the starters, then they will move on to the reserves until each team is finalized. Unfortunately, the draft will not be televised, and the order in which the players are picked will not be publicized.
It’s no secret that the West is the superior conference in the NBA, which makes it all-the-more surprising that elite players like Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, and Jimmy Butler decided to leave the East this offseason. There are only a limited number of slots available for All-Stars, so someone deserving is bound to be left out. This year, these were the most notable Western Conference snubs:
Paul George – Oklahoma City Thunder
Despite being an early candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, Paul George was not named an All-Star, leaving the current 5-seed in the West with only one representative heading to L.A. Whether it was because the new Big 3 in OKC hasn’t played to their full potential to this point in the season or not, voters clearly didn’t look at the numbers when deciding to keep George out of L.A. He is averaging 21 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3 assists per game, and he ranks second in the league with 2.2 steals per game.
Lou Williams – Los Angeles Clippers
Former Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams is having a career year in Los Angeles. He has single-handedly kept the Clippers in the Western Conference playoff race, while doing something that only 13 players in NBA history have done. That is averaging seven 3-point attempts and six free throw attempts per game, all while shooting nearly 41% and 90% respectively.
Chris Paul – Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets have the second-best record in the entire league, yet they only have one All-Star. Sure, Chris Paul was hurt for a little while, but when him and Harden are both playing, Houston is almost unstoppable. The Rockets have beaten the Warriors twice, yet Golden State got four players into the game. Whether you look at statistics, impact, or wins, this omission is honestly laughable.
Others: Devin Booker (PHX), Nikola Jokic (DEN), Clint Capela (HOU)
The Eastern Conference has less talent to choose from, but it seems like they were still able to get it wrong this year. With the players mentioned above leaving for the West, it seemed like it would be easy to narrow down the stars that belong in this game. Nevertheless, here are the biggest Eastern Conference snubs:
Andre Drummond – Detroit Pistons
Andre Drummond is not only the biggest snub this year (and it’s not even close), but he may be the biggest snub in recent memory. His stat line reads 14.3 PPG, 15 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.5 SPG, and 1.2 BPG. Those numbers are ridiculous! To put them into perspective, there are 24 All-Stars. Here is where Drummond ranks in major statistical categories:
- Rebounds per game – 1st
- Field goal percentage – 14th
- Steals per game – 19th
- Blocks per game – 19th
- Assists per game – T-47th (4th among Centers)
- Double doubles – 4th
Kemba Walker – Charlotte Hornets
It was hard for Walker to make the All-Star team this year, considering there were already three point guards that made it. Some thought that Walker deserved to make it over John Wall, who missed quite a few games thus far; however, Wall ranks second in the league with 9.2 assists per game, and he plays on the better team, so although Walker was deserving, this one is understandable.
Spencer Dinwiddie – Brooklyn Nets
Not much to say here, other than the fact that Dinwiddie is single-handedly ruining the Cavs’ pick that they received from Boston in the Kyrie Irving trade. Of course, fellow outbreak player Victor Oladipo kind of hurt Dinwiddie’s chances of being the oddball selection. Plus, Bradley Beal made his first All-Star team, so the 2-guard position was pretty full.
Others: Ben Simmons (PHI), Khris Middleton (MIL), Goran Dragic (MIA)