The NBA has revealed the NBA All-Star reserves for the upcoming All-Star game that will be taking place on February 18th in LA. There has already been a lot of controversy about the players that got snubbed and many players such as Andre Drummond and Lou Williams have taken to social media to express their thoughts. Regardless, the reserves are set and now all we have to wait for is the final drafted teams. The reserves for each conference are as follows:
WESTERN CONFERENCE RESERVES
GUARDS: Russell Westbrook, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Damian Lillard
The West is so stacked this year that the reigning MVP of the league is coming off the bench. Russ is almost averaging a triple double…again and is a threat to score 30 on any given night. Klay Thompson is having his most efficient season ever as he is shooting career highs in FG%, 3P%, and FT%. He is also taking on the challenge of guarding the other team’s best guard every night. Jimmy Buckets is one of the league’s best defenders at the guard position while also being a threat to score on the offensive end. Butler is 4th in the league in steals while also averaging about 21 ppg and has had many clutch moments this season. Jimmy has recently been in MVP talks as he has led his Wolves team to the 3rd best record in the West. After being snubbed for the past few years, Damian Lillard has made the All-Star team this year. He has been on a hot streak lately and was named Western Conference Player of the Week this past week. Lillard has usually been the fall guy when someone from the West has to be snubbed but that is not the case this year.
FORWARDS: Draymond Green, LaMarcus Aldridge, Karl-Anthony Towns
The Warriors ended up having 4 All-Stars this year which is the first time in history that has happened in back-to-back seasons. Draymond Green was a controversial pick but, his importance to the success of the Warriors is always evident when he is absent from games. Draymond is the reigning DPOY and is the best passer and the power forward position. LaMarcus Aldridge is carrying the Spurs on his back to the 4th seed in the West. With Kawhi missing pretty much the whole season, Aldridge has stepped up in his absence and had a huge season for himself. He is averaging his highest ppg (22.3) since he joined the Spurs a few years ago. Without Aldridge, the Spurs would not be a playoff team. Karl-Anthony Towns is another player responsible for the success of the Timberwolves. He is averaging a double-double and is shooting a surprising 41% from beyond the arc. Although KAT has had his defensive struggles throughout the season, he shows promising on-ball defense and ability to protect the rim. Towns is one of the best young bigs in the game and is finally getting the recognition he deserves.
EASTERN CONFERENCE RESERVES
GUARDS: Kyle Lowry, John Wall, Bradley Beal, Victor Oladipo
The Raptors currently have the 2nd best record in the East, in large part to the effort of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. Lowry is a hustle guy as he leads the league in charges drawn and he is close to shooting 40% from 3. He is a good floor general on the offensive end and is a pit bull on the defensive end. Although Wall seems to be having a down year by his standards, he is still an All-Star talent. Wall is one of the best passers in the league and is one of the fastest players coast to coast. Wall is also averaging 1 block per game which is pretty uncommon at the point guard position. His partner in crime, Bradley Beal, also made the All-Star team for the first time this year. Beal is averaging a career high in ppg (23.6) and assists per game (3.7). Beal had many memorable performances while Wall was out for injury this season, including a career-high 51 point game against the Trailblazers. Victor Oladipo was the break-out star this year. After being traded to the Pacers for Paul George, Oladipo has had a career year. He is averaging career highs in points, rebounds, FG%, and 3P%. Oladipo has led the Pacers on a miracle season to the 6th seed in the East after many people thought they would be one of the worst teams in the league.
FORWARDS: Al Horford, Kevin Love, Kristaps Porzingis
Al Horford has had a big impact on the Celtics much more than the box score will show you. His defensive versatility has made him one of the top candidates for DPOY and he is the general of the Celtics defense which is one of the best in the league. He is also averaging a career high in assists with 5.3 per game. Kevin Love has been a little underrated this year in my opinion. He is close to averaging a double-double while also shooting 40% from 3. He has been blamed recently for the Cavs struggles but he has done his part this season and is no worse defensively than any other player on that team. The last player to make the All-Star game is Kristaps Porzingis. In just his third year in the league, Porzingis will be playing in his first All-Star game. Porzingis is averaging a career-high in scoring while also shooting a career-high 38% from 3. His rim protection is huge for the Knicks as he leads the league in blocks per game at 2.3. Porzingis have made a name for himself in New York and is one of the most exciting up and coming players.