The 2020 NBA All-Stars are set in stone after the reserves were announced Thursday by the NBA. Even though Shams may have spoiled them, that’s beside the point. If you weren’t aware of the 2020 All-Stars, here they are:
Eastern Conference: Kemba Walker, Trae Young, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Pascal Siakam, Joel Embiid, Kyle Lowry, Ben Simmons, Khris Middleton, Jayson Tatum, Jimmy Butler, Domantas Sabonis, & Bam Adebayo.
Western Conference: Luka Doncic, James Harden, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Donovan Mitchell, Brandon Ingram, Rudy Gobert, & Nikola Jokic.
With every All-Star announcement brings the question, “Who got snubbed”? Well, there’s certainly some guys having career seasons who you’d think would make the All-Star game. But with only 12 spots for each conference, that just isn’t possible. There are a handful of players who could be labeled as a “snub”, for the sake of your time, here’s three of the top players:
Personally, I believed that Beal should have been announced LAST Thursday as one to start in the All-Star Game. His numbers definitely show for it, as Beal is currently dropping just over 28 points per contest, good enough for sixth-best in the league. The last time someone to score over 28 PPG and NOT make the All-Star Game occurred over 35 years ago. He’s also averaging a career-best in APG with 6.3, and FT%.
Sure, Beal’s Wizards haven’t exactly exceeded anybody’s’ expectations at just a mere 15-31, just 12th in the East. But when you look at guys who did make the All-Star game, some of their teams’ records are impressive either. Trae Young’s Hawks stand at dead last in the East, but he’ll start in February, while Ingram’s Pelicans also sit at 12th in their conference. It just makes no sense how a 28-4-6 player with 51.1 EFG% is NOT an All-Star; while a guy who puts up 29-4-9 and a 53 EFG% is STARTING with a worse record. Consistency is key, NBA.
Devin’s situation is extremely similar to that of Bradley Beal in terms of both numbers, and team success. Countless analysts, before the season started, projected the Phoenix Suns to have another underwhelming season, most likely punching their ticket to another Draft Lottery. While that still technically be the case, Phoenix is definitely making steps to a potential playoff spot in the next year or two. Booker has been averaging a career-high 27.1 PPG to go along with an outstanding 51.0 FG%, 36.8 3PT%, and 91.5 FT%.
Of course, Booker has had some tough competition campaigning for an All-Star spot the past couple seasons. Players like Westbrook, Lillard, CP3, Steph Curry, and James Harden have been preventing Booker of a spot since D-Book must qualify as a “guard” or one of the two “wildcard” spots. Well, that didn’t change this year as almost those same guys held him back yet again. Booker’s defense is all that impressive, but his Suns have definitely performed better as a team than most expected. All-Star spots are a combination of stats and team success, and I thought D-Book could’ve squeaked in for his first-ever appearance.
There’s definitely an argument that can be made that KAT wasn’t healthy enough to make an All-Star spot. However, he’s played in 30 of the team’s 47 games, which equals to about 64% of the season. His team isn’t a playoff contender, but that’s not necessarily his fault.
His numbers are extraordinary as a 24-year-old, putting up 27-11-4, and get this. If KAT was a slightly better FT shooter this season, he’d be in serious contention for a 50-40-90 season… as a CENTER. That’s just unheard of in any era in NBA history.
Sure, Andrew Wiggins has his nights, but he’s too inconsistent to be the second-best player on a winning team. Timberwolves’ management has failed to build a playoff-level team around KAT that could last more than one season. To me, that’s a valid reason to want to leave sooner or later. Hey, wouldn’t he be a nice fit with another All-Star caliber player on a bad team? (See “Devin Booker” above)
(P/C: Hot Springs)