One of the biggest recognitions for a player’s first half of the season. A break in the middle of the season where the “best” in the league play. Now I put quotes over best because the All-Star selections are partially up to fans, and that can create some crazy results. Every year some player is left off the list, added on to the list and Twitter goes crazy. This year there are definitely a few All-Star selections that can go right onto the list of “how in the world did this happen.”
The best players in the world….and Andrew Wiggins
No shame to Andrew Wiggins here because he has been playing great with Golden State this season. Just not All-Star starter level great. He has been averaging 18 points and 4 rebounds which is really solid, but yet again not a top 10 player in the league stats. Wiggins has put in some All-Star level performances such as his 35 point game against Minnesota, but the consistency has been lacking. This partly due to a stacked Golden State squad, but the numbers and consistency just haven’t been there for Wiggins. While this season would most definitely garner All-Star buzz, I feel like better players have been snubbed. Donovan Mitchell, Devin Booker, and Karl Anthony-Towns are all playing at superstar levels and would most definitely deserve this nod over Wiggins. All props to Warriors fans who most definitely had a part in ballooning Wiggins’ votes, and the Warriors who got two players into the All-Star Starters.
First Time Starters
With multiple first time starters being voted in there is much to talk about each one. The seasons of DeMar DeRozan, Ja Morant, and Trae Young cement their status on this list. Each averaging 25+ ppg and leading their respective teams into contender status. Morant is still only 22 and yet is already a superstar, making another profound jump this season. Not only is he able to make the highlight reel dunks, but is a consistent scoring and playmaking threat with the ability to make plays for his teammates. DeRozan on the other hand, is a veteran at age 32 but is creating some sort of mini resurgence. Joining the reloaded Chicago Bulls, DeRozan has played a pivotal role in keeping the Bulls in the playoff race while multiple players were on Covid reserve or were out with injury. His multiple game winners and consistently amazing games cemented him as a top player this season. Trae Young is having a great season with 27 ppg, 5th in the league, and 9 assists per game, 3rd in the league. The one knock on Young is the losing record of the Hawks, but just looking at the individual performances blows you away. The stardom he reached last year is being one upped, which I personally didn’t think was possible by a 23 year old, by an incredibly productive first half of the season. All three of these starters deserve to be on the list, and seeing some fresh faces shows how much of a changing landscape the NBA is.
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