Jimmy Butler 

Jimmy Butler is leading the number 6 team in the East and averaging 20 ppg. He is the Heat’s closer, and has been able to take over games in crunch time. The decision to leave Butler out of the All-Star game was most likely due to the fact that his team got hit by Covid regulations and their record suffered accordingly. They were not even in the playoffs a couple of weeks ago, but now that they are close to full strength this team seems to be the one that went to the Finals last season. Jimmy is playing very well, and is leading this team on a 5-game win streak. Not only is he averaging 20 ppg, but he is also averaging 8 assists and rebounds per game. Butler is a scrappy player who should have gotten into the All-Star game, but was held back by Covid and a record that did not represent his or his teams talent. 

Mike Conley 

Mike Conley is on the hottest and top team in the NBA. The Utah Jazz already got Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell into the All-Star game, and it seemed like they might get a third All-Star in Conley. Conley is averaging 16 ppg and 5 assists, and while those numbers might not look good enough to get someone into the playoffs we must remember that Conley has taken a back seat to the scoring of Mitchell. The Jazz and Conley both seemed to be playing good enough that Conley might be able to get in because he was the third best player on the best team in the league. There could be a case made that Conley could have gotten in instead of Chris Paul, who both have similar numbers. Conley has not gotten into an All-Star in his entire career, and with the way the Jazz were playing it seemed like this might be his year. 

Trae Young

Trae Young was the biggest surprise for me. I didn’t see him on the All-Star list. In a group of super talented guards in the East, we knew someone would be left out but I would have thought it might be Ben Simmons or Jaylen Brown instead of Young. Sure the Hawks are 11th in the East but they were in a much worse spot last season and Young still got in. He is top 11 in the league in scoring and 3rd in the league in assists. Being ranked that high in both categories should make you a shoe in for the All-Star game. While I could see a reason that the other two players on this list were left off, I don’t understand why Young did not make the cut. The production he is having scoring and passing the ball should keep the record of his team from interfering in the decision on whether he would be an All-Star. 

Top Image: CBS Sports/Jack Maloney

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