This week, the NBA announced the reserves for the East and West All-Stars ahead of All-Star weekend in Atlanta. For the most part, the list for both squads is solid, but there are definitely some mistakes.
Here are the rosters for the East and West:
East Starters: West Starters:
East Bench West Bench
First off, Devin Booker was initially a huge snub. Luckily, he replaced the injured Anthony Davis on the roster. The case for Booker being an all-star is obvious, but here are some stats and information for the fans that don’t know.
The Suns are currently the four seed in a stacked Western Conference. D-Book is leading his team in scoring with 25 points per game, about nine more points than the next highest scorer.
Not to mention, this is Devin Booker’s second all-star appearance as a replacement. Last year, he replaced Damian Lillard due to injury. Could he make a case as one of the most underrated players in the league?
Another player snubbed from the game this year is San Antonio’s DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan has been named an all-star before, but not since he was traded from Toronto to the Spurs. The reason for him being a snub is because he’s leading the Spurs.
He is averaging 20 points per game, while chipping in solid averages in rebounds and assists. The Spurs aren’t a talked about team considering they don’t have a super star, yet they’re sixth in the West. They’re doing better record-wise than the Nuggets, Warriors and Mavs. That’s all because of DeRozan.
As for who he’d replace, it would have to be Zion Williamson. Williamson is only in his second season, and despite high scoring with incredible efficiency, the Pelicans just stink. If you’re an all-star, you can’t have your team be towards the bottom half of the league.
Sabonis is another case of best player on an under-the-radar team. The Pacers are the fourth best team in the East, with no particular super star on their roster.
Since trading away Victor Oladipo earlier in the season, a lot more responsibility has fallen on Sabonis to lead Indiana. He’s delivered, averaging over 21 points and 11 rebounds per game.
One thing about Sabonis is that no one has expected him to turn into the star that he has. In his one season with OKC, and then with Indiana, he’s matured into a solid power forward and becoming a part in the next generation of stars to take over the NBA.
If he had to replace someone on the East roster, it would be Nikola Vucevic. Same reasoning for DeMar replacing Zion. The Pacers are just simply a better team and their record shows it. Sabonis is the best player on that team, and the Pacers are in the position they are because of him.
Fred VanVleet has been an absolute tank for the Raptors ever since he’s been in the league. Every year, he’s gotten better. This season is no different.
VanVleet is averaging over 20 points per game this year, his highest yet. He’s also leading the Raptors to the five seed in the East, right behind fellow snub Domantas Sabonis’ Pacers.
That’s ahead of teams like the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and Orlando Magic.
The bottom line about VanVleet is that the man is just a certified bucket getter. You need him to get the game winning shot, he’ll go and do that. Need him to lead a team, he can and has been doing that.
VanVleet has been denied this season, but don’t be surprised if you see him in the game in the near future.
As for who he’d replace, it would have to be one of the two Celtics’ stars. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are stars, but the Celtics are performing way below anyone’s expectation. For that reason, there should be only one.
There’s Always Next Year
That wraps up the list of snubs from this year’s all-star game. Devin Booker got his right to play this year, but all voters should consider naming him a reserve next year as opposed to the reserves back-up.
As for VanVleet and Sabonis, they’re still early into their careers. They’ll have plenty of opportunities to compete for all-star spots.
The case might not be the same for DeMar DeRozan because he’s over ten seasons into his career. He’s been solid for quite some time now, but he doesn’t have the time that VanVleet and Sabonis do to make an all-star again.
Besides these players, the league got it right. The rest of the rosters are spot on and all players are more than deserving. It’ll be a fun weekend for fans to experience!
All stats were retrieved from basketballreference.com.
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