With the NBA season just past the halfway point, the 2020 All-Star break is around the corner. Fan voting, which is 50 percent of the vote, has come to a close, meaning players and media will soon have their voices heard as well. Rosters will be drafted by two captains ahead of the Feb. 16 All-Star Game.
Several players are shoe-ins to make the All-Star game, while many others are looking to make their first selection. Here are three players who deserve to be selected as first-time All-Stars this season.
In his first year with the Pelicans, Brandon Ingram has developed into an elite scorer in the NBA. Despite the team’s struggles, he is having a career-year and deserves to make the All-Star team.
Ingram’s last season with the Lakers was shortened by injury, but this season he has elevated nearly all of his numbers.
Ingram is averaging 25.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists, and is also shooting 40 percent from three. He is attempting more shots per game than last season, and is still shooting 48 percent from the field.
Ingram has emerged as the best offensive weapon for New Orleans, and is arguably the strongest contender to win the Most Improved Player award. In the Anthony Davis trade, the Pelicans received back a versatile scoring wing who is breaking out in year four.
Ingram will be a perennial All-Star in his career, and this year should be his first selection.
After receiving a big extension prior to the season, Domantas Sabonis has taken a step forward in every facet of his game. In a bigger role compared to last season, Sabonis has shown his ability to score, rebound, and make plays at a high level.
Sabonis is averaging 18 points on 53 percent from the field while increasing his attempts per game. He has also increased his rebound average to 13 per game, and his assists to 4.4. His emergence as the team’s third best facilitator, particularly making plays off of pick-and-rolls, has been critical for the team’s success.
Sabonis’ numbers should earn him an All-Star selection this season. His play has been huge for Indiana, and with Victor Oladipo slated to return soon, the Pacers could have a higher-ceiling because of their center.
Also fresh off of an extension, Celtics wing Jaylen Brown is proving his value. In addition to being a strong defender, he is having a career-year on offense and should be an All-Star selection in 2020.
As Boston’s starting shooting guard, Brown has improved his points per game from 13 to 20 since last season, along with 6.9 rebounds and a steal per game.
Brown has also been much more effective in his scoring, shooting 49 percent from the field, 40 percent from three, and getting to the free throw line more frequently than last year.
Boston has had a good season so far, and Jaylen Brown has been a big part of that. While maintaining strong defense, he has become a much more aggressive and efficient offensive weapon for the Celtics.
Brown deserves to join teammate and presumptive All-Star Kemba Walker, and potentially Jayson Tatum, at the 2020 All-Star Game.
Featured image credited to AP.
Stats credited to basketball-reference.com.