NBA Quarter Season All-Star Predictions

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NBA Quarter Season All-Star Predictions

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NBA Quarter Season All-Star Predictions

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Eastern Conference:

Matt’s Guards: G Trae Young, G Donovan Mitchell, G Tyrese Haliburton, G Bradley Beal, G Darius Garland

Matt’s Frontcourt: F Jayson Tatum, F Giannis Antetokounmpo, F Kevin Durant, F DeMar DeRozan, C Joel Embiid, F Jaylen Brown, F Paolo Banchero

Many of the names on this list are almost a guarantee to make the All-Star rosters but some would be newly named players. Tyrese Haliburton and Paolo Banchero are the two here that would be first time All-Stars. Haliburton has really stepped up his game this season, averaging 19.1 points and 10.9 assists per game. Indiana has really surprised many around the league and much of that comes back to the play of Haliburton.

As for Banchero, he hasn’t even played 20 games yet but during the games that he has played in, has been extremely effective. He is averaging 21.8 points and 6.5 rebounds a game which are impressive numbers for a rookie. He is showing why he was the number one overall pick and has Magic fans excited for the future. 

The Eastern Conference is much more frontcourt heavy than the West and provides some really interesting players on both sides. 

 

Pranav’s Guards: Donovan Mitchell, Trae Young, Tyrese Haliburton, Darius Garland, Jaylen Brown

Pranav’s Frontcourt: Jayson Tatum, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Joel Embiid, Jarrett Allen, Pascal Siakam

As previously stated, many of the players who are going to be in the All-Star Game this year are guaranteed selections since their play has clearly separated them from their peers.

However, some of the players here will be on the fence selections for much of the NBA community, even though their play has more than warranted a spot in the game.

One of those players is Jarrett Allen. Allen doesn’t dazzle like other All-Stars, but he is anchoring the best defense in basketball with his rim protection, which is the 2nd best in the league and drop coverage capabilities next to Evan Mobley in the front court. Averaging 14.1 points per game on 63.7% true shooting, not only has Allen been arguably the most valuable defender in basketball this season, but he has also been a tremendous pick and roll partner, lob threat, and play finisher, which has been extremely beneficial for the Cavs all-star backcourt, as they’re a top 10 unit and amongst the very best units in the league when Allen shares the floor with one of their guards.

The second of the players that will be on the fence selections for some is Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam. The only reason his selection would be remotely controversial is he has only played in 14 of his team’s 24 games. However, the value he provides is undeniable, as his team drastically improves on both ends of the court when he is on the floor and struggled to find consistency during the time he missed.

 

Western Conference

Matt’s Guards: G Steph Curry, G Luka Doncic, G Devin Booker, G Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, G Ja Morant, G De’Aaron Fox, G Anfernee Simons

Matt’s Frontcourt: F LeBron James F Anthony Davis C Nikola Jokic, F Zion Williamson, F Lauri Markkanen,

The Western Conference is pretty guard heavy, making it difficult to narrow this list down. I went with some players that have really made an effect on the season so far. Many are back for another appearance but some like Fox, Simons, and Markkanen would be first-time All-Stars. Fox has been having a hell of a year for the upstart Kings, averaging 23.1 points and 5.8 assists per game. He is really pushing for the Kings to possibly break their long-time playoff drought. 

Simons has held things together in Portland while Damian Lillard has been sidelined with an injury. He is averaging 24.7 points and 4.5 assists per game. His game has taken another step forward and allows Portland to be a real threat out West. 

And finally, Markkanen. He is easily having the best season of his career and is finally showing some of that high upside that he had early on. Averaging 22.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, he has the Utah Jazz playing decent ball. For a team that was supposed to tank this season, Markkanen has helped them jump out to some early success. 

 

Pranav’s Guards: Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Ja Morant, Devin Booker, De’Aaron Fox

Pranav’s Frontcourt: Anthony Davis, Nikola Jokic, Zion Williamson, LeBron James, Domantas Sabonis, Lauri Markkanen

De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis have been the driving forces behind the Sacramento Kings having both a top five offensive rating and the 6th best net rating in the league. Although most still question trading a young ascending star in Tyrese Haliburton away, Sabonis’s post play, rolling, and connective passing has undoubtedly elevated this Kings offense to a level they have never seen and more importantly the fit between him and De’Aaron Fox has allowed Fox to be maxmized as a player and have a career season across the board. The pick-and-roll pairing the two form generates an offensive advantage nearly everytime and opens up more flexibility as a driver for Fox and also allows them to generate better looks for their shooters. The duo is on pace to lead the Kings to the playoffs, a place they haven’t been too in 16 years.

As for Lauri Markkanen, the Utah Jazz have more than exceeded expectations through the first quarter of the season and Markkanen has been the most outstanding of the driving forces behind their success. Averaging 22.2 points per game on 65.4% true shooting (41.3% 3PT shooting), Markkanen has been the epitome of an efficient offensive player that’s scalable in multiple lineup contexts, as he’s shown this year on a new roster that has been top three in offensive rating. His play this season is worthy of an all-star selection and Markkanen has proved that he can be effective in most offensive situations in the league, which many teams will keep an eye on if the Jazz do intend to fully rebuild at the trade deadline or at the end of the season.

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