2018-19 NBA Preview: 2019 All-Star selection predictions
The NBA All-Star game is months away and probably not at all on anyone's radar. Last year the game was formatted differently than prior years. Instead of the classic Western conference smackdown of the East, the NBA decided it wasn't entertaining enough for the fans.
They still selected 12 players from each conference, but had two captains select the teams through a draft. There were still 12 players from the East and West, but the teams were a mix of the two conferences.
The competition in the West is so tough that there will be examples of players with All-Star level talent that won't make the team. This was seen when Damian Lillard was snubbed two years in a row. Today it has become harder for young players to make it to the All-Star game with so many talented veterans ahead of them.
Will there be many changes to the roster from last year? Is DeRozan a good enough player to make the All-Star game in the loaded West? Who will be the biggest snub of the All-Star game? All these are the questions that this article will address.
So a final reminder that the way the game is formatted is that there are still 12 players selected from each conference that are separated into Starters and Reserves. Once the included players are chosen then the draft takes place.
Eastern Conference Reserve Predictions
Guard - John Wall
After his injury problems this year, John Wall's play was never up to par to what fans wanted from the Wizards' point guard. Of course any player averaging 19 points and 10 assists is amazing, but Wall never really looked the same.
The season prior, he averaged 23 points and almost 11 assists a game. He is one of the best point guards in the league. By remaining healthy and fixing the team chemistry problems, he should return to form as one of the elite point guards in the league.
Guard - Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons could be an NBA All-Star starter due to his popularity in the league. He is considered a guard because that's the position he wants to play and the position Brett Brown has him playing when he's on the court.
His style of play is reminiscent of a young LeBron James. It scares people to wonder how dominant he'd be if had a jump shot. He's a walking triple double and has high expectations for himself to become the best player in the league.
Forward - Gordon Hayward
Every NBA fan should be excited for Hayward's return. After suffering a horrible leg injury, he was forced to miss the entirety of the season. Hayward was a borderline All-Star before finally making the team in 2017.
That season he averaged 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game. He should be able to put up similar stats next year with the Celtics and find himself returning back to his All-Star self.
Centre - Andre Drummond
Drummond is one of the most talented centres, but he doesn't get the credit he deserves because of the team he is on.
He was named to the All-Star last year and will continue to be an All-Star for years to come, considering he's only 24. This past season he averaged 15 points, 16 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game.
Guard - Kemba Walker
Similarly to Drummond, Walker has never earned the respect he deserves because of the lack of his team's success. Walker has become one of the most underrated players in the league.
On any given night he can give you 22 points and 5 assists, which are great numbers for a point guard and is definitely worthy of being a top 10 point guard in the league. Last season he averaged 22.1 points and 5.6 assists per game.
Guard - D'Angelo Russell
Here is probably the biggest reach of my predictions. Russell was the second overall pick in 2015 and has shown flashes of his potential, but injuries have prevented him from taking a big step forward. After being traded to the Nets, he became the focal point of their offence.
Before getting injured last year, he began the season averaging 20.9 points and 5.6 assists in his first 12 games. If he can score a few more, keep that consistent, and be healthy, he could very well make the All-Star team.
Forward - Blake Griffin
Another injury prone player, Blake Griffin, no longer has the same explosiveness and excitement as he did during his first few years in the league. I think Griffin has went from being overrated to underrated.
He's one of the best passing big man in the league and his averages show his talent. Detroit will need to win more games and if they do then it's completely possible Drummond and Griffin make the All-star team.