Predicting the East Starters & Reserves for the 2018 All-Star Game
So there are a few changes that have been made to the All-Star Game format, the first of which we will witness in Los Angeles. The changes are more to the selection of the final teams that compete against each other. The process that helps the league decide the pool of players available for the All-Star Game is still the same - starters are voted in (50% fans + 25% media + 25% players) and the reserves are selected by the team coaches.
Here we aren't literally predicting the team because nobody can know who the fan voting will make a starter and who the highest voted players will pick for their team. What we are doing here, is picking the players who deserve to be All-Star starters.
In terms of rosters, the division for the starters includes two backcourt and three frontcourt players. For the reserves, it's the same division with the inclusion of two more players known as wildcards.
Obviously, these players aren't going to be on the same team but based on the season so far, here are the East All-Stars:
East Starting Backcourt
Kyrie Irving - Boston Celtics
DeMar DeRozan - Toronto Raptors
There's been a general shortage of talent in the East, with a majority moving to the Western Conference over the summer. Having said that, choosing Irving and DeRozan were no-brainers not only because of their spectacular play in the season so far but also due to the lack of competition for these spots.
The Celtics have been in a slump recently, going 5-6 in their last 11 games but it's important to remember that they have a record of 27-10 despite losing their All-Star Gordon Hayward on opening night. Although it's been a team effort, they've been led by Kyrie Irving - 24.7 points, 4.9 assists, 3.0 rebounds. His numbers might not bounce off the screen but his contribution to the team's success is undeniable and there isn't any other guard who can threaten his grip on this spot.
DeMar DeRozan and the Raptors, thriving under a new offense, have quietly surged among the East's elites. They currently rank second in the East with a record of 23-9 with DeRozan leading the way - 24.9 points, 4.9 assists (career-high), 4.4 rebounds and 1.2 steals (career-high) on 49.3% shooting from the field and 34.1% from beyond the arc (career-high).