NBA All-Star 2019: 5 Talking Points
Voting for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game has begun. Last year, Stephen Curry and LeBron James were named as the west and east respective captains. This year, both are in the same conference and only one of them can reach last year's spot.
Let's take a glance at some other interesting things in this year's All-Star selection.
1. A rookie making the All-Star
Only two rookies have made it to the All-Star Game in the 21st century, Yao Ming in 2003 and Blake Griffin in 2010. This year, Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic is playing at an All-Star level and is putting up great numbers. He is averaging 19.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5 assists in 36 games, and he has been closing the games for his team with clutch shots.
With LeBron in the east, it would have been a no-brainer that he would be the captain for the Eastern Conference. But after his departure from Cleveland, that position is up for grabs in 2019. Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo and Celtics' Kyrie Irving are the leading contenders to become the All-Star captain in the east, while Raptors' Kawhi Leonard isn't far behind them.
In the west, it should be LeBron, but that conference have many outstanding forwards, which may potentially eat on James' votes and Curry could possibly take that spot, since he is leading the guards, ahead of a surprising Derrick Rose. Houston's James Harden is also putting up staggering numbers and cementing his case for a second consecutive MVP award and is third in the voting.
3. Five All-Stars from Golden State?
The Golden State Warriors could potentially be the first team in NBA history to have five All-Stars selections in the same season, other teams have had five former All-Stars on their squad but never five on the same year.
The Warriors have five players who were selected as All-Stars in 2018 namely, Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant and Demarcus Cousins (for New Orleans). But Cousins is still recovering from the Achilles injury he suffered last season, which could potentially damper his chances of selection. It will be interesting to see five All-Stars representing one NBA team in the same season.
4. Sophomores with the potential to make it
Donovan Mitchell isn't having as good a season as expected for the Utah Jazz and the same is true with Sixers' guard Ben Simmons. In the west, the chances for Donovan to make it to the ASG are faint but that's not the case for Simmons. The Australian could potentially make his first All-Star after not being selected last year, inexplicably.
5. Potential first All-Star selections
Tobias Harris is the leading contender in this conversation. In the west, it is really hard to make it but he is stuffing the stat sheet with staggering numbers (21 PPG, 50 percent shooting, 42 percent shooting from the 3-point line) and leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a surprisingly high rank in the western conference thanks to a 21-16 record.
Had he been in the Eastern Conference, those numbers could have lad to a sure shot at an All-Star selection, but in the west, it's much more complicated. The Western Conference is full of superstars and it's really hard to replace any one of them. Devin Booker and Danilo Gallinari are also playing at a high level but, again, it is the west.
In the east though, Bulls' Zach LaVine will most probably make the All-Star and Orlando Magic's Nikola Vucevic is also making his case.
The selections will be released in the month of January and the All-Star weekend will be held between 14-17 February. Most of these questions will be answered soon.Published 05 Jan 2019, 10:19 IST