The NBA’s All-Star reserves were announced Thursday with some notable names missing from the list.
We make the case for three players from each conference who deserved the chance to represent their team come All-Star Weekend:
Doncic leads all rookies with 20.4 points per game, to go along with 6.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists. The 19-year-old is the youngest ever to post a 30-point triple-double, which he did while being smothered by Kawhi Leonard.
He’s also been exciting crowds all season long with his clutch play. How can coaches forget the nine points he scored in the last five minutes against the Minnesota Timberwolves to lift the Dallas Mavericks to a win? That alone should have etched his name over Karl-Anthony Towns, who’s shooting a career low from the field this season. – Meler
The L.A. Clippers have lost their early-season sizzle after a five-game losing streak put them in the back end of the playoff race, but that hasn’t stopped Harris from becoming one of the NBA’s top talents. The 6-foot-9 sharpshooter is in the midst of a career year, averaging 21.2 points and 7.9 boards while shooting a scorching-hot 43.3 percent on 4.7 3-point attempts per game.
Needless to say, Harris is doing all the right things during a contract year and is expecting close to max money in the summer. Unfortunately, he won’t have the opportunity to add an All-Star appearance to his resume despite looking the part. – Saghir
The Utah Jazz have surged yet again in the second half of the season, winning nine of their last 11 games while sporting the league’s second-best defense in the Association during their hot stretch, mainly thanks to their long-limbed rim protector, Gobert.
Utah is a spectacular 27.9 points better with Gobert on the floor rather than off it over its last 11 games, while the French Rejection ranks fourth in the league in blocks (2.2), and sits fifth in rebounds per game (12.8) for the season. – Saghir
The former No. 2 overall pick has also raised his game during the Nets’ recent 8-2 stretch, averaging 25.4 points during the team’s last 10 games, which includes a 40-point showcase. – Meler
Butler has continued to show why he’s one of the best two-way players in the game since landing with the Philadelphia 76ers, helping lead the team to a 20-9 record when he’s on the court. Along with drilling a pair of game-winners against the Charlotte Hornets and Brooklyn Nets, he’s continued to take on the other team’s best offensive player every single night.
The four-time All-Star has also upped his 3-point shooting, converting on a career-high 38.8 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc since arriving in Philadelphia, helping stretch the floor for Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. – Meler
The 29-year-old ranks second on the Milwaukee Bucks with 5.2 win shares, he’s finishing at an elite rate around the rim – hitting 75.5 percent of shots within three feet of the basket – and he’s chipping in a solid 15.8 points, 5.5 assists, and 4.5 rebounds per game. – Saghir
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