Commentary: NBA All-Star Game selection is in full swing

Max Burke, Sports Editor

On March 7, the NBA plans to host their annual All-Star game in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. This game seems to be controversial due to both playing during a pandemic, and the fan voting.

The ballot consists of two slots for the backcourt (guards) and three slots for the frontcourt (forward and centers) for the Eastern and Western Conferences, making it 10 votes in total.

This year, some of my picks were clear; however, I had to think carefully with some of my other picks. Overall, I think I made some good selections to make two well-balanced and incredibly talented starting line-ups.

Eastern Conference

The Eastern Conference has several elite guards to choose from, which made it even harder to select just two. The first selection was easy: however, I chose Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards. If he were on any other team he would be getting looked at for MVP, but he is on a team with a record of 6-5. Despite this, he is averaging 32.8 points per game and is the best scorer of the ball in the league today. For this reason, he was a no-doubter of a selection.

The next guard was a hard choice as well. I had amazing options like Jaylen Brown, Trae Young, Kyrie Irving and so many more to choose from but after careful consideration, I chose someone who I believe really earned his spot. This spot should go to Zach Lavine of the Chicago Bulls. Lavine seems to get better and better each year he plays, and this year is looking like his best by a lot. He is averaging 28, 5, and 5 and playing very solid defensively.

The frontcourt allows a larger selection opportunity with the three available slots, and two picks pretty much locked in my opinion. The two picks I made without hesitation were Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. These are two absolutely elite players in the league today. Durant is looking like the MVP version of himself averaging 29, 7 and 5 on a stacked Nets team, while Giannis is averaging 2,8 11 and 5 on the second place Bucks.

My last frontcourt pick for the East may seem a bit controversial, however, this man’s statistics have earned him a place on the squad in my opinion. It is not Joel Embiid or Jayson Tatum even though I believe they should be on the team. My last starter is Nikola Vucevic of the Orlando Magic. He is an elite center quietly averaging 23, 11 and 3. I think he deserves this spot, and his playing has shown it.

Western Conference

The Western Conference selections were much easier in my opinion than the Eastern Conference. There were one or two selections that could have gone a different way, but I think the five I selected were about as good as it gets when it comes to the talent in the West.

The guards are straight forward for me, Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks. Steph is back to his normal form averaging 29, 5 and 6 in his first year back from a big injury last year. Luka is proving that he still is one of the best guards in the game today averaging 28, 9 and 9.

Overall, I feel like it is hard to argue with the guards because they are two of the best players in the game. In addition to this, they are also both massive fan favorites who will surely get the votes needed to start.

The forwards are also pretty much set in stone when it comes to who will be starting on the seventh. First off, LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and his teammate Anthony Davis. Finally, Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets.

The King is still the King and LeBron is averaging 25, 8 and 8 on the best team in the West. Anthony Davis is averaging 22, 8 and 3, and is playing great rim-protecting defense this year after winning his first ring last year. Finally, there is the Joker, Nikola Jokic. This man is looking like the frontrunner for the league MVP. He is averaging 27, 11 and 9 for Denver.

There are a few other options as starters that will make the team, such as Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, but I feel like my starting five is definitely elite.

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