With the NBA All-Star Game just over a month away, we now know the starters. With so many worthy candidates, narrowing each roster to just 12 names was no easy task. Here’s a breakdown of the 10 stars who got the nod. Bear in mind that this year will be different in terms of format, with the teams being picked “playground-style” by captains.
Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics: Irving has settled quickly in Boston, proving he can run a team and be a facilitator. He continues to be one of the league’s best crunch-time scorers.
DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors: DeRozan improves his game every year and has stepped up as a playmaker while still having huge scoring nights, including a career high 52-point explosion.
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers: The Cavs have had their struggles but James has kept them afloat. He is still the best player in the league.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks: The Bucks have show flashes that suggest they could be a playoff dark horse, but consistency has been an issue. Not for Antetokounmpo though. He has been spectacular night after night, filling the stat sheet.
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers: The question marks were there at the start of the season - could Embiid stay healthy for at least 60 games? So far, so good. He is contributing on both ends of the floor, with seasoned post moves and solid rim protection. The All-Star Game will benefit from a dose of Embiid.
James Harden, Houston Rockets: Until his hamstring injury, Harden had helped the Rockets keep pace with the Golden State Warriors. His points and assists totals have remained at a high level, despite sharing more playmaking responsibilities with Chris Paul.
Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors: Curry has battled injuries too, but has been spectacular since the start of 2018, drilling three-pointers with ease. The Warriors’ ability to win so many games on the road stems in part from his shotmaking.
Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors: Durant is hot on James’ heels for big player in the league status. He is putting up big numbers yet again, including even better defensive numbers. Durant is among the NBA’s top shot blockers.
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans: Davis could score 30 points and grab 15 rebounds in his sleep. He, and DeMarcus Cousins, have kept the Pelicans in the playoff picture.
DeMarcus Cousins, New Orleans Pelicans: Cousins has been a devastating force offensively this season, bullying smaller defenders and shooting with confidence from behind the arc.