On Thursday, the NBA All-Star Game reserves were announced. Here are the players for both the Eastern and Western Conferences:
East Pool: Starters
- Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets) [captain]
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
- Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)
- Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks)
- DeMar DeRozan (Chicago Bulls)
East Pool: Reserves
- Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat)
- Darius Garland (Cleveland Cavaliers)
- James Harden (Brooklyn Nets)
- Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls)
- Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks)
- Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)
- Fred VanVleet (Toronto Raptors)
West Pool: Starters
- LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers) [captain]
- Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)
- Andrew Wiggins (Golden State Warriors)
- Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
- Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies)
West Pool: Reserves
- Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns)
- Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)
- Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)
- Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)
- Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz)
- Chris Paul (Phoenix Suns)
- Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves)
From the news, Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal will miss his first NBA All-Star Game since the 2019-20 season. Last season, he was a starter. It’s a startling decline in popularity because Beal has played most games this season and last season. Why is he at home?
Here are some reasons:
- Performance: Last season, Beal was the NBA’s leading scorer at the time of the All-Star Game announcement. This year, he is averaging 23.2 points and 6.6 assists per game, but he’s also shooting just 45 percent from the field and 30 percent from three. His three-point shooting is at a career-low! This is the number one reason at the end of the day.
- Russell Westbrook fans aren’t there to bail him out in the polls: With fan voting, the-then Wizards point guard was in the Top 10 of backcourt returns last season. A significant number of fans who voted for Westbrook probably gave Beal votes as well.
- Diminished popularity due to the lack of news of Beal as an trade target: Last year, EVERY TEAM WANTED BEAL! This year, not so much.
- The Wizards are progressively trending down: All-Star voting was in January when the Wizards were 5-9. That’s also going to damper one’s vote total and how other coaches see the team.
Barring an injury replacement, Beal’s probably sitting at home when the game is in Cleveland. To add further insult to injury, no Wizards were named to the Rising Stars Challenge and I don’t see anyone in the All-Star Saturday challenges either.