There wasn’t any surprises this season, as only six teams are represented by the All-Star Starters.
Guard; Chris Paul: Averaging nearly 17 points and 10 assists per game, Chris Paul has emerged into a legitimate MVP contender this season. The Clippers, who were once the butt of everyone’s joke, have become a serious championship contender under CP3’s leadership. Paul is not only the best floor general in the NBA, but his tenacity on both ends of the floor has propelled him into one of the league’s best players. It’s no surprise that Paul is receiving this honor.
Guard; Kobe Bryant: For the 15th time in his career (!!!), Kobe Bryant edged out LeBron James as the leading vote getter in this year’s All-Star Game. ‘The Black Mamba’ is having trouble picking up wins this season, but his individual success is nothing short of spectacular. At 34 years old, Kobe is the leagues top scorer, averaging 29.9 points per game. Call me crazy, but I definitely don’t see him declining anytime soon. Watching Kobe play is truly a treat.
Forward; Kevin Durant: In my opinion, Kevin Durant is the best pure scorer in the NBA. Nearly 7 foot tall, Durant is truly a freak of nature. At just 24 years old, Durant has grown to become more than just a scorer. If he continues to develop at this rate, he’ll without a doubt become one of the all-time greats.
Forward; Blake Griffin: I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge Blake Griffin fan, but I can see why he was selected to start in the All-Star Game. He’s without a doubt one of the most athletic players in the NBA. The All-Star game is all about flash and thrill, so Griffin will fit right it. He’s been an All-Star ever since he entered into the NBA as a rookie, but I wouldn’t even consider him the best power forward in his conference. He’s fun to watch, but I prefer watching guys like Lamarcus Aldridge.
Center; Dwight Howard: Again, no surprise here. Like Griffin, Howard thrives off his elite athleticism. He’s had somewhat of an off year in his debut season for the LA Lakers, but with the lack of talented centers in the NBA, I’d still consider ‘D12′ the best player at his position.
Guard; Rajon Rondo: The Celtics aren’t the championship team they used to be, but Rondo continues to impress. Averaging 13 points and just a tad over 11 assists per game, Rondo is arguably the most complete point guard in the NBA. Though his jump shot is still lacking, Rondo’s elite defense more than makes up for it. He’s crafty, creative, and he’s a great defender. I think those ingredients will make him a perennial All-Star.
Guard; Dwyane Wade: He’s not putting up the type of numbers he did several years ago, but ‘DWade’ continues to impress as he gradually loses some of his athleticism. Sure, it doesn’t hurt to play along side LeBron James, but at the end of the day, Wade is still one of the best players in the NBA. Again, no surprise here.
Forward; LeBron James: As much as it hurts to admit it, he’s currently the best player on the planet. All-Star Games have become a formality in LeBron’s career.
Forward; Carmelo Anthony: If you look up ‘pure scorer’ in the dictionary, the definition comes up as ‘Melo’. He’s been dealing with a series of injuries and off court issues involving fellow All-Star, Kevin Garnett, but ‘Melo’ has been very impressive this season. Like Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony’s name has also emerged in MVP talks this season. New York has played very well this season, and none of their success would be possible without Carmelo’s help.
Center; Kevin Garnett: Again, no surprise here. Garnett is a first ballot Hall of Famer, and has earned a trip to the All-Star game once again. With the lack of talent amongst the NBA big men, Garnett has continued to play at a high level at 36 years of age. I’m not sure how many more years he’ll play, but I’d think this may be one of Garnett’s last All-Star appearances.
So what are your thoughts on the All-Star starters? Is there anyone in particular that you wish would’ve been included?