There weren’t many surprises this year, as the majority of the players expected to make the All-Star team were selected to participate yet again. Due to a plethora of injuries surrounding some of the league’s top superstars, there were consequently many first time All-Stars this year. Here are your 2012-2013 NBA All-Stars.
- Chris Bosh: It certainly never hurts to play on the most popular team in the NBA. The NBA has been lacking great big men for quite some time, so Chris Bosh was almost a lock for this year’s All-Star team. Bosh’s numbers are slightly down from last year, but he’s shooting a career high 54 percent from the field. Again, with the lack of depth at either big man position in the Eastern Conference, Bosh was a guaranteed All-Star.
- Paul George:After not even being selected to play in last year’s Rookie-Sophomore game, Paul George is an All-Star. George is one of the most impressive young players in the league, and I’d attribute a large portion of the Indiana Pacers success to the first time All-Star. He doesn’t shoot a very high percentage, but he is one of the best players at his position. With Danny Granger out, George has stepped up and has become a leader on a very underrated Pacers squad. I’m glad to see him make the team. I’m sure we’ll see lots of exciting stuff coming from him in the game.
- Jrue Holiday: Coming into the 2013 season, the only Sixer I expected to make the All-Star team was Andrew Bynum. Unfortunately, and to no one’s surprise, Andrew Bynum was hit with an ever so familiar knee injury which has sidelined him for the entire season thus far. At just 22 years of age, Holiday was forced to step up and become the go to guy in Philly. He’s averaged a career high in both points (19) and assists (9) per game. It’s a shame his stellar play hasn’t resulted in more wins for Philadelphia. It’ll be tough for Holiday to make another All-Star team as the Eastern Conference is filled with great point guards such as Derrick Rose, Deron Williams, Kyrie Irving, and even our own John Wall. Holiday is likely currently the front-runner for the NBA Most Improved Player Award and this All-Star birth is well deserved.
- Tyson Chandler: Again, with the league’s lack of big men, Chandler was pretty much a lock for this year’s All-Star team. As the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Chandler has completely changed the culture in NY. His awareness on the court is evident as he continues to lead the league in field goal percentage (67 percent). I’m sure we’ll see Chandler catch a few of his signature lobs in Houston.
- Joakim Noah: Noah is one of many first time All-Stars this year, and it’s well deserved. After Derrick Rose went down with that awful ACL injury, Noah took it upon himself to become Chicago’s leader on the floor. I’ve honestly never saw Noah take a play off, as he’s one of the most passionate players in the NBA. Not to mention, Noah has evolved into more than just a defensive player, as his passing skills are top notch for NBA big men. After hearing the news, Noah went on to thank many of his supporters on Twitter. It’s always great to see a guy who truly cares about the game make the All-Star team.
- Luol Deng: For the second consecutive year, Deng will be representing Chicago in the All-Star game. I was surprised to see Deng make the All-Star team because veteran guys like Paul Pierce usually get the nod. With the lack of talent at the small forward position, Deng will have a chance to probably make a few more All-Star teams before his career is over.
- Kyrie Irving: I’ll be honest: as a passionate Wizards fan, it’s tough to see a Cleveland Cavalier number one overall pick make the All-Star team before John Wall. Irving is without a doubt one of the most talented and exciting guards in the NBA. Scoring 40 points on Tuesday night against Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics more than solidified Irving’s spot on the All-Star team. Irving and Holiday benefited most from the injuries which have plagued many of the league’s top guards. I wasn’t very surprised, but It was still interesting to see Irving make the team over a perennial All-Star in Deron Williams.
- James Harden: After getting traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder, skeptics questioned Harden’s ability to perform as the number one option. I think it’s safe to say that Harden has quieted many, if not all, of his doubters. Averaging close to 26 points per game, Harden has shown that he’s more than just a sixth man as his place has propelled the Houston Rockets into a possible playoff spot. I’m still kind of bitter over that whole Harden-Wizards incident, but that doesn’t take away from what he has done on the court this season.
- LaMarcus Aldridge: ‘L.A’ is probably the most talented power forward/center in the Western Conference not named “Kevin Love”. Aldridge has averaged close to 21 points and 9 rebounds per game this season and has emerged as one of the league’s best big men. Portland has a great one-two punch in Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge and fans of the team have a lot to look forward to.
- Tony Parker: There aren’t many teams that get better with age, but the San Antonio Spurs continue to play great basketball. Tony Parker was a legitimate MVP candidate last season and he continues to be one of the best point guards in the NBA, while averaging close to 20 points and 7 assists per game. Parker has been a treat to watch throughout the years and this year was no different.
- David Lee: He’s only one of two of Golden State Warriors that should have made the All-Star team this season. Lee fits in perfectly with the Warriors, which has ultimately lead him to nearly 20 points and 11 rebounds per game. Lee is a very fundamentally sound player who has all the tools to get it done on the offensive end of the floor. For a second there, I had doubts of Lee making the All-Star team this year, but injuries to Kevin Love and Dirk Nowtizki made him a no-brainer. It’s a shame his teammate, Steph Curry, got snubbed by the coaches this season, but his spot on the team likely would have been in place of Tony Parker. There’s a great argument to be made for Steph, but there’s an equally great argument for Parker.
- Zach Randolph: Once regarded as an enigma, Randolph has become one of the most underappreciated players in the NBA. ‘Z-Bo’ has a knack for ‘bully ball’, and simply knows how to get it done on both sides of the court. Despite trade rumors, Randolph has continued to impress for the Memphis Grizzlies.
- Tim Duncan: At 36 years old, Duncan has shown very little signs of aging throughout his career. His statistics have increased from last season, as ‘The Big Fundamental’ has always been one of the best big men in the league. Duncan never ceases to amaze me or opponents.
- Russell Westbrook: Westbrook was another lock to appear in this year’s All-Star game. Alongside Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook will probably lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to another NBA Finals appearance. Westbrook’s shooting is way down, but his assists are way up now that he no longer has another hyper-skilled ball handler to play-making duties away. Again, no surprise in this selection.