NBA All-Star snubs: Paul George, Bradley Beal not among reserves selected for 2020 All-Star Game
Coaches chose Russell Westbrook as a 2020 All-Star, but not Paul George. Strange times!
The NBA All-Star reserves were. If you somehow missed it, here are the names from each conference:
- Eastern Conference: Ben Simmons, Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, Khris Middleton, Jayson Tatum, Bam Adebayo and Domantas Sabonis. (The starters are Kemba Walker, Trae Young, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Pascal Siakam and Joel Embiid.)
- Western Conference: Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell, Nikola Jokic, Rudy Gobert, Brandon Ingram, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook. (The starters are James Harden, Luka Doncic, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis.)
As always, some players having awesome seasons were left out. Here are 12 of the most notable omissions, starting in the Western Conference, where it is sort of hard to believe Westbrook got in, isn't it?
Western Conference snubs
I guess the coaches have punished George for all the time he has missed -- while his per-minute numbers are virtually identical to what they were last season, he has only logged 799 minutes in 26 games. There is no other logical explanation for his absence, unless they're reading way too much into the Clippers' plus-1.1 net rating with George on the court and Leonard on the bench.
Booker started the season strong, but has been on another level for the past few weeks. No longer the divisive player he has been for most of his career, he is averaging more than 27 points on 63.4 percent true shooting. His defense isn't great, and the Suns are outside of the playoff picture, but I thought he had done enough to earn his first All-Star nod.
Towns looked like an MVP candidate at the beginning of the season, but his defense dropped off and he was sidelined for almost a full month. The Wolves are a total mess right now, which likely dissuaded coaches from picking their franchise player, even though he is one of the league's most gifted offensive players. Towns is shooting 41.2 percent from deep on 8.8 attempts per game, and he has finally been able to show off his playmaking skills, too.
Despite a late push, DeRozan will not represent the Spurs in Chicago, but that doesn't mean his season should be ignored. Even though he is refusing to shoot 3s, he is enjoying the most efficient season of his career, with a 60.8 percent true shooting percentage and by far the best at-the-rim and midrange numbers he's ever had. DeRozan's defense is still suspect, but no one has had an answer for him since LaMarcus Aldridge started shooting 3s.
I guess the 20-year-old phenom will have to settle for winning Rookie of the Year and making the Grizzlies appointment viewing for League Pass dorks around the world. Memphis is .500 in Year 1 of its rebuild, thanks in large part to the way Morant runs the team. The highlight plays understandably get most of the attention, but he is one of the most advanced point guards the league has seen in ages, equally comfortable racing down the floor in transition and picking teams apart in the halfcourt. He'll make plenty of All-Star teams.
Both Williams and his pick-and-roll partner, Montrezl Harrell, are destroying opposing bench units again, and it would be awesome if they could share the Sixth Man of the Year award. Their work should be appreciated, but it's hard to make a convincing argument for either one over some of the more well-rounded players in the West.
Eastern Conference snubs
This is unfortunate, but justifiable by virtue of his 31.8 percent 3-point shooting and so-so defense. Beal is obviously an All-Star-caliber player, and it's super weird for him to have to stay home when he's sixth in the league in scoring. These are the breaks, however, when you play for a 15-31 team that can't stop anybody.
Brogdon has played like an All-Star when he has been available, but his career year has been interrupted by an assortment of injuries and he has averaged only 30.3 minutes. You have to love the way he has run the team as a more traditional pick-and-roll point guard, but he would have had a stronger case if he had been able to maintain the efficiency he had in Milwaukee. As impressive as the Pacers have been, the coaches likely didn't want to give them two All-Stars.
It looked like Dinwiddie was on track for a while there, but then he got a bit less efficient, the Nets started sliding in the standings, Kyrie Irving got healthy and his role changed a bunch of times. Even though he won't be in Chicago, he proved to the league what he can do when given the ball and asked to create. The 26-year-old guard is a major problem for opposing defenses, especially when he has proper spacing around him.
The Celtics weren't going to get three All-Stars, and with Kemba Walker starting for the East, the coaches sided with Tatum over Brown. Both have been fantastic on defense, but they probably picked Tatum because he has more playmaking responsibility. Your mileage may vary.
The Bulls never beat good teams, and LaVine's poor defense is a part of that. Those who dismissed his All-Star candidacy, though, were ignoring how well-rounded he has become as an offensive player. LaVine has never shot 3s better or at higher volume, and he's a monster when he gets downhill. It is also worth noting that he hasn't missed a game this season and plays heavy minutes.
Harris has essentially done what Philadelphia wanted him to do. He has improved as a defender, assumed more of a playmaking role and, when he has had the opportunity to play power forward, launched 3s without hesitation. That didn't quite add up to an All-Star berth, though, likely because of all the long 2s he's missed and the sense that the Sixers haven't been consistent enough to merit three All-Stars.
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