The NBA All-Star game is fast approaching. Which players from the West deserve a spot on this year’s list, and which ones are eliminated?
The NBA All-Star Game is less than a month away, which means it’s time to determine the worthy players to enter this year’s competition. Last week, we picked a Vote (assumption) for the Eastern Conferenceand today we’re going to categorize the candidates in the West. (You can also find instructions and criteria for this exercise in Part I.) The Long Two will be back to normal next week!
Two Long Picks for Western Conference’s NBA All-Stars
G: Stephen Curry, Chris Paul
F: Nikola Jokic, LeBron James, Rudy Gobert
G: Donovan Mitchell, Ja Morant
F: Draymond Green, Karl-Anthony Towns, Luka Dončić
Wild Cards: Mike Conley, Dejounte Murray
Although a Extend the filming time, Curry remains the best guard in the NBA and is not in danger of being dropped from the starting lineup. Mitchell, Morant, and Paul have roughly equal circumstances to join him, and any of the three would be worthy picks.
Even at the age of 36, Paul is already a somewhat active defender for the league second-class defense while captaining the top three criminals with stable mid-range scoring and manufactures surgical pick-and-roll toys. Mitchell is having the most productive season of his career as a high-use creator for the NBA’s best fouls, while Morant has become a deadly weapon who can go Get to the perimeter and set up teammates with ease. Paul may not be as much of an attacking force as the other two anymore, but he’s the best passer and defender of the three, and Phoenix is trailing his opponent by more than 10 points out of 100 possessions. with him on the floor than with him – easily the widest of the three.
An even bigger difference for Conley, who has been quietly an integral part of Utah’s league-leading offense. Jazz is a juggler with him on the field and a neutral net without him, and while he certainly benefits from playing alongside Mitchell and Gobert, Conley also makes their lives easier by penetrating and extending the line of defense. Avoid dribbling, pass the ball to open teammates and play solid defense for a team. with few capable perimeter guards. (Jazz has a difference in positives when he plays without Gobert, Mitchell or both.) Relatively low cast and assist rates kept him out of competition for a starting spot, but Conley was too effective and critical to set himself apart from the other wild card contenders. It’s unusual for a fourth-place team to have three All-Stars, but Utah is heavily fueled by the talent and suitability of their three best players.
The third Jazzman, Gobert, has always been a difficult star to judge because of his combination of uncanny defensive impact, minimal shadowing and unique value as a blocker and tire menace; he’s a key player in style, but he could be one of the top five or six regular season players in the league. Utah’s defenses crumble as he steps into health and safety protocols, and he catalyzes the team’s offensive behavior with continuous, purposeful displays. As with Conley, Jazz is 14 points out of 100 possessions ahead of its opponent with Gobert on the floor but there is a slightly negative difference without him. That monster’s two-way impact gives him a slight edge over the more versatile Green, whose own absence underscores his importance to the Warriors on both ends. .
Green joins Towns – who are quietly in the midst of another ridiculously productive offensive season – as a backup frontline stop. A healthy Kawhi Leonard or a better season from Anthony Davis or Paul George may have pushed Dončić, delivering one of the poorest 25/9/9 passes in NBA history, out of the vote; instead, he gets third place by default. Dončić’s defense has faltered this season and his scoring performance has plummeted, but Davis and George have similarly disappointed in fewer games and could then miss most of the season. Dončić was the best player of the three, a passing wizard carrying one of the heaviest offensive workloads in the league, and part of Dallas’ struggles with him on the ring was teammates simply missed the opening shots he created.
Mikal Bridges, Desmond Bane, Kristaps Porzingis, DeAndre Ayton and Andrew Wiggins are all having great seasons and are likely to appear on some of the official ballots; but all are relatively low-used end-game players who aren’t responsible for creating for others or against the defense laid out above them. Brandon Ingram has in fact made the Pelicans offense as both a goalscorer and an assist and will attract attention over the past two months. But a difficult first month of the season, inefficiencies and a still-weak defense reduced his impact for the whole season, enough to keep him out of the game.
That makes Booker and Murray the two strongest picks for the bottom line, and I’m still wavering over who to pick. Murray was a lousy underperforming goalscorer who didn’t lengthen the defense with his jump, but developed into a brilliant player. in a more empowered role and possibly the best defensive defender in basketball. Booker is a more complete attacking player – a full-back who can score any number of times from anywhere – but doesn’t offer nearly as much defense or play as Murray. Neither player can do what the other does for their respective teams, and both will miss out on a more normal, sane season.
For now, Murray’s all-round game – even with that glaring hole in it – wins over Booker’s lightly effective volume recording, superb play, and unremarkable defense. Booker’s true shooting rate has fluctuated around the league average and both his and Sun‘effectiveness plummeted when Paul left the floor. Murray, meanwhile, is an elite defender and classy passer who performs slightly heavier lifting moves at both ends of the floor. It is possible for one player to separate from the other between now and mid-February, but for now, it is Murray with the thinnest margins.
The stats are current as of January 22 (the last day of the fan vote). All stats with the help of Clean Glass, NBA.com, PBP Stats and Basketball Reference.
https://fansided.com/2022/01/27/nba-all-stars-western-conference-picks/ Select NBA All-Stars Western Conference