Team LBJ or Team Greek Freak?
Where you at? Regardless of whom you’ll root for, the 2019 NBA All-Star Game will surely be exciting.
There are inevitably a number of others who weren’t given the All-Star nod
Making the contest more thrilling is the inclusion of ASG first-timers Khris Middleton, Ben Simmons, Nikola Jokic and quite recently, replacement All-Star D’Angelo Russell who will stand in for the injured Victor Oladipo.
As great the talent is, however, there are inevitably a number of others who weren’t given the All-Star nod despite being arguably, equally or even more deserving.
My picks for the top 10 2019 ASG snubs are the following:
Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz) — The Stifle Tower continues his unfortunate string of being snubbed in the annual ASG. This despite currently averaging 15 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks per game while shooting 65 percent from the field. Here’s to hoping he finally makes it in the near future.
Clint Capela (Houston Rockets) — Yes, Capela has missed some time, but he remains a vital cog in the Houston Rockets’ scoring machinery. The big man shoots 63 percent from the floor on top of putting up an 18-point, 13-rebound double-double on a regular basis.
Jrue Holiday (New Orleans Pelicans) — Holiday has made the ASG once (2013). If there’s any season he should have made it back, it’s now. Yes, the Pels are still Anthony Davis’s team (up until the free agency begins, that is), but they would certainly be much closer to the bottom of the West standings if not for Holiday’s strong quarterbacking.
Tobias Harris (LA Clippers/Philadelphia 76ers) — Harris is maybe the biggest reason the Clips haven’t stunk this season. And although he’s now playing for the City of Brotherly Love, his performance still should have made a strong case for ASG selection. He’s been having his best season yet and could have been a deserving inclusion.
DeMar DeRozan (San Antonio Spurs) — This four-time All-Star has seen his share of the weekend’s glitz and sheen and though his numbers have dipped a bit, he remains one of the elite wingmen in the entire league. I mean, the Spurs remain relevant, right? He’s a big reason why.
Jimmy Butler (Minnesota Timberwolves/Philadelphia 76ers) — Buckets, buckets, buckets.
Say what you want about Jimmy Butler, who has had more than his fair share of off-court run-ins and has been carrying a reputation of being quite the character, but don’t knock his production. 19.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.1 steals? ASG-worthy.
Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks) — Hands down my favorite rookie this season. Did you hear him say it was easier to score in the NBA than in Europe? Swag as heck, eh? And imagine him just crisscrossing up and down the court and then throwing up a lob to Giannis or LBJ. Holy heck, YouTube highlights for days!
Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors) — How about the big jump in the 6’9 Cameroonian’s production from last year to this year? Most Improved Player? Uh-huh. All-Star? Sadly, nope.
Still, Siakam has been hella good for Toronto. He’s been the perfect complement to Kawhi Leonard up front for the Raps!
Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics) — Tatum has been as good as expected. There has been a significant jump in his production, and though Boston hasn’t been the juggernaut most have billed them to be, Tatum has been a pillar for the team. Many acknowledge that he’ll be the future cornerstone of the franchise. Sure, maybe there’s no ASG nod this year, but he’s destined for it.
Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz) — The super soph isn’t having a slump, but he just didn’t get picked because, well, the guard spot is so heavily stuffed in the West. It’s crazy as heck, but Spida should make it one day. For now, along with Gobert, Mitchell will just have to watch from the sidelines and Utah fans will just have to wait one more year if they’ll get one of their own in the ASG.