On Thursday afternoon, the All-Star Game reserves were announced. As with every season, there were snubs and there were questionable choices.
The Eastern Conference reserves are 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.
The Western Conference reserves are 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.
There were plenty of questionable choices and snubs for the game. One of the more glaring ones included the guard spots. Neither Bradley Beal, Malcom Brogdon, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jaylen Brown nor Zach Lavine made the cut. In their place? Kyle Lowry. Lowry is on a 33-win Toronto Raptors team that is currently the second seed in the East. That alone had to carry the voting, as Lowry is only averaging 19.8 points and 7.4 assists per game.
To combat Lowry, Beal is averaging 28.6 points and 6.3 assists per game, but on a 15-win Washington Wizards team that is currently the twelfth seed in the East. Also, in the East is Lavine, who’s averaging 25.1 points and 4.0 assists per game, but on a 19-win Chicago Bulls team that is the ninth seed in the East.
In the Western Conference, Booker was snubbed once again. This season, he’s averaging 27.1 points and 6.4 assists per game, but on a Phoenix Suns team that is currently the eleventh seed in the West with 20 wins. Booker has never won more than 24 games in a season during his career. The biggest question mark is the addition of Westbrook, who has arguably made the Houston Rockets more limited and a worse team.
Team LeBron and Team Giannis play on Feb. 16.