Eastern Starters: G Kyle Lowry – Lowry doesn’t need much explanation other than he’s the best player on the second best team in the conference. And while earlier this year I talked about how good DeRozan is and how he might be the best on the team. But he’s cooled off since then while Lowry has only been heating up since then. Regardless, DeRozan’s still great, but Lowry’s all-around outstanding play is just too much to overlook. His offensive game, from shooting, passing, and simple command of the offense, makes the Toronto offense electric.
G Isaiah Thomas – Thomas’ popularity in the NBA has been growing lately as he’s upped his scoring to top tier and the Celtics have gone on a hot streak. I don’t care if he’s such a defensive liability that they have to sit him on defense in final possessions (well, i do, but still). He’s just too fun to watch. He can get hot from 3 at any moment, he can drive and finish amongst the biggest of players, and he can throw the most sizzling of passes. All while looking like a high school star who’s waiting for his growth spurt. But he doesn’t need one, cause he’s just that good.
F LeBron James – Really. No explanation needed … He’s the King.
F Giannis Antetokoumnpo – Also shouldn’t need an explanation , but because he’s a first timer, I’ll give him a brief one. Giannis leads his team in points, rebounds, assists, blocks, steals, minutes, wingspan, cool nicknames, freakish steps, monster chase down plays, and “Holy Crap” dunks.
C Joel Embiid – Okay, I’m biased. But I trust the process. I’ve gone from last year barely watching the Sixers in order to overt my eyes from disgraces against the game of basketball, to being unable to miss any games they’re playing, especially when “The Process” himself is on the court. And yeah, some will say that if you only play 25 minutes a game, there’s no way you can even be considered, but hear me out. Philadelphia is the hottest team in the NBA, and it’s all because of #21 out there. He changes everything. He boosts their defensive rating by +30 when He’s playing. His per 36 numbers put him in staggering categories, not to mention he’s a rookie. To put it in perspective, he’s basically averaging the same numbers KAT had last year while playing 10 less minutes and being surrounded with worse players. The most jaw-dropping fact is that with Embiid on the court, the Sixers have a +12 point differential. The Sixers!!!! And plus point-differential, in the same sentence!!! When he’s out, it’s about -1,023,985 (not entirely accurate but closer than you think). I trust the process. He is the future. He is an all star.
Since there bench players, the explanations will be brief, but will show my opinion.
G John Wall – He’s really freaking good, and he’s somehow turned the Wizards into a legitimate playoff team. Honestly, I’d be perfectly fine with him starting over Isaiah. But his start this season was too slow.
G Kyrie Irving – He’s not a starter because he’s not as good statistically, in all honesty one of the worst defenders ever, and he’s definitely not the best player on his team. However, he’s clutch and does what the best team in the conference needs him to do: Get Buckets.
G DeMar DeRozan – Like everybody, he’s really good and I’d be fine with him being a starter. He just has times when his bad 3 point shooting can be a small problem. But he’s now become a no-brainer all star who should be on here regularly.
G Kemba Walker – I’ve been campaigning for him to be an all star for years. And he’d better get it. He means everything to Charlotte, and he’s been infinitely better than the overhyped, overrated, and old Dwyane Wade, who should’ve been out of the All Star game years ago.
F Jimmy Butler – He’s become very explosive and he definitely looks better without D-Rose the disaster at point guard. I don’t put him as a starter because there’s enough talent on his team that they should be doing better. It’s hard to blame him for their team’s struggles, but as leader sometimes you have to take the pain.
F Kevin Love – He’s finally returned to what he used to be. He’s lighting it up from 3 and murdering the glass. Looks like Cleveland’s Big 3 has finally come to true chemistry and stardom.
F Paul George/ F Paul Milsap – I know I said George in my predictions, but I’m rethinking that now. Just considering where there teams are in the standings, let alone their stats, might sway one to believe that PG13 might have to sit this one out instead of Milsap. In the end, I make this one as a toss-up. (And no, I never even thought of taking Embiid off the team, don’t judge me #GoSixers #TrusttheProcess)