The all-star rosters were announced yesterday but Isaiah Thomas and Russell Westbrook were not among the starters for their respective conferences. While Westbrook might have a better case, both player without a doubt should have started the all-star game and this is a topic that really fires me up so I will break it down one player at a time.
The list of starters for the Eastern conference is as follows: Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Giannis Antetekumbo, DeMar DeRozan, and Jimmy Butler.
I actually agree with every starter except Kyrie Irving who I obviously think should have been replaced by Isaiah Thomas and I have stats to prove it.
Thomas averages 28.7 points per game (tied for 3rd in the NBA), 6 assists, and 2.7 rebounds. Kyrie Irving averages 23.6 points per game, 5.6 assists, and 3.5 rebounds. Thomas defeats Irving in every category except rebounds and not to mention he averages the most 4th quarter points of every NBA player since 1996.
Irving also isn’t nearly as valuable to his team as Thomas is. Isaiah Thomas more than 90% of the time, is the reason his team wins games, but Irving can’t say the same as he has LeBron to rely on. The amount of clutch play Isaiah Thomas has been able to generate from his team this season has been unbelievable to watch and his dramatic improvement from last season, to me, proves him worthy of being an all-star game starter.
The list of starters for the Western Conference is as follows: James Harden, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and Anthony Davis
This could possibly be the biggest all-star snub of NBA history and it doesn’t even really need much of an explanation.
Everyone that knows me knows that I am a die-hard fan of Steph Curry fan but I am also a realist, and Russell Westbrook should be starting in Curry’s place for the all-star game. Westbrook averages a TRIPLE-DOUBLE right now and the fact that he didn’t the starting position is mind-boggling to me.
Curry averages 24.6 points per game, 6.1 assists, and 4.2 rebounds but Westbrook beats him in every category as he averages 30.4 points per game (leads the league), 10.4 assists, and 10.6 rebounds. I understand that Curry’s team is better than Westbrook’s and that he shoots a better percentage but you have to take into account that he literally does it by himself while Curry is on the best team in the league that finds the open man for every shot.
Both Thomas and Westbrook CLEARLY should have been all-star starters and the fact that they aren’t is going to make a lot of people upset (including myself). I don’t want to hear the excuse of the popularity contest either because, in the NBA, fans can vote as many times as they want. The starting position should go to the player who is deserving of the position, not because people like them, but because they are great at what they do. This isn’t a knock on Steph or Irving either, they both deserve to be all-stars, just not starters.