Western Conference – Starters
Point Guard: Russell Westbrook
Decision: Westbrook is always up in the debate for the best point guard in the West. I mean, you literally can’t spell Westbrook without the word, West. But when you think about all of the talented point guards in the conference, there’s several who are worthy of All-Star game consideration. Westbrook, Curry, Paul, Harden (Is he a point guard? I still don’t know. For now, he’s still a shooting guard in my eyes), Lillard, Conley and even young superstars in the making, like Dennis Smith Jr. and Lonzo Ball. However, when you think about the complete package though, I still think the overall edge goes to Westbrook. He is one of the most athletic, exciting and entertaining players I have ever seen in my lifetime and he gives 110% effort day in and day out. Mr. Triple Double gets the starting edge at quarterback in this year’s all-star game.
Shooting Guard: James Harden
Decision: People might think James Harden lacks defense and to be honest, I’m not sure if that’s completely fair or not but I do know one thing. 1) The all-star game has no defense in it anyway. 2) If it is true, Harden is so good offensively that it really doesn’t matter. Let the other four players on the court play defense and let Harden do his thing with the ball. With the combination of shooting, pump fakes, drives to the layup and free throw ability, Harden is arguably the best offensive player in the game today. Between his contract extension with the Rockets and his new endorsement deal with Adidas, Harden has a net value at over half a billion dollars. While I’m still not sure if any athlete is worth that kind of money, there are few more deserving than the guy with the thick beard from Houston.
Small Forward: Kevin Durant
Decision: While some Oklahoma City fans may beg to differ, Durant is still a top 5 player in the league today. With his near 7 foot frame and spectacular shooting ability, it almost isn’t fair to opponents trying to stop him. Just like how Durant, arguably the best player in the world, joining the best team (statistically) of all-time, isn’t really that fair either. Last year, there were four Golden State Warriors in the All-Star game but this year, I have a feeling only Durant and teammate, Stephen Curry will be attending. Draymond and Klay are both phenomenal players but their numbers have decreased since the arrival of KD, which is understandable. Durant will certainly be an All-Star this year and as long as he’s in his prime, his name will continue to be in the MVP discussion.
Power Forward: Anthony Davis
Decision: AD is one of the best big men in the game and if it wasn’t for injury concerns, I would probably choose him as my top under-25 year old player that I would build my team around. We all remember Davis and his unibrow in Kentucky not so long ago and saw his superstar potential then. However, Davis has had injury issues since those Wildcat days but that still won’t stop him from being an All-Star game starter for the second straight year. I mean, who can forget his MVP performance in last year’s all-star game, when he dropped 52 points and 10 rebounds, in front of his home fans in New Orleans. It’s scary to think he is still only 24 years old and hasn’t even reached the prime of his career yet.
Center: Demarcus Cousins
Decision: It wouldn’t be an All-Star game fiesta without a little Boogie. Like teammate Davis, Cousins is also one of the best big men in the league, forming potentially one of the scariest front-courts the NBA has seen in a long time. However, both big mens’ impressive stats has not necessarily translated to the peak of that potential yet. The amount of wins Pelicans fans were hoping for haven’t necessarily happened yet but there’s still time to figure it all out. Perhaps an All-Star game starting appearance from the duo will be the start of a magical 2nd half and deep playoff run.