The 2017 All-Star Game rosters are officially set, with the NBA announcing reserve selections for the Western and Eastern Conferences on Thursday.
Here’s the full rundown of both teams, including the starting lineups that were decided by a shared vote between the players, fans and media that were announced last week. A coaches vote from each conference determined the reserve selections.
East Starters: Kyrie Irving, DeMar DeRozan, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jimmy Butler
East Reserves: John Wall, Isaiah Thomas, Kevin Love, Paul Millsap, Paul George, Kyle Lowry, Kemba Walker
West Starters: Stephen Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Anthony Davis
West Reserves: Russell Westbrook, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, DeAndre Jordan, DeMarcus Cousins, Gordon Hayward, Marc Gasol
There isn’t much to get angry about here. Indeed, The Crossover’s All-Star choices included all 12 East selections and 11 of the 12 West choices. Nevertheless, let’s take a look at this year’s top 10 snubs, the most deserving and well-known players who will miss out on the festivities in New Orleans. How many have legitimate beefs? How many were rightfully left on the outside looking in?
1. Joel Embiid, Sixers: While “The Process” was the most deserving player not selected to the East team, the coaches made the right call in leaving him off. Embiid’s spectacular per-36 numbers (28P/11R/3.5B) and major defensive impact weren’t quite enough to overcome Philadelphia’s poor (but improving) record and, crucially, the fact that he’s played less than 800 minutes. On the bright side, there’s a strong chance he’s voted in as a starter next year. Close, but not quite snubbed.
2. Bradley Beal, Wizards: A key driver of Washington’s recent success, Beal’s case suffered from his team’s slow start and his status as a No. 2 option behind Wall. Five point guards made the East’s roster, and all five have better individual numbers and/are more essential to their team’s success. Once DeMar DeRozan was voted in a starter, Beal’s chances dropped to near zero. Not snubbed.
3. Carmelo Anthony, Knicks: Kudos to the coaches for resisting a high-profile, big-market volume scorer. The last time Anthony wasn’t selected to the All-Star team was 2009, meaning this snub will snap a streak of nine consecutive selections. Add up Anthony’s spotty defense, his regression in many categories, his role in the Knicks’ dysfunctional environment and his team’s poor record, and it’s hard to justify selecting him over the likes of Love, George or Millsap, all of whom are playing on better teams. Not snubbed.
5. LaMarcus Aldridge, Spurs: The best argument in Aldridge’s favor was really an argument to show respect for the Spurs. Does it make sense for the No. 1 Warriors to have four All-Stars (Curry, Durant, Green and Thompson) if the No. 2 Spurs only get one (Leonard)? There are a number of counterarguments that, taken together, should be convincing. First, Aldridge’s numbers (17.6P/7.1R) lag behind the other players selected. Second, San Antonio’s obscene depth and strong second-unit play makes it easier to spread the credit around rather than concentrating it on top players. Third, Aldridge was the recipient of the “Spurs respect vote” last year, so he’s not getting screwed repeatedly here. Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, no other team in the West received multiple All-Stars. Had the Jazz or Grizzlies landed a pair of selections, Aldridge might have something to be upset about. As is, he’s one of many second options in the West who will get an extended vacation next month. Not snubbed.