The NBA released the official list of NBA All-Star Reserves for the 2021 season. There was much anticipation from the perspective of the Indiana Pacers since they had a few players who had a chance to make it.
Among the players who earned the honor in the Eastern Conference were Jaylen Brown, Ben Simmons, James Harden, Julius Randle, Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic, and Jayson Tatum.
Among the Pacers' top players, Domantas Sabonis was considered as having the greatest chance of earning an All-Star spot. He will end up being one of the top options considered for alternates if injuries or opt-outs were to occur.
Sabonis is joined by Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Julius Randle as the only players in the NBA averaging at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists this season. However, he was the only one to not earn an All-Star spot.
There are some factors that likely came into play that contributed to Sabonis not being on the short-list. His lack of defensive impact ranks atop the list and it doesn't help that he tends to beat up on lesser teams and mismatches as opposed to having elite-level outings against top big man matchups.
Malcolm Brogdon has struggled to score efficiently in recent weeks and that essentially diminished his chances. There simply are too many talented guards in the Eastern Conference for him to have made it, especially now with James Harden in the mix.
There were no shortage of talented options that were joined by Brogdon and Sabonis as being on the outside looking in when it comes to All-Star status. Trae Young, Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Fred VanVleet, and Gordon Hayward also were among notable snubs.
Last season, Domantas Sabonis was named the final reserve for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game. He will need to earn that status once again next season.