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Western Conference All-Star’s Predictions

Western Conference has long been the superior conference as far as talent goes. Every year snubs happen in the Western Conference that leave people in shock. This year will likely be no different, as plenty of quality players will just miss out. The Warriors will no longer have multiple players taking up spots, so this list also features multiple first timers. The talent pool is wide, but what players have played well enough to warrant a spot? Who should be the starters and who should play a reserve role? Let us dive in and look.

Starters

Guards

James Harden (8) (39.5 PTS, 7.8 AST & 6.1 REB) James Harden is having another historic scoring season and is near lock to start. He is averaging almost forty points per game, which is astonishing. He has the Rockets as the five seed and is in the MVP discussion once again. James is still the Alpha in Mike D’Antoni’s system and has paired fairly well with Russell Westbrook. Harden will fight it out with Lebron for top vote earner in the Western Conference.

Brace Hemmelgarn/ USA Today

Luka Doncic (1) – (30.3 PTS, 9.2 AST & 10.1 REB) Last year’s Rookie of the Year has been stellar in his sophomore year. He has been a one man wrecking crew for the Dallas Mavericks, who are the four seed. Luka is nearly averaging a triple double and has many noteworthy performances. This was another easy selection for a starter and Luka will get loads of votes from the fans. This is my personal favorite player in the world right now. Even so it is pretty tough to argue he is not starter-worthy.

Forwards

Lebron James (15) – (25.4 PTS, 10.8 AST & 7 REB) The best player on planet earth is still Lebron James. He had injury troubles last year, but no one overtook him as best player. Lebron is leading the league in assists for the first time in his career in year seventeen. Do not be shocked if this man is team captain once again, much like last year. He is the face of the league and the Lakers organization now. Lebron will easily start in this game based off his play this year alone.

AP Photo

Anthony Davis (7) – (26 PTS, 9.1 REB & 2.7 BLK) Lebron’s running mate in Los Angeles should also start alongside him. Davis leads the first place Lakers in scoring at over twenty-six per game. He is also leading the league in blocks with almost three. His rebounds are quite low, which is surprising, but his play has not diminished in the city of angels. The Lakers as stated are number one in the West and should have two players starting.

Centers

Karl Anthony-Towns (3) – (25.9 PTS, 12.3 REB & 4.3 AST) This was the toughest starter to determine, but even this was not too bad. Many people would have likely had Jokic favored to start at the beginning of the year. He has had a down year thus far, and no other centers are close to those two. The Timberwolves are shockingly in the playoff hunt, with the Spurs and Warriors struggling mightily.

Reserves

Damian Lillard (5) – (26.6 PTS, 7.4 AST & 4.6 REB) The Trail Blazers superstar should get his fifth all star nod this year. Portland is currently one game back of the eighth and final playoff spot. Lillard has been as sharp as ever though, averaging a career high in assists. Once Portland get Jusef Nurkic back they will win more games and finish comfortably in a playoff spot. Tough to deny that Damian deserves a spot on this list and I cannot wait to see him play.

Nikola Jokic (2) – (15.7 PTS, 10.1 REB & 6.1 AST) The Joker may be having a down year, but he is still an all star in the Western Conference. The Nuggets are out to a 13-5 record and Jokic is the engine that makes this team run. Jamal Murray leads the team in scoring, but Jokic does in assists, rebounds and has three triple-doubles. The best passing big man in the game will be a big part of the Nuggets success this season. If Denver continues to win and Jokic is productive he will get voted to the all star team.

Donovan Mitchell (1) – (24.7 PTS, 4.7 REB & 3.6 AST) Rudy Gobert is Utah’s defensive anchor, but make no mistake that this is Donovan Mitchell’s team. Utah could sneak two all stars onto this team if they can become a top four team. As of now however Mitchell is the only Jazz player we view as all star worthy. His scoring is up, as are his rebounding numbers so Donny is all star worthy in our eyes. Continuing to play as he had so far would ensure the Louisville product his first all star appearance.

Kawhi Leonard (4) – (25 PTS, 7.9 REB & 5.3 AST) The Finals MVP and two-time NBA champion would be an all star today bar none. Load management or not the Clippers superstar would be playing in this game. Considered by many to be the best two-way player, Kawhi is a cold-blooded assassin. Kawhi may not say much, but his play will do the talking for him. Leonard would be the third Los Angeles player to make the all star team. He could even earn enough votes to start, but we have him as a reserve currently.

Getty Images

Paul George (7) – (23.5 PTS, 6.1 REB & 3.5 AST) I seriously considered keeping PG13 off the list. That is because we pushed Kyrie for missing the same number of games and keeping him off the East list. But Kyrie is still going to miss more time and Paul George is healthy and playing well. George was third in MVP voting last year and now plays second fiddle to Kawhi. The Clippers are second in the West and therefore warrant two all stars on the Western Conference roster.

Russell Westbrook (9) – (21.9 PTS, 7.8 REB & 7.1 AST) The triple-double machines numbers may be down, but he is still an all star. Russell has quietly had another quality year and the game would not be the same without him. We wish his shooting percentages were higher, but few fill a stat sheet like he does. Westbrook may be at the tail end of this list, but he still should be a Western Conference all star this year.

Devin Booker (1) – (24.1 PTS, 6.2 AST & 3.7 REB) Our final first-time all star hails from Phoenix and that is Kentucky product Devin Booker. Booker has had all-star numbers the past number of seasons, but had little team success. As of today the Suns sit in a playoff spot, even with Deandre Ayton being suspended for twenty-five games. Phoenix may be trending down, losing seven of their last ten, but Booker has been solid. The team will need to return to form otherwise Devin could slip from the list.

Honorable Mention

Brandon Ingram (25.4 PTS, 7.4 REB & 4.1 AST) Much like Trae Young and Zach Lavine, Brandon Ingram has had too little team success. Zion Williamson not playing yet has kept the Pelicans near the bottom of the Western conference. Ingram is having a breakout year and is likely the favorite for Most Improved Player. If the Pelicans were closer to the eight seed it could be justified him being an all star. Sadly they are not so players like Devin Booker were ahead of him.

Andrew Wiggins (24.9 PTS, 5.4 REB & 3.4 AST) Unfortunately for all you Canadian basketball fans it will be another year without an all star. Wiggins has certainly improved in his sixth season, but there is only room for one Minnesota player. If the Timberwolves can improve their record there may be room for Andrew. As of now however there is not, so sadly he is just an honorable mention.

Have some thoughts on this article? Comment below! To see content like this and much more, check out the rest of Overtime Heroics. Be sure to post on our forums as well. Be sure to check out Overtime Heroics Basketball Twitter account here. We also have our basketball podcast, the link of which is here.

Kenneth Cotterilll
Kenneth hosts the Shooters Shoot Pod, which drops every Monday at 9 AM CST. Kenneth is also a senior writer for Overtime Heroics covering the Miami Heat and Duke Blue Devils
http://www.overtimeheroics.net
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