BLOGGER'S BALLOT: Migs Bustos' 2018 ASG starter picks
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 17: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans looks on during the game against the Denver Nuggets on November 17, 2017 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
It is the start of a new year and that mean a few things: the break-in period is over, meaning we already have a solid idea of how teams and players fare, and in just a few weeks, the league is on its way to its mid-season break – the ALL-STAR GAME.
Here are my picks for who should start the 2018 All-Star Game in LA:
Guard – Kyrie Irving (BOS)
I’m sure we’re all familiar with the term “Be careful with what you wish for.” In Kyrie’s case though, while his wish was in fact granted after wanting to be traded out of the Cavs, there's definitely been no regrets. Irving is no doubt one of the best active point guards in the league, as seen by him leading his team to the top spot in the East.
Guard – DeMar DeRozan (TOR)
For quite some time now, the Raptors have been in the upper echelon of the East and are postseason perennials, because of DeRozan’s consistency. He started averaging 20+ points per game in the 2013-2014 season, which was also the first time he was selected as an All-Star, and that trend continues now.
Forward/Center – Lebron James (CLE)
I don’t think there needs to be an explanation. As long as LeBron’s still actively playing, he will always in be in the first five.
Forward/Center – Giannis Antetounkoumpo (MIL)
Giannis' Eurosteps are to die for, and his season-by-season improvement is beyond this world. I can compare to him to Kahwi Leonard, when the latter was just starting in the league. The first few seasons were transition years, then when they both got the hang of it, they just starting dominating their opponents. Overall, the Greak Freak is just so fun to watch and can get things done.
Forward/Center – Joel Embiid (PHI)
Okay, so the Process has been showing results. After being held last season to just 31 games, Embiid has been showing his dominance now and the Sixers are riding his talent. And also obviously, he's just one of the top big men in the East this season.
Guard – Russell Westbrook (OKC)
The reigning NBA MVP is still putting up numbers alongside the revamped roster of the Thunder. There has been a drop-off in triple doubles though, compared to last season, but Westbrook is still proving that he is sthe main man, even with the additions of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.
Guard – James Harden (HOU)
The Beard exploded last season when he got the starting point guard job, and showed to the world that he’s not all about scoring. What’s surprising though is when he was shifted back to the 2 this season, he's been making CP3’s job even easier. He's still averaging 9.1 assists a game, with the rock in his hands plenty of times.
Forward/Center – Kevin Durant (GSW)
Since the game has been shifting to a more versatile orientation in this era, KD has show he has that ability to anchor smaller lineups. Primarily a scorer, the Warriors' death lineups have seen a big upgrade with Durant's defense taking several steps forward this season.
Forward/Center – Anthony Davis (NOP)
AD is the prototype of the futuristic/next-gen player: close to seven-feet tall and pretty much can do everything on the court. There are alot of players who deserve the starting frontcourt spot too (like Melo, PG, Kahwi), but AD deserves it more this year as he has been on more consistent, and healthier too.
Forward/Center - DeMarcus Cousins (NOP)
Even though Anthony Davis may seem to be the more all-around player, Boogie dominates the stats department in almost all aspects, compared to AD, with more points (25.9 vs 25.6), rebounds (12.6 vs 10.3), assists (5.1 vs 2.4), and steals (1.5 vs 1.1 ). Simply put, his numbers are just so compelling that he cannot NOT be a starter.
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