Eastern Conference All-Star Reserves
Just a few hours away from the announcement of the 2015 NBA All-Star Reserves, these are the guys I believe should complete the team for the Eastern Conference:
1. Jimmy Butler
All-Star Appearances: 0
MPG: 39.5*; PPG: 20.1*; RPG: 6.0*; APG: 3.3*; SPG: 1.8; BPG: 0.7*; FG%: 45.9;
3P%: 34.1; FT%: 83.4*
He’s just having an outstanding season. Leading the league in minutes per game and with career highs in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and free throw percentage, he’s been the Bull’s best and more consistent player, and that’s not an easy task when you have guys like Rose, Gasol or Noah on your team. Butler’s an elite defender who’s become an offensive threat and therefore one of the best two-way players in the entire NBA. His offensive improvement and aggressiveness on both sides of the court will certainly help the Bulls become a championship contender. Clearly the main candidate for the Most Improved Player award.
2. Kyrie Irving
All-Star Appearances: 2
MPG: 38.1*; PPG: 22.1; RPG: 3.1; APG: 5.2; SPG: 1.6*; BPG: 0.3; FG%: 46.7;
3P%: 41.3*; FT%: 85.2
We all know what he’s capable of doing and how good of a basketball player he is. We just witnessed how he scored an NBA season-high 55 points on the Portland Trail Blazers last night. He’s just a key player for a Cavs team that it’s starting to look like the championship calibre kind of a team we thought they could become. One of the most gifted offensive players in the entire Association, and he’s also very capable on the defensive end of the court.
3. Jeff Teague
All-Star Appearances: 0
MPG: 31.4; PPG: 17.0*; RPG: 2.6*; APG: 7.5*; SPG: 1.7*; BPG: 0.4; FG%: 47.0;
3P%: 33.1; FT%: 86.6
He’s the compass of a Hawks team that has now won 17 games in a room and 31 of the last 33 (one of the most impressive streaks I’ve ever seen) with spectacular team basketball that has impressed and delighted every basketball fan and allowed them to be the unexpected #1 spot in the Eastern Conference by a wide margin. Teague’s an all-around point guard that defends, assists, gets to the basket, knocks shots down from the outside, doesn’t make mistakes and has been improving his numbers every year to become a key piece for this outstanding Atlanta Hawks team.
4. Paul Millsap
All-Star Appearances: 1
MPG: 33.3; PPG: 17.2; RPG: 8.1; APG: 3.2*; SPG: 1.7; BPG: 0.9; FG%: 48.7;
3P%: 36.4; FT%: 75.3
He’s also on the main reasons why this amazing Atlanta Hawks team’s been so successful so far this season. He’s a pretty versatile power forward that just helps his team in a variety of ways: low post scoring, outside shots, great passing ability, solid defence, steals... It’s just such a luxury to have a player like him on your roster, and I believe he’s the perfect fit for a team that loves to move the basketball like the Hawks do.
5. Al Horford
All-Star Appearances: 2
MPG: 30.5; PPG: 15.3; RPG: 6.8; APG: 3.3; SPG: 0.7; BPG: 1.4; FG%: 55.1;
3P%: 33.3; FT%: 75.0
And finally the third leg of the great Hawks team. He’s just an incredibly solid basketball player that I believe has been underrated for several years. He’s got a really good post-up game, he’s an outstanding mid-range shooter (one of the best in the league in his position), a great passer as well, and can really defend any big in this league. Just another major contributor to the Atlanta Hawks’ success that really deserves to make his 3rd All-Star appearance this year.
6. Dwyane Wade
All-Star Appearances: 10
MPG: 32.3; PPG: 21.4; RPG: 3.8; APG: 5.4; SPG: 1.1; BPG: 0.4; FG%: 48.7;
3P%: 30.6; FT%: 73.6
Although the Heat are really struggling this year, Dwyane Wade is playing great basketball, having to step up after Lebron’s departure. He’s become the go-to guy again (along with Chris Bosh) and has really responded to the challenge, although the Miami Heat are not getting as many wins as I expected. He’s just a big time player, future Hall of Famer that is having a good enough season to make his 11th All-Star appearance. By the way, he leads the league in 4th quarter scoring this season.
7. Chris Bosh
All-Star Appearances: 8
MPG: 35.4; PPG: 21.3; RPG: 7.5; APG: 2.1; SPG: 1.0*; BPG: 0.6; FG%: 47.1;
3P%: 37.3; FT%: 78.2
Pretty much as I said of Dwyane Wade, he’s also had to step up after the King left Florida this past summer. Not only does he keep scoring consistently from mid and long range, but he’s also gotten back to that great post-up game many people had forgotten about. He’s averaging over 21 points per night again and I believe he’ll make the All-Star team again despite his team’s negative record (he more than probably wouldn’t make the team in the West)
Other players that I believe could but won’t make the All-Star for different reasons (injuries, bad team record, or simply being close but outperformed by those making it): DeMar DeRozan; Derrick Rose; Kyle Korver; Kemba Walker; Nikola Vucevic.