Yesterday, the reserves for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game were released. As the names dropped, people across the globe have offered their opinions on if the pool of players was an adequate representation of All-Star level talent in the league.
Every season, a few players get snubbed from the All-Star game, but before we get to that, we should acknowledge the players who achieved their goals by playing at an All-Star level and were selected.
All the players selected had compelling cases, the reward goes beyond just playing in an exhibition game, and a top tier player not being selected can have ramifications that impact the entire league.
Long story short, if a player feels disrespected on a national scale, they might look elsewhere to play in the offseason. If the NBA can’t keep top tier talent spread around the league, the potential for parity in the NBA is low.
Sabonis & Bam
Before we get to the snubs, take the time to acknowledge two players that made a surprise run into the All-Star team this season.
Domantas Sabonis and Bam Adebayo were not on the radar of many fans to be all-stars at the beginning of the season. Despite not having the initial hype, these two excel every time they step on the floor and got the reward they deserved.
Beal & Booker
Several players have been mentioned in lists by many as All-Star snubs, but Bradley Beal and Devin Booker are at the top of mine.
Beal and Booker are both in the midst of two of the most impressive seasons that NBA players can have, and both produce enough to be considered a part of the top players in their respective conferences.
Beal and Booker are the 6th and 8th highest scorers in the league respectively, Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (Currently 12th) is the only other top 15 scorer that is not an All-Star.
Beal is currently averaging 28.7 points, 6.4 assists, and 4.5 rebounds per game. Those who feel it was fair to Beal attribute his non-selection to the lack of Washington’s success as a unit.
The argument of team success or missing a few games here is understandable, but the NBA has consistently allowed players who play on bad teams, miss games, but have good numbers, into the All-Star Game.
The Wizards are 16-31 and hold the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference. The team success argument should be a bit quieter when selecting a player who has individually placed himself within the top of his conference with the way he is improving his level of play this season.
Without Beal, the Wizards wouldn’t even compete to the level they have been, and they still are only 4.5 games out of the last playoff spot in the east.
Devin Booker averages 27 points on 51 percent shooting from the field. Booker also has a true shooting percentage of 63 percent.
A list of other NBA players with similar points and true shooting for an entire season consists of Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Charles Barkley, and Adrian Dantley.
Five out of the six names mentioned are MVP winners, and two are currently in the Hall of Fame. (Dantley, Barkley)
Booker is in elite company and should receive the recognition he deserves for his play.
Grizzlies rookie Ja Morant is another name that is on the list of All-Star snubs. Yes, I know the raw numbers aren’t the most flashy, but his play on the court is both flashy and effective.
Morant is the floor general for a 24-24 Grizzlies team that is riding a 4-game winning streak and sitting at the 8th seed in the Western Conference.
Morant is averaging 17.5 points, 7.2 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. He has a hand in everything positive or negative that happens on the floor in Memphis and unites with fellow rookie Brandon Clarke to make one of the best rookie tandems we’ve seen in a long time.
That’s all there is to say about the All-Star reserves.
Feel free to battle me in the comments or on twitter @BucketsDistrict.