Picking the NBA All-Star Game Reserves

asg16

The 2016 NBA All-Star Game, to be held in Toronto for the first time ever, is just over two weeks away. Fan voting to determine the starters was fairly predictable: Kobe Bryant ran away with the vote leading up to his final All-Star appearance, LeBron leads the way in the East, and even Kyle Lowry’s late surge into a starting spot seemed inevitable thanks to the power of social media.

vote

Probably more effective than my “yelling ‘KYLE LOWRY HASHTAG NBA VOTE’ at strangers on the street” strategy.

Where things start to get interesting, now, is the selection of the remaining All-Stars. Head coaches of all 30 teams select 2 guards, 3 frontcourt players, and 2 “wildcards” from both the East and West in order to complete the rosters. Reserves for each conference will be announced at 7 P.M. tonight prior to the TNT double-header, and as always, there’s debate as to which players should represent their teams in Toronto. Using a new, highly-scientific process, CanadianCollective has determined who should be booking their flight to the NBA’s only Canadian destination.

EAST

The Main Man:

G – Jimmy Butler, CHI (PPG – 22.3, REB – 5.3, AST – 4.2, PER – 21.56)

Chicago has struggled with injuries, learning a new coach’s system, and players adapting to new roles…and still sits 4th in the crowded Eastern Conference. The main reason: the continued evolution of Jimmy Buckets. Similar to Kawhi Leonard in San Antonio, Butler continues to improve offensively while playing lockdown defense and shouldering more of the load for his team.

The Supporting Cast:

G – DeMar DeRozan, TOR (PPG – 23.0, REB – 4.5, AST – 4.1, PER – 21.14)

F – Chris Bosh, MIA (PPG – 19.2, REB – 7.6, FG% – 47.6, PER – 22.02)

F – Paul Millsap, ATL (PPG – 18.4, REB – 8.8, AST 3.5, PER – 23.90)

F – Andre Drummond, DET (PPG – 17.3, REB – 15.2, FG% – 51.8, PER – 22.19)

WC – Isaiah Thomas. BOS (PPG – 21.6, AST – 6.6, REB – 3.0, PER – 22.10)

WC – Kemba Walker, CHA (PPG – 20.5, REB- 4.2, AST – 5.0, PER – 20.90)

Sorry, guys: John Wall, Nicolas Batum, Pau Gasol, Al Horford, Reggie Jackson, Kristaps “6God” Porzingis

WEST

The Main Man:

F – DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins, SAC (PPG – 27.3, REB – 11.3, BPG – 1.3, PER – 24.30)

boogie

Just days after establishing a new career high in points with 48, DeMarcus Cousins decided he wasn’t satisfied, dropping a massive 56-point, 12-rebound game while shooting a ridiculous 70% from the floor. Cousins has helped keep the always-entertaining Kings competitive in the West this season – it’s worrying that the next-most consistent Sacramento player thus far has probably been Rajon Rondo. Boogie’s combination of size, strength, and skill is something to behold on a nightly basis, and when combined with his outsized (sometimes supersized) personality on the court, makes for can’t-miss basketball.

The Supporting Cast:

G – Klay Thompson, GSW (PPG – 20.9, REB – 3.9, 3P% – 42.7, PER – 17.41)

G – Chris Paul, LAC (PPG – 18.6, AST – 9.6, REB – 3.9, PER – 25.02)

F – Draymond Green, GSW (PPG – 14.5, REB – 9.4, AST – 7.2, PER – 20.32)

F – Anthony Davis, NOP (PPG – 22.9, REB – 10.2, BPG – 2.4, PER – 24.83)

WC – James Harden, HOU (PPG – 27.5, REB – 6.3, AST – 6.9, PER – 24.77)

WC – Damian Lillard, POR* (PPG – 24.3, AST – 7.1, REB – 4.4, PER – 21.81)

*Lillard gets the nod ahead of Blake Griffin, LAC. Griffin is out 4-6 weeks after breaking a bone in his hand as a result of punching the Clippers’ assistant equipment manager. When Kyle Lowry left Tuesday’s Raptors-Wizards game with a wrist injury, my mom observed that “at least he hurt himself playing basketball and not fighting his own team.” GET MOM-BURNED, BLAKE.

Tough luck, dudes: Dirk Nowitzki, Gordon “Perfect Hair” Hayward, LaMarcus Aldridge, JJ Redick, Karl-Anthony Towns. Marc Gasol

 

*all statistics via NBA.com/stats, with the exception of PER – from ESPN’s Hollinger Stats

 

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