Without further ado, here are the players headlining the mid-February festivities:
LeBron James (SF) – Cleveland
Kevin Durant (SF) – Golden State
The results show a few changes from the second return of the fan voting, most importantly the absences of Dwyane Wade and Kevin Love in the East and Zaza Pachulia and league scoring leader Russell Westbrook in the West.
Butler leapfrogged Love and rookie center Joel Embiid for the third and final spot in the East’s frontcourt, while DeRozan edged out Wade, who led by more than 60,000 votes with the input of fellow players and media.
Perhaps the biggest All-Star starter snubbed has been Westbrook, who’s had a season unlike any player has had in recent memory, being the only player to average a triple-double halfway through the season since Oscar Robertson. While he’s still a sure-fire name to make the squad, it’s a shame to see him out of the starting lineup after a season that’s left most of the NBA with mouths agape. Westbrook is averaging 30.6 points, 10.4 assists, and 10.6 rebounds per game while also leading the NBA with a 29.56 player efficiency rating.
As it was expected, not all the votes in the world could keep Pachulia as part of the festivities with the votes of the media and fellow players averaging out in favor of Leonard and Davis, keeping him out of the running. The change in the balloting split to 50-25-25 (fan voting/media/players) did its intended purpose, keeping the likes of Pachulia out of the starting lineup.
Who do you think should have gotten a starting spot in this year’s All-Star?
Tell us in the comments.