In an effort to make the All-Star game as competitive as it once was, the NBA revamped the selection process and allowed two team captains to select from a 24-player pool.
While this changes the future of the game, the league still has to work on the players that make that pool.
Player one is averaging more than 27 points on 63.4% shooting to go along with six assists.
Player two is has a top-6 scoring average at 28.6 a game and has a similar six assists stat line as the former.
The first player is Devin Booker, whose team sits at 11th place in the Western Conference standings. Booker will have to wait until the 2020-21 NBA season to battle for his first All-Star selection. The second player, Bradley Beal, plays for a team that struggles to beat some of the worst squads in the league, recently giving the Golden State Warriors their 11th win of the season.
A common argument for players who fill the stat sheet but fall short of an NBA All-Star reserves list is that they play for bad teams who struggle to win games. The Phoenix Suns have been short-handed all season, missing their second-best player in DeAndre Ayton for 25 games. The Wizards are trending towards rebuild mode with premier point guard John Wall still recovering from a ruptured Achilles last year.
Booker’s viral quote after the All-Star selection process speaks to the changes that need to be made.
“It was always a goal of mine but it just reproves the point that the NBA is different than the game that I fell in love with at the beginning — of all the best players in the All-Star game — growing up watching that,” Booker said. “And now it’s an entertainment-, drama-, political-filled league. “But we’re a part of it now. It pays well so I guess we should be quiet about it.”
The bad team argument falls short when considering Damian Lillard, who has been scorching hot of late, has similar statistics to Booker and Beal. Dame is averaging 29 points, seven assists and shoots 46 percent from the field.
The Portland Trail Blazers have 23 wins and the Phoenix Suns have 20.
One of the players considered to be the leading the future wave of NBA superstars, Trae Young, plays for a bad team. His selection surprises no one. The Atlanta Hawks acquired Clint Capela from the Houston Rockets recently, which will aid their win total. But taking a glance at team records, the Hawks are dead last in the Eastern Conference.
Per an NBA release and in honor the late Kobe Bryant, there will be adjustments to this year’s edition of the All-Star Game.
Though not related to the players, the release stated that, “Team Giannis and Team LeBron will compete to win each of the first three quarters, all of which will start with the score of 0-0 and will be 12 minutes long. At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the game clock will be turned off and a Final Target Score will be set.”
The NBA’s changes will hope to make the game a bit more competitive, but this change may just be for one year.
With only so many spots, its inevitable that some talent will get left out. When players have such eye-popping statistics and players that get selected over them do not, it becomes obvious who should be in.
“All-stars, they always talk about on winning teams, but you pick and choose who you want on the losing team,” Beal said. “It’s like, pick a side. It’s frustrating. I don’t know one guy to average 30 points a game and don’t make an all-star team. That’s the best players in the NBA.”
Evando Thompson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Find him on Twitter @evthmps.