Deserving NBA All-Star Starters

The NBA is nearing its halfway point, the All-Star game is a month away, and tonight marks the end of the voting for the All-Star Game starters, with the final lineups being announced Thursday on TNT. The second return of votes saw Kobe Bryant leading the way with Stephen Curry and LeBron James right behind him. Right now I’m not going to give you predictions on who will eventually win the fan voting, but who deserves to be the NBA All-Star starters.

NBA All-Star Starters

Eastern Conference

Guard 1: Kyle Lowry – Toronto Raptors

Lowry was the surprise starter last year, surpassing Dwyane Wade at the last minute, and deservingly so. He deserves a starting spot once again this year. Lowry transformed his body in the summer, slimming down and making himself quicker, and now he’s going to be able to last the whole season. He’s the main cog in the Raptors machine that is second in the Eastern Conference, and he’s in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency.

Guard 2: Jimmy Butler – Chicago Bulls

This has been the breakout year that everyone’s been waiting for from Butler. His 40 point second half against the Raptors was the best second half performance in team history, and he’s been playing some of the best perimeter defense in the league. The Bulls are now his team, and they’ve been better off for it. You can find a more in-depth view of Jimmy Butler’s season here, written by our great LWOS writer Adam Joseph.

Forward 1: LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers

Can’t have an All-Star Game without this guy. With Kyrie Irving out for most of the year, LeBron has once again carried this team to first place in the Eastern Conference.

Forward 2: Paul George – Indiana Pacers

The Pacers have been experimenting with Paul George as a small ball 4 this season, and it’s had pretty good results so far. George started off the season hot, and has continued to show that he’s back to his old self.

Forward 3: Andre Drummond – Detroit Pistons

This has been a big time breakout season for Andre Drummond. Averaging 17 points and 15 rebounds a game, he’s growing to be one of the best centers in the NBA. Drummond also has five games with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds. The Pistons are sixth in the east, and none of that is possible without Drummond, who you could make a case for as a dark horse MVP candidate.

Honorable Mentions: John Wall – Washington Wizards, DeMar DeRozan – Toronto Raptors

Western Conference

Guard 1: Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors

After an outstanding year last season, he has somehow improved on it this year. The Warriors started off 24-0, and much off their success starts with Curry. He leads the league in points per game while shooting 50% from the floor and 44% from three – just amazing numbers.

Guard 2: Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder

Westbrook is seventh in points per game, second in assists per game, and is shooting a career high 45% from the floor. All that while helping lead the Thunder to the third best record in the Western Conference and being one of the most electrifying players in the league, Westbrook is a deserving starter.

Forward 1: Kevin Durant – Oklahoma City Thunder

Like Paul George in the East, Durant has returned 100% from his injury and is back to his old MVP self. Playing an average of 35 minutes a game, he hasn’t held back at all this season. Durant is third in the league in scoring and is on the third best team in the West.

Forward 2: Kawhi Leonard – San Antonio Spurs

Don’t let the lack of national media coverage fool you, Leonard has grown into a top five player in the NBA. he is playing the most minutes on an outstanding Spurs team, leading them in points, and is also one of the league’s premier defensive players, as shown by his Defensive Player of the Year award last season.

Forward 3: DeMarcus Cousins – Sacramento Kings

Cousins had an interesting summer. Making headlines mainly due to his perceived feud with head coach George Karl. He’s come out this year with a vengeance and has the Kings contending for a playoff spot. He’s the go to guy in Sacramento, and he’s in the top five in the NBA in scoring, averaging 26 points per game. Cousins is the most dominant center in the NBA, and there’s no doubt about it.

Honorable Mentions: Draymond Green – Golden State Warriors, Chris Paul – Los Angeles Clippers