Mike Conley is Devin Booker’s replacement in the 2021 NBA All-Star Game
For the first time since 1989, there will be three Jazz players in the NBA All-Star Game, according to the NBA. This is because Conley made the 2021 NBA All-Star Game according to Shams Charania, a senior lead NBA Insider/Writer/Analyst for The Athletic and Stadium.
Phoenix’s Devin Booker has been replaced by Utah’s Mike Conley Jr. in the 2021 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday. Conley will also participate in the 3-point contest.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 6, 2021
Conley in his fourteenth NBA season has finally made the NBA All-Star Game. He has had stats in previous years where he could have made the NBA All-Star Game. This includes the 2016-17 and the 2018-19 NBA season where he averaged over 20 points per game for the Memphis Grizzlies. His stats are not great in comparison to the 2020-21 NBA season. This season, he is averaging 16.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game.
However, one also has to look at where the Jazz are in the NBA standings. Utah is first in the league and in the Western Conference with a record of 27 wins and nine losses. They are currently 2.5 games ahead of the second-place Suns, who currently have a record of 24 wins and 11 losses. This alone helps make Conley’s case to make the NBA All-Star Game. Furthermore, Conley has currently tied a career-high in averaging 3.5 rebounds per game this season.
Mike Conley is heading to his first-ever NBA All-Star Game Overview
There are a few players that could have replaced Booker. This includes players like Jordan Clarkson and Brandon Ingram. However, the two that might have been the closest are Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder and DeMar DeRozan of the San Antonio Spurs. This NBA season, Gilgeous-Alexander is currently averaging 23.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game.
DeRozan is also having a good year averaging 20.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 7.2 assists per game. Both players’ stats are better offensively than Conley’s. However, it is important to note that the Thunder are 12th in the Western Conference with a record of 15 wins and 21 losses. This is not good enough for Gilgeous-Alexander to make the NBA All-Star Game over DeRozan and Conley.
This leaves DeRozan and Conley. The Spurs fans will feel hard-done for not having an NBA All-Star despite having a winning record with 18 wins and 14 losses. However, what may have helped Conley was the Jazz record still being much better than the Spurs. Also, Conley has played at an NBA All-Star level before but never made the NBA All-Star Game. Both factors might have played a role in Conley getting the NBA All-Star nod over DeRozan.
The NBA All-Star Game will have three Utah Jazz players
Utah will have the most representation in the NBA All-Star Game. The last time the Jazz had three NBA All-Stars was 1989. This was when Karl Malone, John Stockton, and Mark Eaton all made the 1989 NBA All-Star Game. Furthermore, Quin Snyder will be making his first appearance as an NBA All-Star head coach.
Congrats @MCONLEY10 much deserved gang🙏🏾🙏🏾🦍
— Patrick Beverley (@patbev21) March 6, 2021
A lot of players congratulated Conley including Patrick Beverley of the Los Angeles Clippers. Others included Jamal Crawford, who said that Conley is one of the most underrated players in the NBA. There were also fellow 2021 NBA All-Stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert of the Jazz who congratulated Conley.
On a side note, it is disappointing that Booker will be out of the NBA All-Star Game. However, it is also important that he became an NBA All-Star after Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers got injured. Booker will be known as a 2021 NBA All-Star and that will not change even if he is injured from the 2021 NBA All-Star Game. The 2021 NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, March. 7th in Atlanta, Ga., at State Farm Arena. The game will take place at 8 p.m. ET.
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