Community Shootaround: All-Star Lineups

Today, the NBA released the first batch of its 2020 All-Star fan voting returns. Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Lakers forward LeBron James lead the pack with over a million votes apiece.

While many of the top selections feel appropriate, there are several fluky inclusions that reek of trolling. Specifically, Lakers backup point guard Alex Caruso (who averages 5.2 PPG, 1.8 RPG and 1.7 APG in just 19.2 MPG) made the cut among the top 10 Western Conference guards, and two-way Celtics backup center Tacko Fall, who has played just three NBA games, made the list of top 10 Eastern Conference front court players.

Irresponsible votes along these lines serve as a clear example as to why fan votes are now only weighted for 50% of the total voting for All-Star game starters. Among the remaining 50%, 25% of the weighted votes are allotted to NBA players, and the remaining 25% of votes are designated for select basketball media. NBA coaches select the 14 bench players. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver makes injury substitutions.

Starting teams consist of two guards and three frontcourt players. Select wing players are listed at both guard and frontcourt positions. Bench teams for each conference comprise two guards, three frontcourt players and two wild card players of any position.

Among Eastern Conference guards, the NetsKyrie Irving (who has played in just 11 games for Brooklyn) and the 7-27 Hawks’ Trae Young are leading in fan votes over the Celtics’ Kemba Walker. Pistons backup Derrick Rose and Bulls guard Zach LaVine, two offense-only players on teams that are currently sitting on the outside of the East’s top eight squads, round out the top five among East guards. The Hawks have the single-worst record in the NBA. No matter how pretty Young’s offensive stat line is, he does not deserve All-Star inclusion this season. His lackluster defense has played a part in the Hawks’ struggles.

On the Western Conference guards’ bracket, Stephen Curry ranks among the top four in West votes for guards, despite having played just four games this season.

Heat wing Jimmy Butler deserves to start, either at guard or frontcourt. Currently ranked fourth among frontcourt options in the East, Butler is enjoying an MVP-caliber season for the No. 3 team (posting a 24-9 record) in an atypically loaded East.

There are several viable options for first-time All-Star status. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are scoring and defending in bunches for the 23-8 Celtics. Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet are picking up the slack in the absence of Kawhi Leonard on the Raptors.

Big man Bam Adebayo has emerged as a dynamic two-way force on the HeatDomantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon have been keeping the surprisingly resilient 22-12 Pacers afloat as Victor Oladipo continues to recover.

Spencer Dinwiddie has been balling out on the 16-16 Nets sans Irving. Jazz teammates Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert continue to put in work for an under-appreciated 21-12 season. Doncic’s numbers in Dallas have been stellar.

Here are this writer’s choices for the 2020 All-Star teams:

Eastern Conference
Starters: Guard – Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown. Frontcourt – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid.
Bench: Guard – Ben Simmons, Kyle LowryFrontcourt – Pascal Siakam, Bam Adebayo, Jayson Tatum. Wild Card: Domantas Sabonis, Spencer Dinwiddie.

Western Conference
Starters: Guard – James Harden, Luka DoncicFrontcourt – LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard.
Bench: Guard – Russell Westbrook, Donovan MitchellFrontcourt – Rudy Gobert, Nikola Jokic, Paul GeorgeWild Card: Damian Lillard, Chris Paul.

Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns, Young, LaVine and Suns guard Devin Booker all have a decent chance at netting an All-Star nod this season, but their teams have been so underwhelming that rewarding them in favor of top players on better squads feels inappropriate.

What do you think? Who are your 2020 All-Star team starters and bench players? Why?

Head to the comment section below to weigh in!

newest oldest

11 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: All-Star Lineups

  1. El Don

    East
    Trae, Butler, Giannis, Domas, Embiid
    Simmons, Beal, Siakam, K-Love, Drummond
    Brown, Bam

    West
    Harden, Luka, LBJ, AD, KAT
    Westbrook, Lillard, Ingram, Kawhi, Whiteside
    Gobert, Jokic

  2. WellOkay

    Well done, Alex. You took a singular swipe at 21 year old Trae Young, a second year player having a truly great season, based on the record of the Hawks without considering the players he’s been surrounded by this year. Nice “analysis”.

    Don’t be like Alex. Vote for Trae.

  3. krillin89

    “Irresponsible votes”? The all star game is literally for the fans. They should be able to vote how they choose. They fund the league

    • Dodgethis

      Except the league is putting the WWE to Shame and has fully embraced sports entertainment as opposed to competitive league status. Of course the “league” wants to control who gets to play in the asg.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      Yep, all those fans continue voting for LeBron even though he’s not even the best player on his own team anymore. Great job fans!!!

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        And they also gave Curry more votes than Westbrook even though he can’t even play in the ASG. Amazing job, keep it up!!

  4. 3 All-Stars for the Celtics? No second All-Star (Middleton has to be there) for the team who is 31-5? Snub Trae Young averaging nearly 30 a game?

    Come on.

    • Simple Fan

      Antetonkounmpo, Butler, Siakam, Walker, Lowry EC starters with Embiid, Middleton, Griffin, Gordon, VanVleet, Young, LaVine

      In WC it’s James, Leonard, George, Lillard, Westbrook with Davis, Ingram, Harrell, Adams, Doncic, DeRozan, Booker as back-ups

      In EC it’s because the Champions well-deserve 3 all-star slots while Irving, Tatum, Simmons are forgettable. LaVine’s an easy selection for having homecourt

      In WC it’s because if it was the old East-West format then those 12 hitting the floor together would be a dream. Harrell & Adams are more deserving than Towns as are my guard selections to Harden

  5. Grant

    Trae Young and Karl Anthowny Towns replacing Ben Simmons and Chris Paul is a no brainer. Hopefully Devin Booker makes it as an injury replacement or something because he deserves it but idk who you can drop for his spot. Jaylen Brown starting is a joke your Celtics fan is showing

  6. x%sure

    That’s a good defensive backup backcourt with Simmons & Lowry but they do not have good on/off. I would move Butler to guard replacing Lowry and add Kris Middleton. Siakam promoted, Brown demoted.

    Third team EC would be Lowry, Dinwiddie, Brogdon & Sabonis, and whoever I forgot about.

  7. Simple Fan

    Antetonkounmpo, Butler, Siakam, Walker, Lowry EC starters with Embiid, Middleton, Griffin, Gordon, VanVleet, Young, LaVine

    In WC it’s James, Leonard, George, Lillard, Westbrook with Davis, Ingram, Harrell, Adams, Doncic, DeRozan, Booker as back-ups

    In EC it’s because the Champions well-deserve 3 all-star slots while Irving, Tatum, Simmons are forgettable. LaVine’s an easy selection for having homecourt

    In WC it’s because if it was the old East-West format then those 12 hitting the floor together would be a dream. Harrell & Adams are more deserving than Towns as are my guard selections to Harden

Leave a Reply