That leaves 14 reserves, seven from each conference, voted on by the coaches. That list came out Thursday.
Inevitably there will be legitimate snubs, players who had the stats but not the votes (plus some players and fan bases who think they were snubbed but really were just not good enough). Here is our list of the seven biggest snubs from this year’s All-Star Game.
• Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns). Suns GM James Jones wasted no time backing his guy in a statement after the snub, “I’ve played with and against multiple All-Stars in this league and Devin Booker is undoubtedly an NBA All-Star.”
Booker is averaging 27.1 points and 6.4 assists per game, the sharpshooter is hitting 36.8 percent from three and has an incredibly efficient 63.4 true shooting percentage. His poor defense (improved this season, but not good) and the Suns’ record hurt him (but the Suns have a better record than the Pelicans, and Ingram is in, so…).
• Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards). The two-time All-Star is doing everything for the Wizards this season, averaging 28.6 points and 6.3 assists per game (although his three-point percentage has dipped to 31.4 percent as defenses have been able to focus on him. An emotional Beal called getting passed over for the ASG (for a second straight season) “disrespectful.”
Beal’s agent also had words.
Bradley Beal’s agent Mark Bartelstein rips Eastern Conference coaches for the all-star snub.
Bartelstein: “I think they’ve sent a horrible message.” pic.twitter.com/M0l6SzDiGv
— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) January 31, 2020
• Paul George (L.A. Clippers). The six-time All-Star has played well enough to get back to the big stage, averaging 23.5 points per game, shooting 39.5 percent from three, and grabbing six rebounds a game. This snub was likely the coaches thinking he hadn’t played enough games (26, missing time at the start of the season as he recovered from shoulder surgery.
• Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets). The six-time All-Star has put up numbers — 26.8 points and 6.6 assists per game — and looked like an All-Star when he’s played. However, due to his shoulder issues, Irving has played in just 18 games this season. That was not enough to win over the coaches.
• Malcolm Brogdon (Indiana Pacers). The former Rookie of the Year has had to carry a heavy load for the Pacers with Victor Oladipo out (until this week). He’s averaging 17 points and 7.4 assists per game. His teammate, Domantis Sabonis, made it and the voters may have stopped at one.
• Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves). When Towns has played this season, he has been a flat-out beast on offense: 26.9 points per game, taking 8.3 threes per game and hitting 41 percent of them, plus 10.7 rebounds a game. He’s improved on defense as well (not that he’s consistent, but there are moments). The problems are injuries limiting him to 30 games, and the fact the Timberwolves had lost 10 in a row as coaches were voting.
• Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics). You can make a good case Brown has been more valuable to Boston this season than Jayson Tatum, who will be playing in the All-Star Game. Brown is averaging 20.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, plus he brings the defense. Tatum’s graceful athleticism, and strong season in his own right, won the day.
• Honorable mention, Zach LaVine. They were pushing for him in Chicago, and he is averaging 25.1 points per game, shooting 38 percent from three. However, with the Bulls struggling, those felt like empty-calorie numbers to voters, plus LaVine is not exactly a defensive force. He may be competing in other events through the weekend.