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The 2019 NBA All-Star rosters are officially set following Thursday’s reveal of the reserves from the Eastern and Western Conferences.
The league unveiled the starters a week ago, selected by a combination of votes from fans, players and media members. NBA coaches had their turn this time around as they were the sole voting bloc to determine the All-Star reserves.
NBA TV @NBATV
Meet your 2019 #NBAAllStar reserves from the Eastern Conference! https://t.co/oReaBzT4or
NBA TV @NBATV
Meet your 2019 #NBAAllStar reserves from the Western Conference! https://t.co/f46cYMkL3v
Here are the full rosters from each conference:
- Starter: Kemba Walker, G, Charlotte Hornets
- Starter: Kyrie Irving, G, Boston Celtics
- Starter: Giannis Antetokounmpo, F, Milwaukee Bucks (captain)
- Starter: Kawhi Leonard, F, Toronto Raptors
- Starter: Joel Embiid, C, Philadelphia 76ers
- Reserve: Victor Oladipo, G, Indiana Pacers
- Reserve: Kyle Lowry, G, Toronto Raptors
- Reserve: Blake Griffin, F, Detroit Pistons
- Reserve: Khris Middleton, G, Milwaukee Bucks
- Reserve: Ben Simmons, G, Philadelphia 76ers
- Reserve: Bradley Beal, G, Washington Wizards
- Reserve: Nikola Vucevic, C, Orlando Magic
- Starter: Stephen Curry, G, Golden State Warriors
- Starter: James Harden, G, Houston Rockets
- Starter: LeBron James, F, Los Angeles Lakers (captain)
- Starter: Kevin Durant, F, Golden State Warriors
- Starter: Paul George, F, Oklahoma City Thunder
- Reserve: Russell Westbrook, G, Oklahoma City Thunder
- Reserve: Anthony Davis, C, New Orleans Pelicans
- Reserve: Nikola Jokic, C, Denver Nuggets
- Reserve: Damian Lillard, G, Portland Trail Blazers
- Reserve: Klay Thompson, G, Golden State Warriors
- Reserve: LaMarcus Aldridge, F, San Antonio Spurs
- Reserve: Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Minnesota Timberwolves
Because of the general talent imbalance between the two conferences, the West carried the bulk of the All-Star intrigue.
A solid 15 or even 20 players had strong All-Star resumes in the West, with only 12 making the final cut. Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley, Tobias Harris, Jamal Murray and Luka Doncic headline the biggest names to miss the boat.
Gobert is arguably the most overlooked from that group. ESPN.com’s Bobby Marks noted the omission is a costly one for the Frenchman, who misses out on a $1 million All-Star bonus.
The Utah Jazz big man doesn’t have gaudy numbers (17.1 points, 14.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game) but ranks ninth in ESPN.com’s real plus-minus (5.18). Most felt Gobert had put together an All-Star-worthy resume.
Sam Vecenie @Sam_Vecenie
Pretty shocked with no Rudy Gobert on the All-Star team. Think that’s the No. 1 All-Star snub.
Tim MacMahon @espn_macmahon
The Jazz fully expected Rudy Gobert to receive his first All-Star selection. This will not go over well in Utah.
Andy Larsen @andyblarsen
Legitimately surprised on the Rudy Gobert omission… talking to coaches like Stotts and Rivers over the last bunch of days, I thought coaches recognized his value. I guess not.
Of course, you can’t identify a snub without naming a corresponding All-Star who should be culled from the team. In this case, Gobert could have leapfrogged LaMarcus Aldridge, who’s averaging 21.1 points and 8.8 rebounds but ranks 113th in real plus-minus (0.62).
Klay Thompson might have earned a fifth straight All-Star trip on reputation more than performance. He’s averaging 21.7 points, but his .379 three-point percentage is on pace to be a career low.
Instead of Thompson, the coaches could have opted for Tobias Harris, who has taken his game to another level with the Los Angeles Clippers. Harris is putting up career bests in points (21.2), rebounds (7.9) and assists (2.6) while connecting on 43.3 percent of his three-pointers.
The Athletic’s Jovan Buha offered his thoughts on Harris’ snub:
Jovan Buha @jovanbuha
Tobias Harris not making the All-Star team this season is a bigger snub than Lou Williams not making it last season. That Clippers team was worse. You could point to their record (and Lou not having as good of stats as some other guys). Those same excuses don’t work w/ Tobias.
In the East, the status of Victor Oladipo was by far the biggest question.
The Indiana Pacers guard is out for the year after suffering a ruptured quad tendon. Before that, a knee injury had forced him to miss 11 games. Oladipo was averaging 18.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists before going down for the season after appearing in 36 games.
Especially when it comes to the reserves, missing too many games can effectively eliminate otherwise qualified players from earning an All-Star spot.
In the case of Oladipo, his injury problems didn’t preclude him from reaching a second straight All-Star Game, but NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will need to name a replacement from the East.
According to ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski, D’Angelo Russell and Jimmy Butler are the “top candidates” to take Oladipo’s place.
ESPN.com’s Zach Lowe found a solution that will kill two birds with one stone:
The focus now shifts to the All-Star draft, which TNT will broadcast on Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. ET. LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo are the respective team captains, and James will have the opportunity to pick first overall.
The All-Star Game itself will be held Feb. 17 in Charlotte, North Carolina, and be televised on TNT.