Draymond Green

Draymond Green and Klay Thompson named All-Star reserves

Even though the Warriors are the defending champs and own the best record in the league (and a better record through 46 games than any team has ever had), that doesn’t necessarily mean they deserved three All-Stars in the minds of the head coaches. The Spurs are only three games behind in the standings, and they didn’t necessarily deserve two players, let alone three.

Turns out the coaches appreciate winning.

Remember when the Warriors were literally begging to get Monta Ellis on the All-Star team? David Lee finally broke their drought, even though Curry was a much better player at the time. Now they have three All-Stars and they’re routinely beating teams by 15+. None of this is news, but it’s fun to remember how far they’ve come.


We’ve known the Western Conference starters for a little bit.

  • Stephen Curry
  • Russell Westbrook
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Kawhi Leonard
  • Kevin Durant

Other than Bryant, the leading vote-getter, the other four are clearly deserving. There were a few no-brainer options for the reserves, too.

Draymond Green (14.5 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 7.2 apg, 1.4 spg, 1.3 bpg, 47.5 FG%, 41.4 3p%, 68.3 FT%)

  • One of the top two or three defensive players in the NBA
  • Fourth in ESPN’s “real plus-minus” metric, eighth in VORP, ninth in win shares
  • Only player to average over five assists, one steal and one block per game
  • Leads the league in triple-doubles with eight
  • 14th in the NBA in rebounding
  • 6th in the NBA in assists

Chris Paul (18.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 9.6 apg, 2.1 spg, 0.2 bpg, 45.3 FG%, 38.5 3p%, 88.2 FT%)

  • 4th in the NBA in assists
  • 5th in the NBA in steals
  • Averaging 20.8 ppg and 11.0 apg in January (carrying the Clips without Blake Griffin)
  • 7th in real plus-minus, 13th in win shares, 11th in VORP, 6th in PER
  • Future Hall-of-Famer still in his prime

James Harden (27.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 6.9 apg, 1.4 spg, 1.3 bpg, 42.5 FG%, 34.2 FT%, 86.9 FT%)

  • 2nd in the NBA in scoring
  • 8th in the NBA in assists
  • 3rd in the NBA in threes
  • 9th in PER, 24th in real plus-minus, 6th in VORP, 7th in win shares
  • 2nd in the MVP voting last season

The other four were going to come from three categories. Clearly one of these categories was ignored.

Veteran winners

Dirk Nowitzki (17.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.8 apg, 0.6 spg, 0.6 bpg, 44.8 FG%, 39.8 3p%, 90.5 FT%)

  • One of 10 players ever to average over 17 ppg at age 37
  • Mavericks are 6th in the West (which is better than most thought after they lost DeAndre Jordan)

Tim Duncan (8.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 3.0 apg, 0.9 spg, 1.3 bpg, 50.6 FG%, 74.4 FT%)

  • 13th in defensive win shares
  • Spurs have the second-best record in the NBA

Young stat monsters on bad/mediocre teams

Anthony Davis (22.9 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.3 spg, 2.4 bpg, 49.2 FG%, 28.8 3p%, 76.6 FT%)

  • 10th in the NBA in scoring
  • 9th in the NBA in rebounding
  • 2nd in the NBA in blocks
  • His athleticism translates well in an All-Star Game.

DeMarcus Cousins (27.3 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.3 spg, 1.3 bpg, 45.0 FG%, 34.1 3p%, 73.4 FT%)

  • 3rd in the NBA in scoring
  • 4th in the NBA in rebounding
  • Averaging 33.1 ppg and 12.9 rpg in January
  • Kings fighting for playoff spot after strange offseason (to put it lightly)

Damian Lillard (24.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 7.1 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.3 bpg, 42.1 FG%, 37.6 3p%, 87.2 FT%)

  • 6th in the NBA in scoring
  • 6th in the NBA in threes

Good players on winning teams who aren’t statistically dominant

LaMarcus Aldridge (15.9 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.4 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.9 bpg, 48.8 FG%, 81.1 FT%)

  • Playing the best defense of his career
  • Second-leading scorer and leading rebounder on the Spurs

Klay Thompson (20.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.3 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.8 bpg, 46.6 FG%, 42.7 3p%, 84.0 FT%)

  • 14th in the NBA in scoring
  • 2nd in the NBA in threes
  • One half of the best backcourt in the NBA


It probably wasn’t an easy decision, as I thought Nowitzki would make it over Aldridge.

So, the final Western Conference All-Star roster looks like this (unless someone bows out due to injury, then either Lillard or Nowitzki will probably get the nod).

Point guards (3)

  • Curry
  • Westbrook
  • Paul

Shooting guards (3)

  • Bryant
  • Harden
  • Thompson

Small forwards (2)

  • Durant
  • Leonard

Power forwards (2)

  • Green
  • Aldridge

Centers (2)

  • Cousins
  • Davis

And here’s who’ll they’ll face (along with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Paul George, Kyle Lowry and Carmelo Anthony):

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