There were six first time All-Stars in last season’s All-Star game; four in the East and two in the West. I know winning is rewarded when it comes to naming All-Stars but I have a feeling a few guys will get in by having good stats.
Last season the Hawks got four players in because they had a great record. I don’t think they will be that great this season so Kyle Korver might not make this year. Kyrie Irving is hurt so he won’t make it either. I also think Pau Gasol’s production falls off slightly and he won’t return as an All-Star.
Bradley Beal, Victor Oladipo and Andre Drummond have a chance to be first time All-Stars. Beal is a solid off guard next to John Wall who happens to improve his game during the playoffs. If he can stay healthy he can definitely make it to an All-Star game this season. He averages about 15 ppg while shooting 40% from beyond the arc. He needs to take more three pointers and less mid-range jumpers. Washington should be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference and should get two guys in.
Victor Oladipo and Andre Drummond will have a tougher time making it to this game. Oladipo quietly improved his game last season while playing on a bad Magic team. The Magic might be bad again this year and he might be overlooked for an All-Star nod. He is an explosive athlete who is working on his three point shooting. He averaged 18 ppg last season and he might improve that this season.
Andre Drummond is a double-double machine for the Detroit Pistons. Most of the experts don’t know what to expect from the Pistons this year but Drummond should have a good chance of becoming an All-Star. He started slow last season but still managed to averaged 13 ppg and 13 rpg. His overall shooting percentage dropped a lot because he took more shots; 192 to be exact. He should get more chances to score this season. If the Pistons have a decent record at the break Drummond will become an All-Star.
It is tough trying to make an All-Star team in the Western Conference. There could be three first time All-Stars this season. Tim Duncan, Damian Lillard and Dirk Nowitzki might not make it this time around. Duncan could be replaced by his teammate Kawhi Leonard, Lillard’s Blazers might be struggling and could be replaced by Gordon Hayward and if winning is rewarded the Clippers DeAndre Jordan should get a nod this season.
Kawhi is already a Finals MVP and he won defensive player of the year last season. He was banged up last season but still managed to average career highs across the board. He will continue to improve on the offensive end and we already know what he can do on defense. Leonard is not a huge fan favorite like most of the forwards in the West but if stays healthy he deserves an All-Star nod.
Gordon Hayward is the most underrated player in the league. He will be overshadowed by the other forwards in the conference but he has become a very good player overall. The Jazz were the best defensive team in the second half of the season and Hayward averaged 19, 4 and 4. He is the playmaker for the Jazz and his numbers might improve because Alec Burks is returning. I expect Utah to compete for a playoff spot and Hayward should be rewarded by the coaches.
Winning gets players into the All-Star game. We already know Chris Paul and Blake Griffin will get in but DeAndre Jordan should be joining them if the Clippers dominate like they are supposed to. Jordan doesn’t create for himself but he’s a very good defensive player and he still averages 11 and 15. Some thought Jordan should have got the nod last season. The guy has been the one consistent for the Clippers; he has played in every game for the last three seasons and should be rewarded for his player especially if the Clippers are a great team before the break.