The reserves for the 2024 NBA All-Star game will be officially unveiled Thursday night on TNT, and the competition will be as strong as ever. Choosing just 24 All-Stars seems to get harder each and every year, but it’s time to make those difficult decisions again. The ten starters have already been announced, and are as follows:
G Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder)
G Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)
F LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers)
F Kevin Durant (Phoenix Suns)
F Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)
G Damian Lillard (Milwaukee Bucks)
G Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers)
F Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)
F Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
F Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)
The starting lineups are certainly star-studded, and didn’t come with many surprises outside of Damian Lillard’s inclusion over fellow East guards Jalen Brunson (NYK) and Donovan Mitchell (CLE). Tyrese Haliburton will make his first All-Star start in his home arena, and LeBron James will play in his record 20th All-Star game.
The starter selections typically don’t present much controversy, but the same thing can not be said for the reserves. From here, each conference will have seven more spots on their team. Two for backcourt players, three for the frontcourt, and two wild card spots that can be players of any position.
With the amount of talent in the league today, there will never be a year with no “snubs”. There are probably 12-15 players in each conference with legitimate All-Star reserve cases, but only 7 can be chosen. With that being said, here are my picks for the 2024 All-Star reserves.
G Steph Curry (Golden State Warriors)
G Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves)
F Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers)
F Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers)
F Domantas Sabonis (Sacramento Kings)
WC Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns)
WC Paul George (Los Angeles Clippers)
Just missed: De’Aaron Fox, Lauri Markkanen, Karl-Anthony Towns, Alperen Sengun, Jamal Murray, Jalen Williams, Victor Wembanyama
Choosing just seven reserves in the West presented me with some really tough decisions. I felt very confident about Curry, Edwards, Davis, Sabonis and Leonard, but the last two spots caused some contemplation. There a few ways to go about picking All-Stars, and some people value team success more than others. I tend to focus more on the individual season in a vacuum and use team success as a sort of tiebreaker if needed.
My toughest choice was going with Paul George over Markkanen and Towns. Towns has had a nice individual season on the best team in the West, while Markkanen has been the best player on an overachieving Utah squad. Ultimately, I gave George the nod based on his two-way play and overall consistency on a very good Clippers team.
My Devin Booker pick would have been a bit of a tougher decision two weeks ago, but his recent scoring outburst solidified my choice. It’s tough to give Minnesota and OKC just one All-Star each, but I couldn’t justify giving them a second guy solely based on team success. Jamal Murray is another player who seems entirely too good to never have made an All-Star team, but the numbers just aren’t there.
G Donovan Mitchell (Cleveland Cavaliers)
G Jalen Brunson (New York Knicks)
F Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics)
F Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat)
F Paolo Banchero (Orlando Magic)
WC Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks)
WC Tyrese Maxey (Philadelphia 76ers)
Just missed: Julius Randle, Kristaps Porzingis, Jarrett Allen, Scottie Barnes, Jimmy Butler, Franz Wagner, Derrick White
Just like the West, I felt pretty strong about five of my choices, with those being Mitchell, Brunson, Brown, Adebayo, and Maxey. I found myself going back-and-forth over the last two spots for quite a while. I narrowed my list down to three players, Young, Banchero, and Randle, for just two spots. An All-Star campaign like Trae Young’s is one that gets criticized every year.
A star player putting up gaudy numbers on a bad team is viewed differently by everyone. I understand the complaints about Trae, but his offensive game is simply too good for me to ignore, and I can’t even imagine where Atlanta would be without him. I decided to lock him in as a wild card, which meant my last spot would go to either Julius Randle or Paolo Banchero.
After extensive deliberation, I decided to give Banchero the nod. The numbers and team record might lean towards Randle, but my eye test tells me Banchero. I watched him carry a depleted Magic team for a two-week stretch in early January and was so impressed by the skill, composure, and confidence shown by the 21-year old.
I couldn’t quite talk myself into putting a third Celtic on the team despite their dominance through the first half of the season, but I definitely gave it some consideration. Jarrett Allen made a late push, but didn’t quite have enough to beat out the guys ahead of him, and Scottie Barnes has been rather quiet over the past few weeks.
Regardless of who makes the team, the rosters will be full of talent that will be sure to put on a show this year in Indianapolis.
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