The onset on the new year officially brings us that much closer to the annual All-Star Weekend, held this year in New Orleans, which is highlighted by the Sunday night NBA All-Star game. This year’s Eastern Conference All-Star roster will feature one very familiar face who is no stranger to starting in the All-Star game. He will also be joined by three players making their very first All-Star starts, as well as one player who is making his very first All-Star appearance.
Presenting your Eastern Conference All-Star starters:
GUARD: KYRIE IRVING, Cleveland Cavaliers
Kyrie Irving’s play has shown great improvements this season. Irving may play alongside arguably the best basketball player in the world in LeBron James, but he has become a star in his own right. That has been highlighted even more after he recently hit yet another game-winning shot against the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day 2016. For the season so far, Irving is averaging 23.6 points, 5.6 assists, and 3.5 rebounds for the East-leading Cleveland Cavaliers.
GUARD: DEMAR DEROZAN, Toronto Raptors
DeMar DeRozan is having just an outstanding season with the Toronto Raptors. DeRozan is 5th in the entire NBA in scoring, averaging 28.2 point per game, as well as 5.4 rebounds per game and 3.9 assists per game. DeRozan is easily the best player for the Raptors, as well as one of the best shooting guards the NBA has to offer. The Raptors current 28-14 record and second-place standing in the East, only two games behind the Cavaliers, is a clear indication of this.
DeMar DeRozan highlights vs Celtics
— Raptors Nation (@RaptorsNationTO) January 11, 2017
FORWARD: LEBRON JAMES, Cleveland Cavaliers
LeBron James is no stranger to the NBA All-Star game, and this result should not surprise anyone. This game will mark the 13th consecutive start for the Cavaliers forward. He has once again led his team to the top of the Eastern Conference, and are easily considered by many to be a clear lock for a third straight return to the NBA Finals. LeBron is also having one of his best seasons with averages of 25.6 points, 8.1 assists, and 7.8 rebounds per game.
FORWARD: JIMMY BUTLER, Chicago Bulls
While the Chicago Bulls’ 21-22 record (good enough for 8th in the East so far) leaves much to be desired, it’s clear that even with the new addition of Dwyane Wade to the Bulls roster, Jimmy Butler is not only still the leader of his team, but also their best player. Butler is having one of his best seasons ever statistically, averaging 24.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game, thriving in his new forward role this season. Many nights, “Jimmy Buckets” is the man who wills his team to victory single-handed.
FORWARD: GIANNIS ANTETOKOUNMPO, Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis “The Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo has been an absolute monster this season. Coach Jason Kidd’s experiment with the 6’11 Giannis as the point guard and primary ball-handler for the Milwaukee Bucks has caused the young Bucks star to really have a breakout season, as evidenced by being voted to his very first All-Star game appearance – and starting, at that! The Greek Freak is averaging 23.7 to go along with 8.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists. The Bucks may be 20-21 and sitting at 9th place in the East right now, but it may be point-Giannis who successfully wills them into the playoffs this season.
Giannis Antetokounmpo can literally fly! 😳https://t.co/ys18obUi6Q
— NBA SKITS (@NBA_Skits) January 14, 2017
Some pretty solid choices here. This should make for a pretty dynamic Eastern Conference All-Star lineup.