1st team selection
I don't feel I made a mistake here, although selections can always be argued. I think that as far as the backcourt situation for both sides, they should be undisputed with the exception of the mention of John Wall. Both Harden and Curry are top MVP consideration thus far in the season, Lowry is continuing to prove that he is the best leader the Raptors have ever had, and Butler is on his way to being the leagues Most Improved Player. Something we've seen with another good 2 way guard named Paul George.
My Frontcourt selections of course can be argued in many ways. The Gasol Brothers have been steady contributors on their respective teams and will likely end up starting in my opinion. How sick is that, brothers starting an All-Star game against each other?! On both lineups we have perhaps 2 of the best mid-range shooting big men in Bosh and Aldridge. Bosh is looking to be showing what he said he could do if he wasn't to lessen his role, now with LeBron in Cleveland. Aldridge's play just speaks for itself on the usually improving Trailblazer team. Boy am I glad of having the honor to drive down to Portland to witness their growth, now that I am living on the West Coast. LeBron, really?! Anthony Davis? I kind of feel the same way about this selection as I do about LeBron. It is a no-brainer as far as an All-Star selection. My only question is who is really more important to their team, Davis or Cousins? This is a question that some consider for an MVP selection, but can be weighted in an All-Star selection. At least mine. I think they are both as equally important to their teams. Sure, New Orleans does boast a better roster than Sacramento when either player is out, thus not being as nearly as bad of a team. This is also why I consider both players as important to their teams because their teams are marginally better with them in the lineup. I went with overall production on this choice, where Davis is putting up numbers not seen since a young KG and Tim Duncan.
My 2nd selection no doubt would cause some to scratch their heads, but hear me out. I think the All-Star game is about rewarding. What that entails may differ for many. I'm one of those that like to reward players with great production on winning teams, along with awarding great consistent production on teams that show improvement from previous year(s). As I may have hinted earlier, Wall is a deserving All-Star. Brandon Knight, I think deserves a vote. The Bucks are an improved team. Yes, Jason Kidd should get most of the credit. The Bucks roster hasn't changed much aside from acquiring more shooters. But let's face it, Knight is clearly their most noticeable player. Given how poor the Bucks record was last year, Knight still produced on a nightly basis and is continuing this production on a slightly improved roster. The Bucks are a playoff team this year. Correction, the Bucks will be a playoff team this year, and someone on that team needs to be in that All-Star game to let the league know that they are relevant. For that reason I made this selection. My selections for the Frontcourt slightly differ in my reasoning. I like Andre Drummond, period. Once he gets it all together and (hopefully) figures it out he should be as dominant, if not more, than what Dwight Howard was. Actually he should be more dominant has he runs better and is more physical than Howard. Drummond is a true center and is what the All-Star game needs for the entertainment factor. My claim for why I selected Drummond is somewhat the opposite to why I selected Vucevic. For those that followed Vucevic when he was coming off the Philly bench should not be surprised by his production. I really mean that. He's another Kevin Love type player. A player who, for whatever reason, "rides the pine" although showing productivity in the limited minutes received "surprisingly" blows up the following year when given starters minutes and become a high scoring double-double machine. I can't think or see anyone else right now to claim that I'm not bullshitting. As a "reach" perhaps keep the likes of Gorgui Dieng and Mitch McGary in the mix. Vucevic is a multi-faceted scorer and proves that he can be a produce while not being the focal point of an offense. That is a skill people. Paul Millsap is perhaps the best player on the best team in the East. That alone warrants a vote.
Cousins, Griffin and Duncan got my 2nd team vote. Cousins is the best Center in the league on both ends. Sure, there are better defensive centers (i.e.: DeAndre Jordan), but Cousins continues to improve his defense and is practically unstoppable in the paint. Need I mention his shooting range, ball handling and passing? Nah, you should already know. Griffin is as power of a Power Forward we have in the league. He made bigger strides of improvement last season and continues to show no signs of regression. Duncan may be a selection not many understand. First, I will admit that its hard to dismiss a player off a team that won the previous Championship from the All-Star ballot given their team is still doing well. Second, Duncan is still a steady player (15ppg, 10rpg, 2blks). Stats like that usually warrant an All-Star selection given my points.
Mike Conley (Jr.)
This is perhaps a ballot I didn't need to cast, but as I mentioned, I know I messed up. Jeff Teague deserves a vote. The press is lobbying that Teague, Millsap, Horford and Korver all should be in the All-Star game. I'm not going to speak on that "hot" topic, but let's just say that I just think "that's touching". A Point Guard is an important position on any team. With Atlanta being the best team, surely Teague is a big reason. Wade, this year, is playing better than expected. I cannot think of another deserving Shooting Guard. Although Miami is a mere shell of its former self, they are still in playoff contention in the East. I think its about time for Ellis and Conley to be participants in the All-Star game. One is a talented and top scorer on a Conference leading team, while the other is a talented and pure 2-way Point Guard on a top 3 team in the league. With Ellis, he's shown the ability to adapt and emerge as a key player on a team that can contend, unlike in his time with the Golden State Warriors. Conley has continued to improve, especially as a scorer, and is the anchor on both the offensive and defensive scheme of this underrated Memphis team.
My Frontcourt picks here are perhaps a bit of a reach here. Chandler is continuing to show that he is a factor at near the basket on both offensive and defense, along with being perhaps being the prototype of the "new school" centers that have been emerging over the last few years. He is surely a reason to the Dallas Mavericks early success. Dirk, he was probably more of a reach here. He's not the same player, but still an offensive threat on one of the best teams. Rudy Gay has come out the gate en route to perhaps his best season statistically at the Small Forward position. Not to make any comparisons, but Gay may end up in the realm of players like Rod Strickland, as the best players at their position, at the peak of their careers, that never make an all-star team. If Rudy Gay can demonstrate how he can be a difference maker to improve a team, I think he'll garner more attention for an all-star consideration in the future.