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5 Biggest Snubs Of The 2021 NBA All-Star Game

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The NBA has announced their All-Star selections for the 2021 All-Star game that will be played on the 7th of March in Atlanta. The five starters are voted for by the fans, media and players while the reserves are chosen by all the head coaches in the league. In the West, the five starters are Steph Curry, Luka Doncic, Kawhi Leonard, Lebron James (Captain) and Nikola Jokic. In the East, the five starters are Bradley Beal, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant (Captain), Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid


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The reserves in the West are Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell, Chris Paul, Rudy Gobert, Paul George, Zion Williamson and Anthony Davis. The reserves in the East are the Boston duo of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum as well as James Harden, Ben Simmons, Julius Randle, Nikola Vucevic and Zach Lavine.

This season, scoring has increased drastically and a record 43 players are averaging more than 20 points per game. Compare that to five years ago, and only 15 players averaged at least 20 points per game. What this means is more players are playing at an All-Star level and with only 24 players selected, there are bound to be some big names left out. Today we take a look at the 5 biggest snubs of the 2021 NBA All-Star Game.

1. Devin Booker


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Devin Booker is without a doubt, the biggest snub of the 2021 All-Star game. The shooting guard is averaging nearly 25 points per game for the Phoenix Suns this season while shooting 50% from the field and 38% from downtown. More importantly, the Suns are playing winning basketball with Booker and are in the top 4 in the Western Conference standings. Booker has also been more selfless this season, sacrificing his numbers to help the team play better. There are still hopes of Booker making the All-Star game as a replacement for Anthony Davis, who is suffering from an Achilles injury.

2. Jimmy Buttler


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Astonishingly, the man who took the Miami Heat to the NBA Finals in 2020 is hardly being considered in the All-Star conversation. Butler is one of the best two-way players in the league and is averaging 19 points, 7.6 assists, 7.6 rebounds and nearly two steals per game. The main question around Butler is his health and injury concern this season. However, Butler has played 19 games so far, the same amount as Kevin Durant who was named captain of the East in the All-Star game. With Butler on the court, the Miami Heat’s record is 11-8 compared to 3-9 when he hasn’t played. He is a Top 10 player in the Eastern Conference and perhaps deserved an All-Star spot.

3. Domantas Sabonis


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Curiously, Domantas Sabonis was named an All-Star in 2020 but has missed out in 2021 despite having a better season this time around. He is averaging a career-high 21.5 points per game as well as 11.6 rebounds per game. He has also made a significant improvement in his passing and three-point shooting too. He is shooting more often from beyond the arc and has improved his efficiency to 36% this season while also becoming a more willing passer ever since Nate Bjorken made Sabonis the hub of the Indiana offence. Crucially, Sabonis has been snubbed in favour of the likes of Nikola Vucevic and Julius Randle who are 12th and 7th in the Eastern Conference standings compared to Indiana who is in the Top 4. 

4. Trae Young


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Despite some chemistry issues with some of his team-mates, Trae Young has continued to produce the goods on the court for the Atlanta Hawks and deserved to be named an All-Star this season. Young is averaging an impressive 26.9 points per game this season while also increasing his efficiency from downtown. More importantly, he has improved drastically as a playmaker this season and is averaging 9.5 assists a game this season, the 3rd most in the league behind James Harden and Russell Westbrook. The only thing going against Young is his lack of effort on the defensive end and the fact that Atlanta is struggling in the Eastern Conference standings.

5. Mike Conley


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Mike Conley might go down in history as the best player in the NBA to never be named as an All-Star. Conley is playing at an elite level this season for the Utah Jazz who currently have the best record in the NBA at 25-6. Conley is averaging 20 points and 7 assists per 36 minutes and is shooting over 40% from the 3-point range. He has also been incredibly important on the defensive end for Utah and is averaging nearly 2 steals per 36 minutes. Conley has also been an elite playmaker this year and is assisting nearly 30% of Utah’s field goals when he is on the floor.


[Image Credit: NBA]