The NBA’s Eastern Conference has seen many star players move to the West this off-season. Next season, the East All-Star team will be an interesting group of new faces to replace perennial stars Jimmy Butler, Paul George, and Paul Millsap. Three of the All-Star spots are reserved for Cleveland Cavaliers players, at least until LeBron James says enough. Still, LWOS is going to boldly predict the roster for the 2018 Los Angeles All-Star game. In this five-part series, LWOS will predict the starters for each position. We’ll name four candidates at each spot before narrowing it down to the top choice.
Point Guard Picks for 2018 East All-Star Team
The modern point guard must have speed and scoring ability. With the rise of Kyrie Irving, this year’s bid for starting All-Star point guard will need to be a top scorer and still find a way to share the ball. It would also help if he was winning a good amount, too. Three of the East point guards came from the top teams. A few highlight plays wouldn’t hurt either. This year’s point guards need to be able to score 30 points on any given night, they need to fill the stat sheets and flirt with triple doubles, and they need to have the record to back up their play. Last year, Isaiah Thomas and John Wall put up top-notch numbers and they didn’t even start! Here are LWOS’s predictions for this year’s East point guards and their pursuit of an All-Star spot.
The Underdog Pick
The most unlikely All-Star of the East point guards is first: the Miami Heat‘s Goran Dragic. Miami pulled a stunning second half turnaround last season. The team forged an identity mid-season after unexpectedly losing two huge pieces. Dragic was a big part of how the Heat became who they are now. They won 30 of their last 41 games and even though they didn’t make the playoffs, Dragic showed that he is the driving force. If the Heat can carry that momentum over, Dragic will stay at the center of the storm. He could potentially cash in on the recognition he deserves for last season and this one.
The Totally Out of Nowhere Pick
Reggie Jackson is the dark horse of the East point guard race. The Detroit Pistons have an intriguing team with pieces that could work well together. Jackson’s ability to make the Pistons cohesive will determine how successful he and the team can be. If he can lead the team and help bring them together, they could make some noise next season. Of course, health has been a factor, but only two seasons ago, Jackson was averaging about 17 points and nine assists per game. This year, Detroit could surprise the East and sneak into one of the lower playoff spots. Jackson would have to be a big reason for that.
The “Chasing the Crown” Pick
John Wall is flirting with permanent All-Star status. It seems cruel that a player who recorded multiple 20-assist games would need to fight for a spot. He scored 42 points in a playoff game to help his Washington Wizards eliminate the Atlanta Hawks. Then, he pushed the Boston Celtics to the brink by hitting a game-winning buzzer beater in Game 6 of the second round. Wall did all this after having surgery on two knees. He knows that he’s a Conference Finals worthy player. He has the clutch performances to back it up. If he stays healthy, Wall should get the starting nod in L.A.
Kyrie Irving has copied LeBron James in his regular season performance. He keeps his numbers up but not gaudy. He performs but does not take over. Meanwhile, when it is big game time, he dials in and reminds everyone that he has been toying with teams all season long. Obviously, he’s the favorite here – assuming he remains in the Eastern Conference, despite the trade rumors surrounding him lately – as he is the reigning starter with no drop-off in performance in sight. He’s on the list by default. He had 20-plus points in a stretch of 10 straight games last season, as well as scoring 49, 43, and 46 points on different occasions. The talent and numbers are undeniable.
John Wall will put it all together and propel the Wizards to the greatest heights that they’ve seen in the modern era. He’ll start the year hot and make a strong push through the All-Star break. He’ll take the starting crown from Kyrie Irving, who might be on fire himself. The press and the fans, however, will be more impressed with Wall elevating the Wizards.
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