The NBA All-Star game is rapidly approaching and several former Cats are in contention to make the roster for their respective conferences. The starters for the game, voted on by fans, will be announced tonight live at 7 PM EST on TNT. The All-Star game will be held north of the border this year in Toronto on February 14th. Let's take a look at the former Cats with the best chance/argument for a roster spot.
DeMarcus Cousins is, kind of quietly, having an All-NBA type of season in Sacramento. Boogie is currently ranked fourth in the NBA in scoring, averaging 25.9 points, fifth in rebounds, averaging 11.1, and 23rd in blocks, at 1.31 a night. Boogie also ranks sixth in the league with 22 double-doubles on the season. Unfortunately, the Kings are struggling this season with an 18-23 record and currently on the outside of the playoff picture by two games. It should be a given that Cousins makes the All-Star roster; however, it's not looking good for Boogie to be a starter, as of the third counting of the votes, he's received just the ninth-highest amount to be a starter. While Boogie may not be a starter in the All-Star game this season, look for him to make the roster when the coaches select the reserves.
Rajon Rondo has joined Cousins in Sacramento this season and has resurrected his career. Rondo is currently averaging 11.7 points, 11.6 assists, first in the NBA, and 6.4 rebounds; all of which would be career bests. He is also ranked tenth in steals at 1.87 a game and 14th in double-doubles with 18. Rondo ranked sixth in voting by the fans in the Western Conference backcourt. It will be very difficult for Rondo to make the roster in the Western Conference with a loaded backcourt possibility of Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, and James Harden, but for Rondo to be mentioned in the conversation with those players after last season is remarkable.
Anthony Davis has been hindered with injuries for much of this season which has played a role in the Pelicans' 14-27 record. Davis has still been his usual great self while putting up All-Star numbers. He's currently tenth in scoring, averaging 23.1 points, ninth in rebounds, averaging 10.4 rebounds, and second in blocks, averaging 2.44 blocks. Davis is also fourth in the NBA with 23 double-doubles on the season and currently sixth in voting in the Western Conference frontcourt. It appears that Davis won't make the starting lineup in the All-Star game; however, his stats should be enough for the coaches to put him in as a reserve for the Western Conference.
John Wall is the lone former Cat in the Eastern Conference in All-Star contention. The Wizards have also had a less than stellar season with a 20-21 record to this point. Wall has been the bright spot for the Wizards so far ranking 21st in the NBA in scoring, averaging 20 points, second in assists, averaging 9.7, and fourth in steals, averaging 2.2 a game. Wall is also sixth in the league in double-doubles with 22 and currently ranks fifth in the Eastern Conference in backcourt votes. While Wall deserves to be in the All-Star game, it may be difficult for him to get in with the two current guards receiving the most votes being Dwyane Wade and Kyrie Irving. If this stands true, it's a sure thing that if those two start then the coaches will select Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry to make the team. Hopefully for the former Cat, one of those two drop out of the starting lineup by tomorrow night.
Karl Anthony-Towns is having an amazing rookie season in Minnesota and is at the top of the conversation for Rookie of the Year. It's been a rough year for Minnesota this season with a 13-31 record but they have a very young roster and could be very good in the future. Towns is averaging 15.6 points, 9.5 rebounds, which is twelfth in the NBA, and 1.7 blocks, which is ninth in the NBA. Towns is also tenth in the NBA in double-doubles with 20 but is not currently in the top 15 in voting. It's a real long shot for Towns to make the All-Star game; however, the season he is having is at least worth a mention in this conversation.
There was a surprise former Cat that came up on the voting tallies, Enes Kanter. Kanter is ranked tenth in the Western Conference frontcourt and is averaging 11 points and seven rebounds a game. It seems almost a certainty that Kanter won't make the All-Star game but to be ranked tenth in fan voting says a lot about the kind of season he is having in Oklahoma City.
Here's a look at ESPN's projected rosters before voting started:
As the voting has started it's clear that there were a few players left off this list that will most likely make the game. Kobe Bryant will be on the Western Conference team and as mentioned earlier, Dwyane Wade and Kyrie Irving are looking like they will also make the game as of now. Things could change between now and 7 tonight but good luck to all former Cats on making the game. Go Big Blue.