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I'll say what we're all thinking: Ricky Davis has been left out of the 2024 All-Star roster.
Declare beginners. Who should be backed up?
The NBA All-Star Game was announced on TNT last night, and things went mostly as we expected. Here are the first five steps for each conference:
LeBron and Giannis are the top vote-getters in their conferences. LeBron set an NBA record by being selected to the 20th consecutive All-Star lineup. There was something interesting about the voting, as Jalen Brunson and Lillard tied in total voting points. The Lady finished third in fan voting, fourth in player voting and fifth in media voting. Bronson came in fifth, third and second place, respectively. Both players averaged a 3.75 overall score, but the fan vote was the deciding factor.
Congratulations to all! You should become an all-star and wear these generic, uninspiring shirts.
Now that we know the starting players, we have to wait a week to find out who the coaches will choose as the reserves. Remember: There are two backcourt picks, three frontcourt picks, and two wild card spots for each reserve in each conference. These would be my picks for each conference:
- Back-up area: Brunson (Knicks, non-All-Star), Donovan Mitchell (Cavaliers, four-time All-Star)
- Spare front yard: Bam Adebayo (Heat, two-time All-Star), Kristaps Porzinis (Celtics, one-time All-Star), Julius Randle (Knicks, two-time All-Star)
- Wild cards: Tyrese Maxey (76ers, non-All-Star), Trae Young (Hawks, two-time All-Star)
Is it time to expand the All-Star rosters from 12 to 15? Or is “everyone gets a trophy” too much for this process?
The latest from Shams
Curry and Ionescu to compete
There could be an exciting new competition on tap at NBA All-Star Weekend. League sources tell me a three-point contest is being planned between Warriors star Stephen Curry and New York Liberty star Sabrina Ionescu. curry Hint at the possibility Of challenge while getting up on the mic at last night's Warriors-Kings game, which prompted to respond From Ionesco. In case you don't remember, Ionescu set a record last year for WNBA and NBA 3-pointers with 37 in the final round. Curry previously scored 31 points on tour in 2021.
I'm told the two are expected to raise money for charity through the competition. Ionescu shot 44.8 percent from 3 last season for the Liberty. Curry, of course, is the NBA's all-time leader in 3-pointers and is shooting 40.2 percent from long range this season. Now it looks like we'll see which shooter gets the bragging rights in a few weeks in Indianapolis.
The Suns are the hottest team in the NBA
Remember that great team the Phoenix Suns (26-18, fifth in the West) were trying to create with Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal? And then, why do we see much of Phoenix in terms of them being a superhero team? Bill was hurt. Booker wasted time. The supporting cast was very weak while trying to find any shred of consistency and continuity on the basketball court. With all that being said, don't look now, but the sun is burning, and they are healthy.
The result was that the Suns became the hottest team in basketball, with a seven-game winning streak and 12 wins in 15 games. Over this 15-game stretch, Phoenix has the fourth-best offense in the league, scoring 122 points per 100 possessions. The defense was in the top ten during that time. The Suns are four games back of No. 3 in the West. So, what was working?
Let's start with the big three: Booker, KD, and Bell. When this trio is on the court (11 times over these 15 games), they are astronomically dominant. The Suns have a plus-18 net rating while scoring a ridiculous 126.5 points per 100 possessions with Booker, KD and Beal combined. To put that into perspective, the Pacers currently have their best single-season offensive rating never An average of 121.0 points per 100 possessions.
This was James Jones' vision when he made the risky trade for Bale, giving up all flexibility and depth for a higher ceiling. He knew the offense could be too overwhelming for opponents to overcome. This has kind of happened recently. Mo Dakhil recently wrote about the Sun's selfless crime. They take so many actions with these three that they have multiple options to use, leaving defenses guessing and praying.
Phoenix desperately needs some 3-and-D type players or extra size to battle Jokić in the postseason. Those only come in the buyout market. For those of you who are against the idea of the Big Three and Super Bowl teams, the Suns are looking to ruin your days.
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Bing, Nix is thriving
The Knicks (28-17, fourth in the East) gave the defending champion Nuggets (31-15, third in the West) a good old-fashioned kicking last night. Do we have any idea why? Injuries couldn't be the reason because Denver had a full starting lineup and rotation. Given the final score of 122-84, this can't be considered a lucky win. So, the only conclusion we can draw is that the Knicks simply dominated, right? That's exactly what they've been doing since the OG Anunoby deal.
Since Anunoby's Knicks debut on New Year's Day, they are 11-2, with their only losses coming to Orlando (23-21, eighth in the East) and Dallas (24-20, eighth in the West) by a combined eight points. Other than that, the Knicks are handling things for now. During this span, New York has the best record and defense in the league while boasting the second-best net rating (plus-15). Brunson and Randle have been ridiculous over these 13 games. Anunoby has been dropping shots and closing assignments since becoming a Knick.
Everything falling into place. I kind of forgot they're missing Mitchell Robinson now, so it might actually be better. The Knicks are two games behind Philadelphia for third place in the East. These aren't your slightly older cousin Knicks. They look like a problem for the East.
More from last night:
Pacers 134, 76ers 122: No Haliburton for Indy (25-20, sixth in the East), which is still dismantling the Sixers' defense (29-14, third in the East) thanks to Pascal Siakam.
Celtics 143, Heat 110: Boston had a true shooting percentage of 80%, which doesn't even seem real. The Celtics (35-10) lead the East by 3.5 games. Miami (24-21, seventh in the East) is in the bullpen.
Kings 134, Warriors 133: Steve had a chance to win it and dribbled the ball off his foot. Golden State (19-23, 12th in the West) is two games back of the last point played. Sacramento (25-18, seventh in the West) is a half-game behind in sixth place.
Wolves 96, Shebak 94: It was an ugly fourth place finish for the West-leading Wolves (32-13), but Catt helped them survive. Brooklyn (17-27, 11 in the East) has lost 12 of 14.
Lakers 141, Bulls 132: The Lakers (23-23, ninth in the West) shot 60 percent overall and 64 percent from deep, with four key players scoring 20 points. Chicago (21-25) is 7-15 on the road.
Look at our own Jon Krawczynski doing sideline TV reports on Wolves matches! Kat I can't believe it.
The Bucks talked about firing Adrian Griffin. Giannis claims no input into team decisions.
Therese's maxi jump looks very special.
Screen Game (All Eastern Times)
main screen: Cavas Pax (8 p.m.). Can the Cavaliers (26-16, fifth in the East) get back on track and stop Joe Prunty, the Kings' interim coach?
Second screen: Suns-Pacers (7 p.m.). We can get 280 points on this.
League Pass Game Night: Thunder Pelicans (8 p.m.). This would make a tremendous playoff series. Full schedule here.
(Top Image: Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)
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