Feb
07
2021

2021 NBA All-Star Game: Eastern Conference Predictions

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The Eastern Conference is shaking out to be an incredible show this season. With the new-look Brooklyn Nets and the rise of the Philadelphia 76ers, the East has shown to be back on par with the West in terms of talent. This year, the all-star race is very tight, as many players look to claim their stake in a spot in Atlanta this March. Here are predictions on how the Eastern Conference all-stars could likely shake out:

East Reserves

Frontcourt: Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

27.3 ppg/7.3 rpg/3.9 apg/48% FG/42% 3P/84% FT

Jayson Tatum is averaging career highs in almost every category. Leading the Boston Celtics for the fourth straight year, Tatum finds himself in the reserves, purely because of the incredible play by the players put ahead of him. Tatum is very deserving of becoming a two-time all-star this season.

Frontcourt: Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic

23.4 ppg/11.5 rpg/3.5 apg/48% FG/43% 3P/84% FT

Vucevic is doing what he always does in Orlando. He is averaging at least 19+ ppg and 10+ rpg for the third straight season. After missing the all-star game last year, Vucevic looks to come back to the big stage, as he has turned in the best season of his career so far this year.

Fly Over Sports Podcast: Episode 32 Fly Over Sports Podcast

While the 2021 Kansas City Royals slip deeper into irrelevancy, rumors of cheating in 2015 have surfaced. We break down how crazy those claims are and how the Royals are one of the least likeliest franchises to cheat. Also, a former Chiefs player calls out Andy Reid. That cannot be a good career decision.  — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/flyoversports/support
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Frontcourt: Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers

21 ppg/11.8 rpg/5.7 apg/55% FG/37% 3P/69% FT

Sabonis is anchoring an impressive Pacers team so far this season. Alongside teammate Malcolm Brogdon, Sabonis has the Pacers in the fifth seed in the East. He will likely be in his second straight all-star game this season.

Backcourt: Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards

33.3 ppg/5.0 rpg/4.6 apg/47% FG/35% 3P/88% FT

After missing the all-star game last season despite averaging over 30 ppg, it would be cruel to leave Bradley Beal off again. Despite the struggles in Washington, Beal has turned in yet another impressive season. The two-time all-star will look to make it for the third time and is pretty deserving of a spot.

Backcourt: Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics

26.4 ppg/5.5 rpg/3.6 apg/52% FG/42% 3P/76% FT

Jaylen Brown looks like a Most Improved Player candidate and a top 20 NBA player. Brown is shooting a career-high from three and averaging six ppg more than he did last season. He has impressed many around the league and will get a shot at being an all-star for the first time this March.

Wild Card: Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks

20.5 ppg/6.2 rpg/5.9 apg/52% FG/45% 3P/93% FT

Statistically, Khris Middleton is not eye-popping in the box score. However, his 50/40/90 season so far has been incredibly impressive. Middleton remains the Bucks’ versatile point of attack on offense and should be going to his third straight all-star game.

Backcourt: Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls

26.5 ppg/5.2 rpg/5.3 apg/50% FG/40% 3P/89% FT

LaVine has been deserving of an all-star bid for some time now and I believe this year is the year he should get it. Averaging 26.5 ppg, LaVine has been the brightest spot in Chicago this season. Because of his incredible season so far, he deserves his shot as an all-star.

Honorable Mention: Russell Westbrook, Jerami Grant, Gordon Hayward, Collin Sexton, Bam Adebayo, Malcolm Brogdon, Ben Simmons

Before I say anything else, the East is incredibly deep with talent unlike ever before. The additions of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook to the East this season has made the conference deeper than ever before.

Westbrook is slowly picking up the pace, but it may be a case of too little too late. Jerami Grant is on a horrible Detroit team and is more likely to be considered the Most Improved Player than an all-star. Charlotte and Cleveland are in similar positions right now where they are for the most part over performing. However, I don’t think either Hayward or Sexton has a good enough case.

Adebayo has been great this season. However, the lack of success for Miami after an incredible year will hurt his bid here. Out of all the players mentioned here, I believe Brogdon is most deserving, but they’re just are not really space for him in the East. Ben Simmons is also very deserving, which just goes to show the incredible talent in the East.

East Starters

Frontcourt: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

29.1 ppg/10.8 rpg/2.7 apg/56% FG/42% 3P/85% FT

Joel Embiid has been an MVP candidate so far this season as he has led the 76ers to the best record in the East. The Cameroonian is averaging nearly 30 ppg and is shooting career-high efficiencies at every spot. Embiid claimed before the season that his goal was to be an MVP and a champion and so far both look likely enough.

Frontcourt: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks

27.3 ppg/11.2 rpg/5.9 apg/1.2 bpg/1.1 spg

Giannis has not had the glitz or the glamour that he had the past two seasons from the media but he is still doing what made him a two-time MVP. Despite the poor shooting, Giannis remains a force in the league and will be a starter this season based on his impact alone.

Frontcourt: Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets

29.5 ppg/7.4 rpg/5.2 apg/53% FG/45% 3P/87% FT

Welcome back, Kevin Durant! After missing last season to injury, Durant made his Eastern Conference debut and has championed an incredibly talented Brooklyn Nets team. Durant looks almost better than he did in previous years, as it is now championship or bust for the all-in Nets.

Backcourt: Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets

27.5 ppg/4.8 rpg/5.7 apg/53% FG/43% 3P/94% FT

A lot of Nets going around here. Kyrie Irving, despite the controversy, has also done his job this season. After taking a sabbatical for two weeks, Kyrie has continued to impress. He is averaging a career-high in all shooting statistics (as I do these, I realize this is the case for a lot of players, so shoutout to the players for stepping up their games this season). Kyrie will be another part of the starting lineup, alongside his two-star teammates.

Backcourt: James Harden, Brooklyn Nets

24 ppg/6.8 rpg/11.3 apg/47% FG/36% 3P/88% FT

Welcome to the Eastern Conference, James Harden. After an ugly exit from Houston, Harden managed to land on the most talented team he has been on in his career. Now in Brooklyn, Harden is averaging his lowest ppg since his last season in Oklahoma City but is averaging a career-high in assists. Harden will also make his eastern conference all-star debut this season and hopes to top it off with a championship this summer.

Who do you think I left out? Let me know at @FindingNeema23 on Twitter and follow @BorderFuelHQ for more sports content like this!