Thursday, January 22, 2015

Causeway Street's 2015 NBA All-Stars

Photo: Getty Images

It's that time of the year when the NBA All-Star teams are announced. Tonight on TNT at 7 PM Eastern Standard Time, the fan voting results for this year's All-Star game starters will be revealed. Of course most are deserving, while some are voted in simply over popularity rather than overall production for the first-half of the season.

The reserves will be announced a week from today, where it's results of coaches and GMs casting their vote, which evens out the whole selection process, relatively speaking to make it more fair.  

Since there will be no Celtics players selected this year, to head over to Madison Square Garden, we here at Causeway Street have come up with our own list of the league's top-24 players. It was not easy, especially leaving off many deserving candidates. It came down to amount of games played, stats and overall team performance. Our starters don't reflect the actual players that were voted in by fans, rather who we thought should get the nod to start the game.

Here's a look at's results:

Eastern Conference Starters:

John Wall, PG - Washington [29-14]
Stats: 17 points, 10 assists, 2 steals

This young man has quickly become the conference's overall best point guard, he had a breakout season last year going to the playoffs for the first time in his career. Wall has only capitalized on that by taking his game to the next level in all areas this season. It's no mistake why the Wizards have had their best start in over 20 years.

Kyle Lowry, PG - Toronto [27-15]

Stats: 19.8 points, 7.6 assists, 1.8 steals

An all-star who was snubbed last season, Lowry has been on a mission since the Raptors were eliminated last spring in the first round of the playoffs. He is Toronto's best player, and they will go as far as he takes them. While the team's other all-star DeRozan was out with a groin injury, Lowry kept the Raptors at the top of the conference. Easily his best season as a pro

LeBron James, SF - Cleveland [23-20] 

Stats: 26 points, 5.5 rebounds, 7.3 assists

Still the best player in the game even if his team is underachieving at the moment. A heavy favorite to come out of the east, but it's his teammates that have to adjust to him rather than the other way around. The former MVP should have a better second half of the season.

Paul Millsap, PF - Atlanta [35-8]

Stats: 17 points, 8 rebounds, 3.2 assists

One of the reasons the Hawks have the second best record in the NBA (currently on a 14-game winning streak) This already all-star continued to not only man the post down low, he helped players like Al Hortford get back to his elite level after being out last season.

Pau Gasol, C - Chicago [27-17] 

Stats: 18.7 points, 11.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists

All this big man needed was a change of scenery to get back to his all-star, elite status. Still one of the best post players in the game, Gasol was the best free-agent signing this past offseason. With Derrick Rose being in and out of the Bulls lineup, it's good to have two to three potential 20-point scorers a night. Gasol has been a perfect addition to Tom Thibodeau's defensive system as well.


Jeff Teague, PG - Atlanta

Stats: 17.2 points, 7.3 assists, 1.8 steals

The most underrated point guard in the conference, who should get people's attention now. Teague is the real deal and he is the general running a team with the East's best record. This is a no-brainer when it comes making the mid-season classic.

Jimmy Butler, SG - Chicago 

Stats: 20.6, 6.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists

He already has the most improved award wrapped up. When Rose is not the Bulls lineup, Butler is easily the team's best player. One of the best two-way players in the league. This youngster along with Gasol are the only reason Chicago have not fallen below the fourth seed in the conference while they still remain the heavy favorites to reach the finals.

Carmelo Anthony, SF - New York [7-36]

Stats: 24 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists

Despite the Knicks being the worst team in the league, and Melo missing 10 games so far this season, he is not to blame for the mess in the Big Apple. Seeing as he will be the lone New Yorker that makes an appearance at this year's all-star game, he his still averaging his career numbers all across the board. Now if only Phil Jackson can assemble a supporting cast around Anthony, thats the $20 million dollar question.

Chris Bosh, PF - Miami [18-24]

Stats: 21.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists

Don't let the record fool you, the reigning Eastern Conference champs are still four games away from the fifth seed. As much as it pains us to say it, but the old Bosh is back when he was making all-star teams on his own without the help of Bron Bron or D-Wade. Now the offense runs more through him these days, he's averaging over 20 points a game for the first time in over four years. (Still not worth all the money Miami gave him though...just saying)

Al Hortford, C - Atlanta

Stats: 15.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists

After missing almost all of last season, Hortford is back and right in the thick of things. It's no fluke that the Hawks are where they are right now. This former all-star should be in New York next month as he's one of the best passing bigs in the league.

Kyrie Irving, SG - Cleveland

Stats: 21.1 points, 5.3 assists, 1.5 steals

Kyrie might not be the guard everyone wants him to be, but is that a bad thing or should everyone just work around it? Uncle Drew is one of the best ball-handlers/scorers in the league. The former all-star MVP is only getting better as time goes one. But remember what made him great before the arrival of LBJ. 

Nikola Vucevic, C - Orlando [15-30]

Stats: 19 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists

One of the few bright spots on this young Magic team that could be good in a few years. Vucevic is a master of the double-double and one of the best young big-man in the league. This would do nothing more than boost his confidence even more if that were even possible, to represent not only his country but his team in an all-star game. Having the best season of his three-plus year career.  

Western Conference Starters:

Stephen Curry, PG - Golden State [34-6]

Stats: 23.2 points, 8 assists, 2.1 steals

Not just a three-point threat but a true shooter and scorer in a variety of ways. The best shooter off the dribble in the NBA. Was the league's MVP for the first month of the season. A big part of why the Warriors are off to their best start ever, as they have the best record in basketball.

James Harden, SG - Houston [29-14]

Stats: 27.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 6.7 assists

Probably the league's MVP at the moment, as he is the Rocket's best player. He is quietly becoming an elite two-way player. His ability to pass is underrated, and he is the only reason Houston is not in the bottom half of the western conference playoff picture.

Blake Griffin, PF - Los Angeles Clippers [28-14]

Stats: 23 points, 7.6 rebounds, 5 assists

Could enter the MVP conversation as he has vastly improved his mid-range game and has become a good big-man passer at the same time. The player who will take the Clippers to the next step, only if he wants it bad enough.

Anthony Davis, PF - New Orleans [21-21]

Stats: 24.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3 blocks

One of the most versatile players in the league who has gotten drastically better every year since he was a rookie. Another who could also be an MVP candidate as he's arguably one of the NBA's best two-way players today. In a tough western conference, the Pelicans injuries have slowed the team's progress to make a run for a playoff spot.

Marc Gasol, C - Memphis [30-12] 

Stats: 19.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.7 blocks

Arguably the best center in the game, Gasol has led the Grizzlies to the top of the west. Now looked as a scorer, opponents don't just have to worry about Z-Bo as a focal point on defense. This was a long time coming for the Spaniard, especially in a contract year.


Chris Paul, PG - Los Angeles Clippers

Stats: 17.6 points, 9.6 assists, 1.7 steals

Although numbers are slightly down this season, there is no denying that without CP3, the Clippers would flounder big time out west. He is what makes Doc Rivers' system run, literally. But is he still the best point guard in the league these days?

Kobe Bryant, SG - Los Angeles Lakers [12-31]

Stats: 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists

Being that it might be Kobe's last all-star game or it might not be. It feels like he has not played in one of these in forever. Be that as it may, he did at one time lead the league in scoring this season and he's still a beast whether you hate him or not.

Kevin Durant, SF - Oklahoma City [22-20]

Stats: 25 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists

Despite the early season injury that kept him out for a month and the hole the Thunder are currently climbing out of, the reigning MVP will not be denied a chance to make it into the playoffs even as the eighth seed.

LaMarcus Aldridge, PF - Portland [31-12]

Stats: 23.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, 2 assists

Probably the most complete power forward in the game, despite his recent thumb injury. Portland remains at the top of the west (currently the second seed) and Aldridge is the biggest reason why.

Tim Duncan, C - San Antonio [27-16]

Stats: 15 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists

It's hard to imagine an all-star game without Timmy never mind a player missing from the NBA champion Spurs. But T.D. continues to swim in the fountain of youth and he's keeping it all to himself. Still a double-double machine at his age is truly remarkable. Pop will need all he can get come playoff time.

Damian Lillard, PG - Portland

Stats: 22.1 points, 6.1 assists, 1.4 steals

Lillard is slowly making a case for being one of the best guards out west. After a great playoff run last spring, it's only made him that much better months later. He will keep the Blazers up top the conference while Aldridge gets healthy.

Mike Conley, PG - Memphis

Stats: 18.1 points, 6 assists, 1.2 steals

Conley has waited way too long to make an all-star team in a point guard dominated West. Well this year is his year, as he his enjoying the best season of his career. He his the other reason besides Gasol why the Grizzlies were the number one seed for almost two months (currently third). Look for them to make a deep run, maybe all the way to the Finals.

Who do you think should be in this year's All-Star game in New York?

Joel Pavón
Follow us on Twitter:@CausewayStreet

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