Blogtable: Who's on your Western Conference All-Star ballot?

Our scribes chime in on which 5 players they are choosing and why

From Staff

Jan 22, 2020 10:23 AM ET

LeBron James, Luka Doncic and Anthony Davis are all in the West All-Star mix.

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Who do you have on your Western Conference All-Star ballot and why? 

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Steve Aschburner

Backcourt: James Harden and Luka Doncic.
Frontcourt: LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard.

Why I picked them: The backcourt was automatic. So was two-thirds of the frontcourt, with James and Davis driving the Lakers while complementing each other’s game at elite levels. The tricky part was assessing Leonard, whose load management in not playing back-to-back games can be viewed as a stats-boosting advantage. I’d rather reward a guy like Nikola Jokic or Rudy Gobert, who show up every night, even when tired, than one who cherry-picks his schedule. I will factor that again into voting for annual awards and All-NBA berths. But in this instance, the best way to tweak Leonard for missing games is to make him play on a weekend most of the NBA’s players are, in fact, off. He sat out the Clippers’ lone visit to Chicago this season, too.


Shaun Powell

Backcourt: Luka Doncic and James Harden.
Frontcourt: LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard.

Why I picked them: Really? Does this require an explanation? OK, there's this: The LeBron-AD-Kawhi troika should be the Lakers' front line but Kawhi, as he is wont to do, went in a different direction last summer.


John Schuhmann

Backcourt: Luka Doncic and James Harden
Frontcourt: Anthony Davis, LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard.

Why I picked them: Four names were immediately written in pen: Doncic, Harden, Davis and James. Leonard has missed 10 games and has had the worst shooting season of his career, so I seriously considered Rudy Gobert and Nikola Jokic for the third frontcourt spot. But Leonard made an All-Star push just in time, averaging 33.3 points on an effective field goal percentage of 62% over the five games before ballots were due. And while he's having the worst shooting season of his career, his playmaking has been at a career-best level and he remains an elite defender.


Sekou Smith

Backcourt: James Harden and Luka Doncic.
Frontcourt: LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard.

Why I picked them: The separation between the top five in the Western Conference is defined a little better than in the East. Harden's flirting with a historic chase for the scoring title. Doncic is doing things at his age that haven't been done in a generation. LeBron and AD have pushed the Lakers into the top spot in the West playoff chase and Leonard has the Clippers squarely in the mix as a favorite to win it all, as well. 


Michael C. Wright

Backcourt: Luka Doncic and James Harden.
Frontcourt: LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard.

Why I picked them: The West was much easier to pick than the East as four of the top five are virtual locks in Doncic, Harden, James and Davis. Doncic and Harden are making history, while James and Davis are dominating night after night for the best team in the Western Conference. You could make an argument for Utah’s Rudy Gobert or Denver’s Nikola Jokic for that last spot in the frontcourt, but you can’t say they’ve outperformed Leonard. Besides, for me, there’s definitely some carryover from Leonard winning Finals MVP last season.

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