Blogtable Archive

Blogtable: Give your NBA All-Star 2017 starting lineups

Each week, we ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day.

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We’ll give you a chance to change your answers in a few weeks, but give me your starting five (East and West) for February’s All-Star Game based ONLY on performance so far this season.

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David Aldridge:

EAST: Jimmy Butler, DeMar DeRozan, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Love

WEST: Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins

Steve Aschburner:

EAST: Isaiah Thomas, DeMar DeRozan, LeBron James, Jimmy Butler, Giannis Antetokounmpo

WEST: Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins

Fran Blinebury:

EAST: DeMar DeRozan, Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jimmy Butler

The Cavs are head and shoulders above everybody as LeBron and Kyrie have the Eastern Conference in the palms of their hands.

WEST: Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant

In an All-Star Game that’s all about points, points, points, this is a starting five that could make the scoreboard explode. And Kawhi’s there if anybody is inclined to add a dash of defense.

Scott Howard-Cooper:

EAST: LeBron James, Jimmy Butler, Giannis Antetokounmpo, DeMar DeRozan, Kemba Walker

One of the defensive-minded bigs, Andre Drummond or Hassan Whiteside, would be added if the lineup needs an actual center. But based on “front court,” it’s not mandatory and the East eventually runs out of top candidates at forward and center. No such problem at guard. The depth is much better there.

WEST: Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Russell Westbrook, James Harden

Leaving Stephen Curry off is impossible, yet just happened. That’s more about Westbrook and Harden playing out of their mind than about Curry. And the standings matter, so having Davis and Cousins while Kawhi Leonard gets a reserve role with San Antonio among the best is another tough call. Davis and Cousins are playing at a high enough level, though, that they are impossible to overlook.

Shaun Powell:

EAST: LeBron James, Jimmy Butler, Giannis Antetokounmpo, DeMar DeRozan, Kyrie Irving

I think the backcourt is much tougher to pick, because John Wall and Kyle Lowry are both off to solid starts and there’s also Kemba Walker and Isaiah Thomas in the mix. But overall, hard to argue with this five.

WEST: Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, Russell Westbrook

What’s weird is how three players were once teammates in Oklahoma City, making it more astonishing that OKC couldn’t keep that crew together. Durant and Davis are also shooting north of 50 percent, rare among volume shooters. And the backcourt of Harden and Westbrook is also jostling for MVP frontrunner honors as well.

John Schuhmann:


DeMar DeRozan: Picking him over Kyle Lowry is tough, because the Raptors are just better with Lowry on the floor. Can’t ignore the numbers, though.

Kemba Walker: It’s amazing how much his shooting has improved over the last two seasons.

LeBron James: The most critical ingredient in an unstoppable offense.

Giannis Antetokounmpo: Like it is with LeBron, it’s amazing what he can do without a jump shot.

Jimmy Butler: Perimeter shooting has improved, but his increased free throw rate has been huge.

If the Wizards get better, John Wall: One of the conference’s best players having his best season under the radar — will deserve consideration.


Russell Westbrook: Duh.

James Harden: He’s been an elite passer for a while now. He just has more shooters around him.

Kevin Durant – The league’s most efficient scorer.

Kawhi Leonard: Offense is always improving. Defense has always been there.

Anthony Davis: There’s still some intangibles missing here, but the numbers are incredible.

It’s amazing there’s no space for Chris Paul (top-five MVP candidate) or Stephen Curry (reigning MVP).

Sekou Smith:

EAST: LeBron James, Jimmy Butler, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker

Based on what we’ve seen so far, there are plenty of worthy candidates for these five spots. DeMar DeRozan was the sixth name on my list and he could easily hold down one of those starting backcourt spots, as could Isaiah Thomas. The frontcourt and backcourt designations free us from the shackles of position-based basketball, thanking the basketball powers that be for that change. Because the East is packed with All-Star caliber backcourt talent.

WEST: Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook, James Harden

I know, I know. No Clippers and no Stephen Curry in the first five? Sorry, but it’s another loaded year in the Western Conference. I think the Clippers could and should have maybe three All-Stars on the team and Steph is a lock for one of the reserve spots. But you cannot deny the triple-double brilliance of both Westbrook and Harden so far this season. Boogie Cousins was also a strong consideration for the starting unit but was edged out by Davis.

Ian Thomsen:

EAST: LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, DeMar DeRozan, Kyrie Irving, Kyle Lowry

The hardest decision in the East is to favor DeRozan over Jimmy Butler.

WEST: Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Russell Westbrook, James Harden

It’s a killer to not include Stephen Curry, but Westbrook and Harden are dominating the opening quarter of the season.

Lang Whitaker: So this is gonna be tough. In the West, for instance, I guess Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are coming off the bench, because I can’t not start Russell Westbrook and James Harden, who to me are the two best guards in the NBA this season. And my frontline is going to be monstrous, with Anthony Davis and Boogie Cousins both in there, as they’re both averaging double-doubles. And I guess Kevin Durant slots in alongside them. (Sorry, Kawhi!) In the frontcourt for the East, LeBron James is going to have to be my center, along with Carmelo Anthony and Jimmy Butler, with a backcourt of DeMar DeRozan and Kyrie Irving. Andre Drummond, you’re first off the bench.

More Blogtable: First time West All-Star | First time East All-Star