NBA Fans Got Every All-Star Starter Correct… Except One
NBA FANS GOT EVERY ALL-STAR STARTER RIGHT EXCEPT ONE
The credibility of NBA fans when it comes to All-Star voting has been questionable recently, to say the least, which has led to changes in the voting to include more influence from the media and players. Fans currently have 50% of the vote when it comes to All-Star starters with media taking 25% and players owning the other 25%. Coaches vote for the reserves. When media AND players both agree a player is voted higher than the other but the fans have the opposite, the fans vote wins the tiebreaker for some reason.
The new system was mostly successful this year with LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, and Bradley Beal all rightfully earning a starting spot, but still failed when it came to one individual. Last year, it was Beal who was ridiculously snubbed out of an All-Star spot when the players he goes against every night voted for him to be a STARTER. This year, it’s highly unlikely the same level of snub occurs, but it’s still disappointing to see Luka Doncic be named an All-Star starter when Damian Lillard has been much more deserving this season.
When fans are in control, there is a natural unfairness to it with some teams having larger markets and fanbases that leads to more votes for a player, even though they might not be as deserving. Or in this case, Luka Doncic has an entire continent voting for him as a European sensation while Damian Lillard is from Oakland where fans won’t hesitate to vote for Steph Curry first and currently plays in Oregon for a team that isn’t known for having a large fanbase by any means.
Even when looking at the stats, it’s easy to see why Luka was voted an All-Star starter. He’s averaging more AST, REB, and shooting a higher FG% than Lillard. However, Dame has him beat in 3P% and FTM, and is one of the leaders among the entire league in PPG, 3PM, and FT%.
So when the stats show their both consistently performing at a high level, let’s look at how their play has impacted winning. One is playing without his best two teammates for over half the season thus far and led them to six straight wins and a top-four seed in the West while the other has benefitted from a fully healthy squad pretty much but are under .500 and out of the current playoff picture.
That’s because when it comes to winning time, these two players are complete opposites. Damian Lillard is the most clutch player in the NBA and Luka Doncic’s lack of success in the game’s most critical moments continues to hold the Mavs back. It was never more evident than a few days ago when Dame’s Blazers beat Luka’s Mavs after Lillard drained the GW-3PM and Luka failed to tie it on a wide-open look in the final seconds.
There’s also a valid argument James Harden should be an All-Star starter as he’s obviously a top-10 player in the NBA, but it’s understandable he didn’t make it since he’s only been in the Eastern Conference for a month. There’s really no excuse for Luka being named the starter over Lillard other than the fact the fans have too much power when it comes to these results that impact a player’s overall HOF candidacy and basketball legacy. The NBA needs to figure out how to solve this error so the best players are actually correctly represented in the league’s most prestigious game.