Over the past week, the NBA officially announced starters for the all-star game.
DeMar DeRozan will start in his fifth career all-star game.
DeRozan joined a list of eastern conference superstars starting the all-star game. Playing alongside DeMar is Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young, Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant, Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid. All five players in the starting lineup lead their teams in statistical categories. Trae Young is the only player non on a team with a winning record. Kevin Durant opted out of the all-star game to prepare for the playoffs. Many fans called for Zach Lavine to take his place as a starter because of his impact on the Bulls’ top record in the eastern conference. Whether he replaces his Kevin Durant or not, Zach Lavine will find himself playing in his second career game this season.
DeMar DeRozan has proven all doubters wrong with his exceptional play this season. Many basketball analysts deemed the Bulls’ signing the “worst of the offseason”.
DeRozan took all off-season slander and made everyone eat their words. In his age 32 season, DeMar DeRozan is having a career-best, MVP-level season. In 44 games, DeRozan’s averaging 26.5 points per game, the second-most of his career. DeRozan has been incredibly efficient in these games; he’s shooting just under 50 percent from the field. DeRozan adds five rebounds and five assists per game, as well. The most important part of his success: he’s creating wins for the Chicago Bulls, who maintain the second-best record in the eastern conference. His superstar teammate, Zach Lavine, announced DeMar’s all-star starting spot on the team’s plane. Bulls head coach Billy Donovan commented on the duo. “It was great. I think it speaks to the bond and chemistry that those two guys have with one another.” Lavine, however, just missed the starting rotation but deserves recognition for his play so far. In 41 games, Lavine is scoring 25 points per game on 49 percent shooting from the field. Lavine is shooting an impressive 40 percent from beyond the arc. He adds five rebounds and four assists per game as well.
Lebron James’ Lakers are under .500, yet Lebron’s still putting up incredible numbers in his 18th season. The Lakers hold the 9th-best record in the west at 24-27. Steph Curry and Andrew Wiggins have played well and led the Warriors to the second-best record, 37-13. Many fans, however, questioned Wiggins’ spot as a starter, calling for star players like Rudy Gobert and Wiggins’ teammate Draymond Green. Despite the calls for others to replace him, Wiggins Ja Morant has cemented his place as a star in the league, leading his team to the third-best record in the west. Nikola Jokić is trying to repeat as the western conference MVP. In doing so, his Nuggets are sitting at fifth in the west, with a 28-21 record.