Forward of Thursday’s announcement of the 2019 All-Star Recreation starters, we polled our eight NBA writers to get their picks for this yr’s midseason showcase in Charlotte.

For every convention, we selected 4 guards, six frontcourt gamers, and two wild playing cards, distinguishing starters from reserves. Sixteen of the 24 picks had been unanimously agreed upon, and 6 of the 10 starters had been unanimously voted as such. In all, 34 gamers (17 from every convention) obtained votes.

Listed below are theScore’s 2019 All-Star Recreation picks:

Japanese Convention

Starters

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Guard – Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics (Eight complete votes, Eight starter votes)

Whereas the Celtics have been comparatively disappointing to this point, Irving’s play has been something however. The soon-to-be six-time All-Star is placing collectively an impressive season, complementing his usually otherworldly ball-handling, shot-making, and at-rim ending with among the scrappiest protection, nastiest screening, and most intuitive playmaking of his profession. You may argue his locker room management has left one thing to be desired, however his on-court contributions have been unimpeachable. He is been the very best guard within the East by a rustic mile. – Joe Wolfond

Guard – Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets (Eight complete votes, Four starter votes)

Walker has earned an All-Star begin on his residence courtroom by sheer drive of will. Whereas he is cooled from his November manufacturing, he is nonetheless averaging 25 factors per sport and ranks fifth within the league in 3-point makes to maintain the Hornets within the playoff image. No different Japanese Convention guard is as deserving of the spot subsequent to Irving. – John Chick

Frontcourt – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks (Eight complete votes, Eight starter votes)

Because the centerpiece of the NBA’s prime protection and third-ranked offense, Antetokounmpo has emerged as an early MVP favourite. The Greek Freak leads the league-topping Bucks in factors (26.5), rebounds (12.6), and assists (5.9) per sport, and is among the many most dominant gamers within the Affiliation at each ends. Within the age of perimeter capturing, the 24-year-old has proven you may win with a restricted outdoors sport. – Wael Saghir

Frontcourt – Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors (Eight complete votes, Eight starter votes)

Sure, Leonard has missed greater than one-quarter of Toronto’s video games, however he is been a person possessed when lively, as he rounds into kind following final yr’s quad damage. The previous Finals MVP has maintained gorgeous effectivity regardless of a heavy offensive burden, averaging 27.6 factors on a real capturing share of 61.3, all whereas persevering with to be a defensive terror with out fouling. – Joseph Casciaro

Frontcourt – Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (Eight complete votes, Eight starter votes)

Embiid is a no brainer. The Cameroonian is averaging 27 factors, 13 rebounds, and three assists, and is essentially the most dominant defensive presence within the convention. Embiid is prime to every part the Sixers do on each ends: he runs dribble handoffs with JJ Redick and Jimmy Butler, makes use of his vary to tug bigs out of the paint to provide Ben Simmons room to assault, and erases errors at his staff’s basket. – William Lou

Reserves

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Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers (Eight complete votes, 1 starter vote)

Oladipo has taken a step again from his gorgeous breakout final yr; he is not attending to the rim as typically, is not capturing significantly properly, and has missed 11 video games. However he nonetheless deserves recognition as the very best participant on a persistently overachieving Pacers staff, even when that staff’s best power lies in its roster steadiness and depth. Oladipo has been a giant contributor to the league’s second-ranked protection, and his off-the-dribble juice (compromised although it could be by his current knee damage) is what retains Indiana’s offense afloat. This is not a multi-year honor, however it’s onerous to disregard the truth that few gamers have completed extra to reroute their staff’s trajectory than Oladipo has. – Wolfond

Blake Griffin, Detroit Pistons (Eight complete votes)

Griffin is nearly single-handedly retaining the Pistons inside attain of the ultimate playoff spot within the Japanese Convention. He is averaging a career-high 26 factors and is fifth amongst NBA forwards with 5.Three assists per sport, all whereas enjoying underneath his third head coach prior to now two seasons. – Chicco Nacion

Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic (Eight complete votes)

The Magic have not despatched a participant to the All-Star Recreation since Dwight Howard’s final season in Orlando in 2012, however Vucevic ought to unquestionably finish that seven-year drought. On a roster largely devoid of succesful playmakers, he has shouldered an enormous offensive workload and delivered in each approach you may ask of a giant man: scoring inside and outside, establishing teammates, gobbling up rebounds, and bailing out stagnant possessions along with his tenacious work on the block. The 20-27 Magic outscore opponents with him on the ground. Like Griffin in Detroit, Vucevic has stored his staff on the fringes of the East playoff race principally by himself. – Wolfond

Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards (7 complete votes, 1 starter vote)

The Wizards are a multitude, however do not blame Beal for the sins of this entrance workplace. He is averaging profession bests in factors (24.7), rebounds (5), assists (5), and steals (1.3), and leads the league in minutes performed. With Beal on the forefront, Washington is 7-Four since John Wall made his last look of the season. – Andrew Potter

Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers (6 complete votes)

Chuckle as we could at his incapacity to shoot from outdoors the paint, and his struggles on the free-throw line, Simmons has been the second-best participant on a fringe contender. The 22-year-old is averaging 16.5 factors, 9.5 rebounds, and eight.1 assists whereas competently defending 4 positions. “It is like watching a man stroll on water and saying, ‘he cannot swim,'” ESPN’s Mark Jones so aptly put it concerning Simmons’ jumper-less sport throughout a current broadcast. In some unspecified time in the future, Philly will want him to swim, however we are able to admit he is an All-Star within the meantime. – Casciaro

Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors (6 complete votes)

Lowry is a fringe choice who in the end will get in attributable to context. An aching again compelled him to overlook 10 video games earlier within the yr, and he stays hampered by the damage. His capturing percentages (41 % from the sphere, 31 % from deep) are close to profession lows, however he is carried the second-seeded Raptors each time Leonard has missed time, and Toronto is 16.5 factors per 100 possessions higher with Lowry on the ground in comparison with when he sits. – Lou

Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors (Four complete votes)

Raptors head coach Nick Nurse has helped Siakam go from a high-energy, transition massive man to All-Star caliber in underneath a yr. He could not present awe-inspiring numbers – averaging 15 factors, seven rebounds, and three assists – however his two-way affect is worthy of recognition. Much like Lowry, the staff is 13.Eight factors per 100 possession higher with Siakam on the ground. – Saghir

Others receiving votes: Jimmy Butler (3), Dwyane Wade (2), D’Angelo Russell (2), Eric Bledsoe (1), Domantas Sabonis (1)

Western Convention

Starters

Ronald Martinez / Getty Pictures Sport / Getty

Guard – James Harden, Houston Rockets (Eight complete votes, Eight starter votes)

Harden has sustained a 42-point-per-game clip since mid-December and solely Wilt Chamberlain has scored 30-plus factors over an extended stretch of consecutive video games. The Rockets famous person is on tempo for the best regular-season scoring common since Michael Jordan in 1986-87. An All-Star begin is nearly beneath him at this level – he ought to be representing Earth towards the Monstars. – Chick

Guard – Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors (Eight complete votes, Eight starter votes)

We take Curry’s greatness as a right. He is capturing 49 % from the sphere, 45 % from deep, 93 % from the free-throw line, and is averaging 29 factors per sport. The Warriors, with their embarrassment of riches, nonetheless practically fell aside when Curry went down with an damage, which actually speaks to how essential he’s to what’s fairly probably the very best staff ever assembled. – Lou

Frontcourt – Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors (Eight complete votes, 7 starter votes)

Durant is having one other sensible season, as he ranks fourth within the NBA in factors per sport (28), second in particular person offensive ranking (117.7), and third in mid-range field-goal share (51.8). Very like his aforementioned teammate, the two-time Finals MVP can be flirting with one other 50/40/90 season, having first achieved the feat through the 2012-13 season. Solely Steve Nash and Larry Chook have posted a number of 50/40/90 seasons. – Nacion

Frontcourt – LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers (Eight complete votes, 7 starter votes)

Should you assume James’ month-long absence with a groin damage has diminished his worthiness for the All-Star Recreation, this is some meals for thought: he is performed simply two fewer video games (34) than Leonard and Curry (36). All of James’ per-game averages are at or above his profession line and the Lakers are 20-14 with him within the lineup, in comparison with 5-9 with out. That is all you have to know concerning the King’s affect at age 34. – Potter

Frontcourt – Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans (Eight complete votes, 5 starter votes)

Stats-based arguments are boring, however actually, Davis deserves a beginning spot based mostly on his statistical profile alone. He ranks second within the league in scoring, fourth in rebounding, second in blocks, third in actual plus-minus, fourth in field plus-minus, and tops in each PER and win shares. Although his rim safety hasn’t been fairly nearly as good as his block totals recommend, Davis stays an elite inside stopper who bears little duty for the Pelicans’ disappointing protection. Had been it not for his staff’s lack of depth and unhealthy damage luck, he’d be a top-three MVP candidate. – Wolfond

Reserves

Cameron Browne / Nationwide Basketball Affiliation / Getty

Paul George, Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder (Eight complete votes, Three starter votes)

9 years into his profession, and practically 5 years after a horrific leg damage, George is enjoying the very best ball of his life, rising because the Western Convention’s most constant two-way star. George, who may be the Defensive Participant of the 12 months front-runner, is averaging profession highs in factors (26.8), rebounds (7.9), and steals (2.3), propping the Thunder up at the same time as Russell Westbrook’s shot has fallen off a cliff. – Casciaro

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets (Eight complete votes, 2 starter votes)

Jokic has a professional case to start out within the West forward of Davis or James. He is been the main man for the second-best staff within the convention and has stored the Nuggets afloat regardless of important accidents to 3 members of their beginning 5. Jokic is averaging practically 20 factors, 10 rebounds, and eight assists whereas capturing 50 % from the sphere. Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson are the one different gamers in NBA historical past to have matched these benchmarks. – Lou

Damian Lillard, Portland Path Blazers (Eight complete votes)

Lillard has grow to be the king of consistency. The 28-year-old’s averages have not drastically modified during the last 4 seasons however he continues to push the regular Blazers to the playoffs. Regardless of being one of many NBA’s most underappreciated gamers, Lillard has undoubtedly earned a fourth All-Star look as probably the most invaluable offensive gamers within the league. What number of guys outdoors of Curry have mastered the artwork of the emblem jumper? – Saghir

Karl-Anthony Cities, Minnesota Timberwolves (6 complete votes)

No Timberwolves participant has turned the exit of Butler right into a recent begin like Cities. Since Butler was traded, the large man is averaging 23 factors, 13 rebounds, and virtually two blocks on 50 % capturing from the sphere and 35 % from three. He is additionally refocused defensively after two years of lower than stellar play at that finish of the ground. – Chick

Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder (6 complete votes)

There’s loads to nitpick about Westbrook’s sport and his All-Star case. He is having a traditionally unhealthy 3-point capturing season, and at age 30 with 4 knee surgical procedures underneath his belt, his explosiveness is beginning to wane. But he additionally leads the league in assists per sport and help share, working level for the third-best staff within the Western Convention. Above all else, he is nonetheless Russ: an absolute drive of power who attracts consideration on the ground and off. – Chick

Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz (5 complete votes)

Gobert is a deserving first-time All-Star choice. The towering Frenchman leads the league with 65 % capturing from the sphere, and is certainly one of solely three gamers averaging a minimum of 10 rebounds and two blocks per sport. The Jazz outscore opponents by 6.9 factors per 100 possessions with Gobert on the ground, however that quantity craters to minus-5.Four when he sits. He will not be as flashy as Donovan Mitchell, however Gobert is Utah’s most essential participant. – Potter

Tobias Harris, LA Clippers (Four complete votes)

Harris is having a profession season and will command a max contract as an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Like each Curry and Durant, he is threatening to crack the elusive 50/40/90 barrier with marks of 50.2 % from the sphere, 44.Three % from downtown, and 87.6 % from the charity stripe by way of 46 video games performed – not unhealthy firm to maintain. – Nacion

Others receiving votes: LaMarcus Aldridge (3), Klay Thompson (3), De’Aaron Fox (2), Luka Doncic (2), Jrue Vacation (1)

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