2023 NBA All-Star Game Predictions
On February 19, 2023, the 72nd annual NBA All-Star Game will be played at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. With so many stars in today’s NBA, narrowing down the roster to only 24 players has become increasingly difficult. The talent level in the NBA has arguably never been higher, and there are many more than 24 players deserving of a spot. However, some players have separated themselves from the pack thus far, and here are our predictions for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game.
Note: All statistics are updated as of 12/31/22
Eastern Conference Starters
Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets
Kyrie has once again been playing at an elite level this season, and he is one of the primary reasons behind the Nets’ current 11-game winning streak. Irving and teammate Kevin Durant form the league’s most dynamic offensive duo, which will make the Brooklyn Nets a tough opponent for anyone come playoff time.
Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers
So far, so good for Donovan Mitchell in Cleveland. Mitchell was traded from the Utah Jazz in September, and he has been playing the best basketball of his career this season. “Spida” has posted career highs in several major statistical categories, such as points, field-goal percentage, and three-point percentage, and he is on his way to his fourth consecutive All-Star Game.
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
Jayson Tatum has emerged as one of the best players in the NBA, and he has led the Boston Celtics to a league-best 26-10 record. Tatum is averaging 31 points per game, which ranks fourth in the NBA, and he will look to lead the Celtics to another NBA Finals run this postseason.
Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets
Amidst all the drama of the Brooklyn Nets over the past couple of seasons, KD’s play on the court has remained consistently elite. Now that the off-the-court drama has subsided, Durant’s outstanding play has deservingly been given more attention. Durant is as good as ever and is destined to earn his thirteenth consecutive All-Star Game berth.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
The Greek Freak has once again been dominant this season, and he is leading the Bucks to another strong regular season. Giannis’ ascension to the top of the NBA hierarchy has been nothing short of remarkable, and he is still getting better each season, as evidenced by his career-high 32.1 points per game.
Eastern Conference Reserves: Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers), Jrue Holiday (Milwaukee Bucks), Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics), Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat), Julius Randle (New York Knicks), Pascal Siakam (Toronto Raptors), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)
Picking this year’s Eastern Conference reserves will be quite challenging, and there will inevitably be deserving players who are snubbed. Embiid has a great chance to be voted in as a starter, as he has been an absolute monster all season. Brown and Holiday are elite second options on title-contending teams. Haliburton has emerged as one of the best point guards in the NBA for the upstart Pacers. Butler’s two-way play remains excellent for the Heat. Siakam, who was already an All-NBA level talent, has reached a new level this season. Randle has bounced back from a disappointing 21-22 season, and both he and guard Jalen Brunson are deserving candidates for the Knicks.
Honorable Mentions: Darius Garland (Cleveland Cavaliers), Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks), DeMar DeRozan (Chicago Bulls), Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat)
Western Conference Starters
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
Before suffering a shoulder injury in a December 14 game against the Indiana Pacers, Stephen Curry was having one of the best seasons of his career. Curry was averaging a remarkably efficient 30 points per game before his injury, and the only thing stopping him from earning a starting spot in the All-Star Game is the time he missed due to injury.
Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks
Dončić has been nothing short of remarkable this season. His 60-point, 21-rebound, 10-assist triple-double against the New York Knicks on December 27 is one of the most impressive individual performances in recent memory. More importantly for Mavs fans, Luka’s brilliance has been the main reason why Dallas currently sits fourth in the Eastern Conference.
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers
Despite the Lakers’ struggles this season, LeBron is once again defying father time with his greatness. The King is averaging 28.5 points per game this season at 38 years old, which is something we may never see again. LeBron will look to extend his NBA record for consecutive All-Star Games by making it nineteen in a row this season.
Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans
While Zion’s talent was never in question, he struggled to stay healthy during his first three seasons in the NBA. However, Williamson has stayed on the court for most of this season, and he has been one of the most unstoppable players in the league. Zion’s stats are awesome, but even more impressive is the fact that he has led the Pelicans to first place in the West thus far, despite former All-Star Brandon Ingram missing most of the season.
Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
Nikola Jokic is unlike any other player in the NBA. The back-to-back MVP can dominate the game on any given night without scoring, as evidenced by his 9.5 assists per game. Arguably the best passing big man to ever play the game, Jokic can also get buckets when he needs to. The Serbian big man is putting up 25.5 points per game on over 60% shooting, and he ranks seventh in the NBA in effective field goal percentage.
Western Conference Reserves: Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Oklahoma City Thunder), Paul George (Los Angeles Clippers), Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers), Domantas Sabonis (Sacramento Kings), Lauri Markkanen (Utah Jazz)
Several of these Western Conference players have strong arguments for starting spots in the All-Star Game. Morant once again has the Memphis Grizzlies near the top of the Western Conference standings, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has emerged as a superstar for the Oklahoma City Thunder. After an injury-plagued 21-22 season, Lillard is back as one of the NBA’s best guards. Paul George and Anthony Davis still rank among the best two-way players in the league.
Sabonis’ all-around game has the Kings in good shape for their first postseason berth since 2006, and both he and teammate De’Aaron Fox have been playing at an All-Star level. Markkanen has had a breakout season in Utah and has the best shot of any Jazz player to represent the home team in the 2023 All-Star Game. If not for injury, Devin Booker would be a shoo-in for a reserve spot, and he may have done enough to earn a spot on the roster regardless of time missed.
Honorable Mention: Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns), De’Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings), CJ McCollum (New Orleans Pelicans), Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves).