NBA All-Star Game

Picking the NBA's Eastern Conference All-Stars through 20 games

Who's been worthy of All-Star spots in the East?

NBC Universal, Inc.

We’re approaching the quarter pole of the NBA’s 82-game regular season, a significant enough sample size to ascertain which players will be competing for All-Star spots. 

Here are the picks for the Eastern Conference All-Stars with most teams right around the 20-game mark.


G – Tyrese Haliburton, Pacers

Haliburton has become the best floor general in the NBA. He’s the engine of a turbo-charged Pacers offense that leads the league with 128.4 points per game. Haliburton combines eye-popping numbers (26.9 points and a league-leading 11.9 assists per game) with insane efficiency (52/45/88 shooting splits). He played a two-game stretch against the Sixers with 58 points, 32 assists and zero turnovers. 

G – Tyrese Maxey, Sixers

This is no homer pick. Maxey belongs here. 

Maxey’s combination of deep three-point range and lightning-quick drives to the basket make him one of the most unique weapons in the NBA. He’s basically been Eastern Conference Steph Curry (26.9 points per game, 39.4 three-point percentage) with more assists and fewer turnovers than the shooting GOAT.

Remember when the experts were worried about the Sixers' post-Harden offense?

F – Jayson Tatum, Celtics

For my money, Tatum has now become the most complete two-way wing in the NBA. He averages an efficient 27.6 points per game (49.9 field-goal percentage), he rebounds (8.9 boards per game) and he’s become an excellent playmaker and defender. He has everything it takes to become the best player on a championship team.

F – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks

Antetokounmpo remains an absolute force of nature on both ends of the floor. He’s averaging 30.2 points on 61.1 percent shooting and willed Milwaukee to wins while Damian Lillard struggled from the field early. Now their inside-outside combination looks every bit as lethal as the Bucks envisioned.

C – Joel Embiid, Sixers

The reigning MVP has proven that his offense is not dependent on pocket passes from a certain bearded former teammate. Embiid is once again the league’s leading scorer. He has an unstoppable mid-range game and is the NBA’s undisputed king at getting to the free-throw line and converting. Embiid's playmaking has taken a dramatic leap forward in Nick Nurse’s offense; he's averaging a career-high 6.6 assists. We may see a 50-point triple-double from Embiid before this season is done.


Backcourt – Donovan Mitchell, Cavaliers

Mitchell is once again one of the top shooting guards in the NBA, putting up impressive offensive numbers across the board with 27.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game. He’s also contributing on the defensive end, averaging a career-high 2.0 steals.

Backcourt – Damian Lillard, Bucks

It took Lillard a little while to get going in Milwaukee, but he’s bounced back nicely from a slow shooting start. Over his last 11 games, he’s averaged 27.7 points and 8.5 assists while shooting better than 41 percent from three-point range. Lillard leads all guards in free throws made per game.

Frontcourt – Jimmy Butler, Heat

Butler remains one of the best all-around wings in the NBA, averaging 22.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.2 assists. In all honesty, his legendary Emo headshot cemented his All-Star status before he stepped on the floor this season. But his play also warrants it.

Frontcourt – Bam Adebayo, Heat

Much like Maxey and Embiid, you have to give major credit to Adebayo for improving every single season. He’s averaging a career-high 22.3 points to go with 9.9 rebounds per game. Adebayo has always been one of the NBA’s most versatile and impactful defenders.

Frontcourt – Paolo Banchero, Magic

What a difference a year makes for Banchero and the Magic. Orlando is 14-7 through 21 games, putting last season’s ghastly 5-20 start firmly in the rearview mirror.

Banchero gets the slight nod over teammate Franz Wagner due to his strong overall numbers (20.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game, plus a 42.4 three-point percentage).

Wild card – Scottie Barnes, Raptors

In a world where Maxey didn’t exist, Barnes might be the leading contender for the NBA’s Most Improved Player. His three-point shooting has gone from a glaring weakness (29 percent over his first two seasons) to a strength (37.6 percent on over five attempts per game this season). He’s averaging 19.2 points, 9.1 rebounds and 5.4 assists and looks like a franchise cornerstone in Toronto. 

Wild card – Jalen Brunson, Knicks 

Brunson has been lights-out from the three-point line this season, shooting 45.7 percent on 6.9 attempts per game. He’s already scored over 40 points twice this season and his 24.9 points per game are a career high. 

Close but not quite: Franz Wagner, Jaylen Brown, Kristaps Porzingis, LaMelo Ball

Shoot better, fellas: Julius Randle, Trae Young, Pascal Siakam

Contact Us