Sorting Through the Regulars
Trae Young was very upset with being left off the All-Star team last year with the gaudy numbers he put up -- 26.2 points and 10.2 assists per game last season. And he is again putting up some gaudy numbers that may be hard to ignore with the thin group of guards in the East.
What the two-time All-Star probably does not realize is that winning is ultimately what gets you onto the All-Star team. That is what coaches value. Fans value flash, coaches value consistency. And that is the part Young is still trying to figure out as the Hawks struggle again at the bottom of the standings.
And there is at least a decent chance that Young gets squeezed out of the lineup once again.
The Orlando Magic saw firsthand how dangerous Mikal Bridges can be when he scored 26 of his 42 points in the first quarter of their streak-busting loss Saturday. Bridges has not quite done that every game this season. But he is still a dynamic and dangerous scorer for a Brooklyn Nets team staying in the postseason picture.
Bridges does not scream superstar yet, even though he can have superstar performances. And Brooklyn's record at 10-9 is perhaps his biggest demerit. There is still a big case to be made for his first All-Star bid. But Bridges has been solid this year.
The Miami Heat will get at least one representative onto the All-Star Team this year. They are cruising at 11-9 and there have been some tinges of disappointment as they try to pace themselves through the league. Miami may be one of those teams in line for just one star.
Jimmy Butler is working pretty slowly through the season so far. Bam Adebayo is my pick to get the All-Star nod for the Heat as a team. He has upped his scoring to a career-best levels and his versatility and defensive strengths are clear. Even if the counting numbers are not so impressive.