Last but not least, in this All-Star series, we are going to look at the Eastern Conference reserves.
The Eastern Conference reserves could get interesting, as young teams have come out of nowhere and are having great seasons.
Will there be snubs? Of course. But more than likely, coaches will get it right.
Here are five players that deserve to be East All-Star reserves.
1.) Darius Garland
Darius Garland is a young guard whose team is playing well.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are a surprise this season, and despite a recent COVID-19 outbreak, Cleveland remains a top-five team in the East.
Garland averages 19.5 points and 7.3 assists. He’s taken on a leadership role for the Cavs, and it’s paying off for them.
Garland is young (and has stiff competition), but as a hometown player, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him in the All-Star game.
2.) Zach LaVine
Zach LaVine is a skilled player on an up-and-coming team. The Chicago Bulls are another surprising team this year, and it’s because of players like LaVine and DeMar DeRozan.
LaVine averages 26.3 points and shoots an impressive 50.3 percent from the field. He’s also shooting 41.6 percent from 3-point range.
LaVine is having an All-Star worthy season, but he’ll likely miss out on being a starter. With his teammate DeRozan and Hawks’ guard Trae Young, it will be tough to make the starting lineup. However, LaVine has a great chance at being a reserve. So, don’t be surprised if this happens.
3.) Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum is having a pretty good year. He averages 25.6 points and 8.6 rebounds.
The Celtics aren’t having a great season, but that isn’t stopping Tatum. He continues to shine and prove why he deserves to be an All-Star, even if it isn’t as a starter.
Tatum could easily be a starter if it weren’t for players like Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo. But with those players ahead of him, his chances of being a starter look slim. But if nothing else, the coaches will get it right, and he’ll be a reserve.
4.) Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler isn’t a stranger to All-Star games. He also isn’t a stranger to being a reserve.
Butler is a five-time NBA All-Star who has been a reserve in three of those games. He averages 22.6 points (his best since 2017) and 6.2 rebounds. He’s been dealing with a few injuries this season, including an ankle injury that has him questionable for an upcoming game.
Even with injuries, Butler and the Heat are playing well. Coaches will likely recognize that and add Butler to the reserves. And rightfully so.
5.) Jarrett Allen
Jarrett Allen is currently one of the best centers in the East. He’s averaging 16.8 points and 10.8 rebounds. He is a double-double machine and has 17 so far this season.
Allen is a teammate of Darius Garland, and both of them are worthy of All-Star nods even if there are dark horses in the race.
If coaches want the typical lineup of two guards, two forwards and a center, then Allen is the right choice. If not, there may be other players ahead of him.
This year’s All-Star reserves race is just as exciting as the starters race, and if all goes right, we’ll see some of these players at All-Star.