8 candidates to be All-Star guards in the Eastern Conference
So, naturally, it’s time to turn the spotlight on the Eastern Conference, which added a pair of 2022 All-Star guards from the West in Donovan Mitchell and Dejounte Murray to an already deep group that features a total of 17 All-Stars between the two. players, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, who aren’t even locks to make this year’s roster.
The starting lineups for both conferences feature two guards and three frontcourt players and the reserves consist of two guards, three frontcourt players and two wild card selections. Seven guards from each conference played in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game.
Here’s a quick look at eight Eastern Conference guards who should feature prominently at the combine for the 2023 NBA All-Star Game, listed alphabetically:
1. Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics
Season stats: 26.7 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 3.7 apg
It’s hard to believe that Brown has only played in one All-Star Game. But the 26-year-old dropped 22 points with eight rebounds and eight assists on Monday to help the Celtics drop Toronto to 9-3 at home. Interestingly, Brown and MVP candidate Jayson Tatum each has scored 30 or more points in a combined 16 games, which is tied for the third-most by any duo in NBA history (the Celtics are 15-1 in such circumstances). Brown is currently averaging career highs in points, rebounds, field goal percentage (50.4 percent) and free throw percentage (83.2 percent), and Monday’s performance marked the 88th game of his career that ended without loss.
2. DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls
Season stats: 25.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 4.7 apg
The 14-year veteran and five-time All-Star isn’t slowing down. DeRozan went on a streak of seven straight games from November 16-30 with 25 or more points, marking the second time he has accomplished the feat as a member of the Chicago Bulls (Michael Jordan did it 30 times). Both DeRozan and 2022 Zach LaVine have struggled somewhat this season with bouts of inconsistency, and Chicago has lost four of its last five outings on a six-game road trip that concluded Sunday in Sacramento. The Bulls are 9-14 entering Wednesday’s game against the Washington Wizards (8 ET, NBA League Pass).
3. Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers
Season stats: 22.2 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 7.7 apg
Donovan Mitchell lights up the scoreboard, but it could be argued that Garland is the engine that makes Cleveland run. The fourth-year point guard made his first All-Star Game last season and is currently averaging career bests in scoring, minutes per game (35.9) and 3-point percentage (40.8%) . Garland has dished out 10 or more dimes in five games this season and is currently among the best in the league. top five in assists. Still, getting two Cavaliers guards into the All-Star Game might be tough this season.
4. James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers
Season stats: 21.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 9.7 apg
Harden returned from a 14-game absence Monday, scoring 18 points with seven assists in a 114-112 double-overtime loss at Houston. Seve potential game-winning shot It didn’t go as planned. Truth be told, Tyrese Maxey is probably the All-Star guard for these Sixers, but he’s missed the last nine games with a broken foot. As for Harden, he’s only played in 10 games this season … but he’s also been an All-Star in 10 straight seasons since becoming a full-time starter in 2012-13, his first season with the Rockets . Is this the year Harden finally loses?
5. Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers
Season stats: 19.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 10.9 apg
He missed his first game since joining the Pacers on Sunday with a left groin injury, then sat out Monday against the Golden State Warriors. But through 22 games this season, we’re seeing the rise of one of the best facilitators in the NBA. During a three-game stretch from November 25-28, Haliburton became the first player with 40 or more assists and no turnovers during that stretch since turnovers became a recorded stat (1977-78 ). The 22-year-old currently leads the league in assists.
6. Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers
Season stats: 28.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 4.9 apg
So far, Mitchell is living up to his billing as arguably the biggest acquisition of the offseason. He has scored 30 or more points in 12 games this season, which was tied for fifth in the NBA entering Monday. The 26-year-old is scoring at a career-high and he is one of the two players (Stephen Curry is the other) this season who has knocked down 75 or more 3-pointers at a clip of at least 40%. Check out Mitchell and the Cavaliers on Tuesday as they host LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on TNT (7:30 ET).
7. Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks
Season stats: 21.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 6.7 apg
The pairing with Trae Young looked promising early on, but it’s still a work in progress 24 games into the season with more positives than negatives. Murray scored a game-high 24 points Monday’s loss to Oklahoma City, going 3-for-5 with three-pointers with two steals. Murray currently holds the position number 3 in the NBA in steals per game (1.8), and has had 14 games with two or more steals to go with six outings with three or more steals. Murray was selected as Draymond Green’s injury replacement for the 2022 All-Star Game.
8. Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks
Season stats: 27.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 9.6 apg
It served a lot good penniesBut they Monday proved to be insufficient, as the Atlanta Hawks surrendered their sixth double-digit lead of the season (tied for sixth in the NBA) in a 121-114 loss to the Thunder. The 24-year-old has now amassed 141 games with 10 or more assists to go with 139 point-assist double-doubles, which is the most in team history. The two-time All-Star was also in the news on Monday discussing a recent disagreement with Hawks coach Nate McMillan. Like the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Hawks likely won’t get two guards in this year’s All-Star Game.
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