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Charlie’s Crossover: NBA All-Star Starters picks

All-star fan voting for the NBA closed Saturday night. Talent is at an all-time high in the NBA, and many players have cases to be selected as starters. These players are my picks to represent their conferences as all-star starters. 

Eastern Conference 

Backcourt: Tyrese Haliburton and Donovan Mitchell

Tyrese Haliburton is on my list as making what would be the second all-star appearance of his young career, a well-deserved honor. Even more so than last year, Haliburton has been playing at an all-NBA level all season and has helped a young Pacers team earn the best offensive rating in the NBA this season. His numbers are gaudy, putting up 23.6 points per game and a league-leading 12.6 assists per game. Haliburton’s numbers have earned him a spot in the Eastern Conference starting lineup. As for Donovan Mitchell, he has again been playing at an elite level. He is carrying his usual scoring load, averaging 27.8 points per game and 5.9 assists per game, a career-high in the absence of Darius Garland. The Cavs are 12-3 in their last 15 games and are standing at fourth in the East. Mitchell has stayed consistent as the Cavs leader and that earns him a starting spot. 

Frontcourt: Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jayson Tatum

Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo are very similar players, so I will group their explanations together. They are both former MVPs still very much in their prime, putting up career numbers and leading their teams to wins while doing it. Embiid averages more points per game than anybody in the game, and Giannis is still one of the league’s best defenders. 

Although Jayson Tatum’s stats aren’t career bests like Embiid’s and Antetokounmpo’s, he is the best player on the league’s best team and that alone gets him a starting slot in the East. 

Boston has been incredible this season, currently holding the league’s best record and only losing one game at home, as well as beating the odds-on title favorite. 

Western Conference 

Backcourt: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luka Doncic

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has improved every year since being traded to Oklahoma City from Los Angeles, and this year he has thrived on a young Thunder team, becoming a dark horse MVP candidate. 

His Thunder team is second in the West, wildly ahead of schedule, being one of the league’s best teams. Gilgeous-Alexander’s league-leading steal numbers and 31.4 points per game are the backbone of Oklahoma City’s success. 

As for Luka Dončić, his points per game and assist numbers are career highs, averaging 33.6 and 9.2 in those categories respectively. His play has been a huge reason why Dallas has answered most of its questions after missing the playoffs last year, aside from its still inconsistent defense. He is sure to always put up around 30, 8 and 8. As long as he is still putting up those numbers, he will be finding himself in the all-star starting five. 

Frontcourt: Anthony Davis, Nikola Jokić and Kevin Durant 

I have Anthony Davis earning a spot in the starting lineup. Davis has always been known for two things — his astounding defensive ability and his inability to stay healthy. This year, the defensive ability has stayed on the court for all but two games the Lakers have played this season. The Lakers have been disappointing, but Davis is still an elite player.

Nikola Jokić is still at the top of his game, throwing crafty passes and displaying silky footwork in the post. He is once again just a few stats off averaging a triple-double. Denver is also again one of the league’s best teams with a record of 30-14. There isn’t much more to be said for Jokic, who will be in the starting lineup for many years to come. 

As for Kevin Durant, he has molded his game in new ways to fit with Phoenix. While loaded with star power, Phoenix lacks a true point guard, as well as defensive stability inside, and Durant has adapted his game to partially fill those needs. He is still the ultimate offensive weapon as well, currently on the edge of the 50-40-90 club. For those reasons, Durant takes my final starting slot in the West. 

Charlie Fadel is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to share your thoughts? Let Charlie know by emailing or tweeting him at @CharlieFadel or

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