With the most recent All-Star results coming out this past week, it’s safe to say that the Dallas Mavericks will not have Western Conference All-Star starter in New Orleans. This should come to no surprise though as Dirk Nowitzki has only started one All-Star game and that was due to being an injury replacement. With the Mavericks in the playoff hunt and currently sitting in the 8th seed, there is a good chance that either Nowitzki or Monta Ellis will be able to represent the West.
- Dirk Nowitzki
Nowitzki who is currently 10th in voting for forwards would probably not have a problem not being elected to the game. After seeing his 11 year streak end last season, it’s safe to say that Nowitzki would rather spend time resting his 35-year-old body. Even though he’d rather rest, Dirk has made strong case to be in the All-Star game this season as he’s 4th among power forwards in scoring (21.5), only behind Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Blake Griffin.
It’s safe to say that Dwight Howard, Blake Griffin, and Kevin Durant will take the starting front court spots, which leaves about three or four front court reserves. With the Portland Trail Blazers‘ success it’s safe to say that Aldridge will take a spot. Love ,who leads the league in rebounds (13.8) and averages 26 points should also be a lock. With the San Antonio Spurs success it would be more shocking to not see Tim Duncan on the squad.
Other front court players to keep an eye on in competition with Nowitzki are Portland’s Nicolas Batum, Houston Rockets‘ Chandler Parsons, Golden State Warriors‘ Andre Iguodala and David Lee, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, and Sacramento Kings‘ DeMarcus Cousins.
- Monta Ellis
Ellis has never participated in an All-Star game during his 8 year career. Ellis leads all shooting guards with 5.8 assists a game and is putting up 20.7 points. The West is loaded with great guards, especially at the point guard position. Los Angeles Clippers‘ guard Chris Paul (UPDATE: Paul is currently out at least 6 weeks with a separated right shoulder) and Los Angeles Lakers‘ guard Kobe Bryant currently lead the West backcourt. It is uncertain whether Bryant will be able to participate in the game.
After getting snubbed last season, Warriors’ guard Steph Curry should be a lock to make it this season as he’s putting up 23 points and 9.5 assists a game. Rockets’ guard Jame Harden should also be joining teammate Howard on the West squad. The Spurs’ Tony Parker should also be a lock along with Blazers’ Damian Lillard.
With Russell Westbrook unable to play, and Bryant doubtful, Ellis sees his chances of making the West increase. He’ll still have plenty of competition to get in though as Warriors’ Klay Thompson, Phoenix Suns‘ Eric Bledsoe (UPDATE: Out Indefinitely with Knee injury) and Goran Dragic, Blazers ‘Wesley Mathews and Denver Nuggets‘ Ty Lawson are also having a strong season.
Barring any injuries or setbacks, the Mavericks should have either Nowitzki or Ellis participating in the All-Star game.
The most likely choice to get in is Nowitzki due to his track record, but I’m sure Nowitzki would prefer it to be Ellis, as Ellis has helped turn the Mavericks around. Also, it would allow Nowitzki to go on a relaxing vacation to refuel for a playoff push.