Today, Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker was NOT named as one of the All-Star reserves.
In the back court, the Western Conference All-Star starters James Harden and Luka Doncic — who were voted in by a combination of fans, media and players — will be joined by reserves Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Donovan Mitchell and Damian Lillard.
Yahoo Sources: Chris Paul and a slew of first-times in Jayson Tatum, Brandon Ingram, Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert selected as 2020 All-Star reserves. https://t.co/rJ4MVipZei pic.twitter.com/t9GvRJ64A6— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 30, 2020
Along the front court are starters LeBron James and Anthony Davis of the Lakers and Kawhi Leonard of the Clippers. Those three were fan/media/player picks. The three reserves voted in by NBA head coaches to join them are likely Nikola Jokic, Rudy Gobert and Brandon Ingram.
Many of you will be pissed off at Brandon Ingram being named ahead of Booker, but that’s a structural voting problem more than anything. The coaches are asked to name three front court players from among those eligible, and Ingram is the third of three. Ingram was never competing against Booker in voting.
The four guard selections came from two guards and both ‘wild cards’ which could have been either guards or front court players.
Booker will now have to hope that one of the guards or wild cards named to the team comes up lame in the coming weeks and has to bow out of the All-Star game, forcing Commissioner Adam Silver to name a replacement. Every year, there seems to be 1-2 players who need to be replaced for the game, and Booker will be hailed as the top “snub” in the Western Conference who deserves to get in.
The voting for reserves came down to picking four of the guards listed below. Clearly, the coaches wanted continuity so they picked three of the eligible guards because of their All-Star experience — Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Damian Lillard — despite Westbrook having very few win shares and shooting percentages for a recently-disappointing team, and despite Chris Paul nominally putting up average numbers and being four years removed from his last appearance.
And among the first-timers, Donovan Mitchell has similar numbers, more wins this season (32 to 20) and two playoff seasons under his belt, so that gives him the nod over Booker in the eyes of the coaches.
Coaches don’t look at advanced stats, or they would have had to name Booker to the team. His shooting efficiency and total production, as well as Win Shares for a 20-win Suns team, are more than deserving of a nod.
Booker is not only doing better than THESE guys, he’s having one of the best seasons EVER.
Devin Booker is the first player in NBA history to average at least 27 points and 6 assists on 60% TS and miss the All-Star game.— Wam Wooper (@scooperhoops) January 30, 2020
But don't worry. He's coming for that All-NBA slot...