Biggest Snubs from 2019 NBA All-Star Reserves Announcement

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    Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

    There are more All-Star-caliber players in the NBA than spots allowed on All-Star rosters. It leads to snubs every year. 

    A handful of deserving names were left off. A few were big producers on weaker teams. Others didn’t have the numbers; rather, they should have earned consideration for their impact on winning rosters.

    There isn’t a wrong answer when choosing the final spots in each conference. And though each of these players qualify as All-Star talents, nobody who made the final cut deserves the boot.

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    Howard Simmons/Associated Press

    2018-19 Per-Game Stats: 19.5 points, 6.4 assists, 44.0 percent FG, 37.6 percent 3PT

    Advanced Metrics: 19.29 PER, 2.95 RPM (No. 29 in NBA)

    Averaging 19.4 points and 6.4 while leading the Brooklyn Nets to a 28-24 start wasn’t enough for D’Angelo Russell.

    A numbers game keeps him off the initial roster, though he’s a good bet to replace injured Victor Oladipo.

    Russell has elevated his game this year, particularly as a lead scorer capable of carrying his team for stretches and fourth quarters. He’s shooting 44.4 percent on his pull-up, which has become one of the game’s deadliest. 

    His assists (6.4) and field-goal percentage (44.0 percent) are up while his turnovers are down (2.8 turnovers, 29.6 minutes). 

    A more efficient overall player, Russell has put up All-Star stats, and they haven’t been empty. 

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    2018-19 Per-Game Stats: 19.6 points, 3.7 assists, 48.2 percent FG, 38.8 percent 3PT

    Advanced Metrics: 21.57 PER, 2.96 RPM

    The Philadelphia 76ers have lost just six games with Jimmy Butler active since acquiring him after November 9. 

    He’s a star whose stats have been held in check while playing alongside Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins in Minnesota and then Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid in Philadelphia. 

    Shooting over 47.0 percent from the floor for the third consecutive season, Butler continues to score with efficiency, including around the perimeter (38.8 percent 3PT), while often defending opposing team’s top weapons. 

    He had a case over Khris Middleton, who likely benefited from the Milwaukee Bucks record. 

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    Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

    2018-19 Per-Game Stats: 15.0 points, 12.8 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, 65.0 percent FG

    Advanced Metrics: 24.39 PER, 5.18 RPM

    Fans won’t be happy in Utah, since Rudy Gobert returned a more active scorer and he’s still not an All-Star.

    Gobert himself won’t be happy, either, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks reports that the big man will miss out on a cool million-dollar bonus for not making the league’s unofficial midseason exhibition. 

    Gobert continues to make a case as the league’s top defensive difference-maker, ranking No. 1 in defensive real plus-minus (4.59). Donovan Mitchell has given the Jazz a new dimension of offense, but the team’s identity is still built around Gobert and the league’s No. 5 defense.

    He’s also averaging a career-high 15.0 points, providing Utah’s guards with an elite finishing weapon and clean-up man. 

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    LM Otero/Associated Press

    2018-19 Per-Game Stats: 21.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 50.3 percent FG, 43.3 percent 3PT

    Advanced Metrics: 19.35 PER, 2.35 RPM

    Having a career year as the No. 1 option for the 28-23 Los Angeles Clippers, Tobias Harris is deserving in a vacuum with an equally-strong case as LaMarcus Aldridge

    He’s developed in an well-rounded, three-level scorer, shooting 43.3 percent from three and 47.6 percent on pull-ups while converting 48.4 percent of his post-ups.

    Harris has evolved, from high-end role player with unlocked potential into lead scorer on a winning team out West. He’s still 26 years old and improving every season. Harris should be coming for the 2020 All-Star game.

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    Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press

    2018-19 Per-Game Stats: 21.2 points, 8.0 assists, 47.9 percent FG, 33.2 percent 3PT

    Advanced Metrics: 19.51 PER, 3.98 RPM

    The New Orleans Pelicans have fallen into lottery territory, which had to have hurt Jrue Holiday’s All-Star chances. 

    He’s been a constant for a team that’s dealt with an Anthony Davis injury and now a trade request. Holiday is having his most productive NBA season, averaging 21.2 points and 8.0 assists while maintaining his status as a reputable, tough defensive player. 

    His 3.98 real plus-minus ranks No. 16 in the NBA, ahead of Damian Lillard‘s, Karl-Anthony Towns’, Russell Westbrook‘s and Kawhi Leonard’s.

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    2018-19 Per-Game Stats: 15.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 55.9 percent FG, 32.4 percent 3PT 

    Advanced Metrics: 18.27 PER  3.36 RPM

    From New Mexico State, No. 27 overall and the G League, Pascal Siakam has suddenly emerged as a major-impact player for the No. 2 team in the East. 

    He’s doubled his scoring average to 15.2 points, giving the Toronto Raptors a high-energy rim runner and finisher. But his shooting has been the biggest development, with Siakam having already hit 36 three-pointers.

    He’s evolved, from strictly a weapon around the basket to a big who’ll now step out and make outside shots. 

    His 3.36 RPM ranks No. 23 in the NBA.

    Stats courtesy of NBA.com, ESPN.com

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