The rosters for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game are set. After the starters were announced last week as determined by a combination of fan, player, and media voting, the league has now announced 14 total reserves that were selected by NBA head coaches.
We already knew that Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bradley Beal, Kevin Durant, Joel Embiid, and Kyrie Irving were named starters from the Eastern Conference, and Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic, Kawhi Leonard, and Luka Doncic would be starters from the West. The full rosters are now out with the announcement of the reserves.
As a reminder, the All-Star Game isn’t East vs. West anymore. LeBron James and Kevin Durant will serve as the captains because they were the leading vote-getters among fans, and will chose their teammates in a draft. The league is again using the Elam Ending to determine the winner after a successful debut last season.
The 2021 NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, March 7 in Atlanta despite opposition from top players because of the ongoing global pandemic. Here are the reserves from each conference.
2021 Western Conference All-Star reserves
- Damian Lillard, G, Portland Trail Blazers: Lillard and Doncic tied for a starting spot, but Doncic’s lead in fan voting gave him the nod. Lillard is having another tremendous season to keep the Blazers afloat despite C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic missing extended time because of injuries. Read Blazer’s Edge on why Lillard deserves to be in the MVP conversation.
- Donovan Mitchell, G, Utah Jazz: Utah has been dominating teams on their way to the best record in the NBA. Mitchell is the engine of their halfcourt offense, and he’s averaging career-best numbers in scoring (24.5 points per game), assists, and true shooting percentage.
- Rudy Gobert, C, Utah Jazz: Gobert still has a strong case as Utah’s most valuable player despite Mitchell’s continued ascent. The Jazz have built their entire system around Gobert’s immaculate rim protection, and his screening and finishing ability are key pieces of the offense. Gobert has been one of the top defensive players in the league for years, but his 2.8 blocks per game are a career-high.
- Paul George, F, Los Angeles Clippers: The Clippers signed George to a four-year, $190 million extension before the season, and he’s rewarded them with one of his best seasons ever. The 30-year-old is averaging 24.4 points per game on 51.1percent shooting from the field, 47.1 percent shooting from three-point range, and 89.4 percent shooting from the foul line while also averaging a career-best 5.5 assists per game.
- Anthony Davis, F, Los Angeles Lakers: Davis is out with a calf strain and will miss the game. Expect commissioner Adam Silver to name an injury replacement.
- Chris Paul, G, Phoenix Suns: The Suns have shot up the standings after adding CP3 over the offseason, which is the effect he’s had on his team almost every year of his career. Paul is averaging 16.6 points and 8.5 assists per game for a Phoenix team that has won nine of its last 10 games.
- Zion Williamson, F, New Orleans Pelicans: If Williamson didn’t initially meet his college hype because of injuries when he debuted with the New Orleans Pelicans, it certainly feels like he’s meeting and exceeding every reasonable expectation during his second pro season. The Pelicans have put the ball in Zion’s hands more often recently, and their offensive rating has soared with him in charge. He’s averaging 25.1 points per game on 61.6 percent shooting from the field.
2021 Eastern Conference All-Star reserves
- Jaylen Brown, G, Boston Celtics: Brown has leveled up as a scorer to average a career-best 25.5 points per game on 50 percent shooting from the field and 41 percent shooting from three. He’s also averaging nearly four assists per game, which marks a new career-high.
- James Harden, G, Brooklyn Nets: Harden has fully found his groove after taking a couple weeks to adjust following his mid-season trade to the Brooklyn Nets. He’s the only player in the NBA averaging double-figures in assists (11.1 per game), and he’s still averaging 25 points on ridiculous 66.2 percent true shooting since joining Brooklyn.
- Jayson Tatum, F, Boston Celtics: On the brink of his 24th birthday, Tatum continues to look like one of the top young players in the league. He’s putting up career-best numbers across the board even as his three-point percentage has slipped slightly. It feels like he’s going to be an All-Star every year moving forward.
- Zach LaVine, G, Chicago Bulls: LaVine earned his first All-Star nod by putting up absurd scoring numbers for a Bulls team that would be the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference if the season ended today. The 26-year-old is averaging 28.6 points and 5.1 assists per game on outrageous 64.8 percent true shooting. He’s also improved his passing and defense this season to become a more complete all-around player.
- Julius Randle, F, New York Knicks: The Knicks have been reborn under Tom Thibodeau, and Randle’s ascent into an All-Star is the biggest reason reason why it’s happened. The Knicks are running much of their offense through Randle, and he’s responded by averaging career-highs in scoring (23.2 points per game), rebounds, and assists. Read our feature on how Randle became the player he was always meant to be this season with the Knicks.
- Ben Simmons, F, Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid’s MVP caliber season is the biggest reason why the Sixers are on top of the Eastern Conference, but Simmons’ two-way play has also been a major factor. Simmons is becoming one of the better defensive players in the East while also providing excellent playmaking and about 16 points per game. His improved free throw shooting (67 percent) could be big for the Sixers in the playoffs. The 24-year-old made the All-Star team each of the last two years, and feels like he’s playing some of his best basketball ever over the last month.
- Nikola Vucevic, C, Orlando Magic: Vucevic is putting up the best numbers of his career in his tenth pro season, and his ninth with the Magic. The 6’11 center is averaging 24.1 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game. He’s also worked to become a reliable outside shooter over the years, and it’s fully paying off this season. He’s shooting 40.5 percent from three-point range on 6.3 attempts per game. The 30-year-old has quietly become one of the better centers in the NBA.