theScore's 2019 NBA All-Star Game picks

Ahead of Thursday's announcement of the 2019 All-Star Game starters, we polled our eight NBA writers to get their picks for this year's midseason showcase in Charlotte.

For each conference, we chose four guards, six frontcourt players, and two wild cards, distinguishing starters from reserves. Sixteen of the 24 selections were unanimously agreed upon, and six of the 10 starters were unanimously voted as such. In all, 34 players (17 from each conference) received votes.

Here are theScore's 2019 All-Star Game selections:

Eastern Conference

Starters

Tim Bradbury / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Guard - Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics (8 total votes, 8 starter votes)

While the Celtics have been relatively disappointing thus far, Irving's play has been anything but. The soon-to-be six-time All-Star is putting together a magnificent season, complementing his typically otherworldly ball-handling, shot-making, and at-rim finishing with some of the scrappiest defense, nastiest screening, and most intuitive playmaking of his career. You can argue his locker room leadership has left something to be desired, but his on-court contributions have been unimpeachable. He's been the best guard in the East by a country mile. - Joe Wolfond

Guard - Kemba Walker, Charlotte Hornets (8 total votes, 4 starter votes)

Walker has earned an All-Star start on his home court by sheer force of will. While he's cooled from his November production, he's still averaging 25 points per game and ranks fifth in the league in 3-point makes to keep the Hornets in the playoff picture. No other Eastern Conference guard is as deserving of the spot next to Irving. - John Chick

Frontcourt - Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks (8 total votes, 8 starter votes)

As the centerpiece of the NBA's top defense and third-ranked offense, Antetokounmpo has emerged as an early MVP favorite. The Greek Freak leads the league-topping Bucks in points (26.5), rebounds (12.6), and assists (5.9) per game, and is among the most dominant players in the Association at both ends. In the age of perimeter shooting, the 24-year-old has shown you can win with a limited outside game. - Wael Saghir

Frontcourt - Kawhi Leonard, Toronto Raptors (8 total votes, 8 starter votes)

Yes, Leonard has missed more than one-quarter of Toronto's games, but he's been a man possessed when active, as he rounds into form following last year's quad injury. The former Finals MVP has maintained stunning efficiency despite a heavy offensive burden, averaging 27.6 points on a true shooting percentage of 61.3, all while continuing to be a defensive terror without fouling. - Joseph Casciaro

Frontcourt - Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (8 total votes, 8 starter votes)

Embiid is a no-brainer. The Cameroonian is averaging 27 points, 13 rebounds, and three assists, and is the most dominant defensive presence in the conference. Embiid is fundamental to everything the Sixers do on both ends: he runs dribble handoffs with JJ Redick and Jimmy Butler, uses his range to pull bigs out of the paint to give Ben Simmons room to attack, and erases mistakes at his team's basket. - William Lou

Reserves

Harry Aaron / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers (8 total votes, 1 starter vote)

Oladipo has taken a step back from his stunning breakout last year; he's not getting to the rim as often, isn't shooting particularly well, and has missed 11 games. But he still deserves recognition as the best player on a persistently overachieving Pacers team, even if that team's greatest strength lies in its roster balance and depth. Oladipo has been a big contributor to the league's second-ranked defense, and his off-the-dribble juice (compromised though it may be by his recent knee injury) is what keeps Indiana's offense afloat. This isn't a multi-year honor, but it's hard to ignore the fact that few players have done more to reroute their team's trajectory than Oladipo has. - Wolfond

Blake Griffin, Detroit Pistons (8 total votes)

Griffin is almost single-handedly keeping the Pistons within reach of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. He's averaging a career-high 26 points and is fifth among NBA forwards with 5.3 assists per game, all while playing under his third head coach in the past two seasons. - Chicco Nacion

Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic (8 total votes)

The Magic haven't sent a player to the All-Star Game since Dwight Howard's last season in Orlando in 2012, but Vucevic should unquestionably end that seven-year drought. On a roster largely devoid of capable playmakers, he has shouldered a huge offensive workload and delivered in every way you could ask of a big man: scoring inside and out, setting up teammates, gobbling up rebounds, and bailing out stagnant possessions with his tenacious work on the block. The 20-27 Magic outscore opponents with him on the floor. Like Griffin in Detroit, Vucevic has kept his team on the fringes of the East playoff race basically by himself. - Wolfond

Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards (7 total votes, 1 starter vote)

The Wizards are a mess, but don't blame Beal for the sins of this front office. He's averaging career bests in points (24.7), rebounds (five), assists (five), and steals (1.3), and leads the league in minutes played. With Beal at the forefront, Washington is 7-4 since John Wall made his final appearance of the season. - Andrew Potter

Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers (6 total votes)

Laugh as we may at his inability to shoot from outside the paint, and his struggles at the free-throw line, Simmons has been the second-best player on a fringe contender. The 22-year-old is averaging 16.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 8.1 assists while competently defending four positions. "It's like watching a guy walk on water and saying, 'he can't swim,'" ESPN's Mark Jones so aptly put it regarding Simmons' jumper-less game during a recent broadcast. At some point, Philly will need him to swim, but we can admit he's an All-Star in the meantime. - Casciaro

Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors (6 total votes)

Lowry is a fringe selection who ultimately gets in due to context. An aching back forced him to miss 10 games earlier in the year, and he remains hampered by the injury. His shooting percentages (41 percent from the field, 31 percent from deep) are near career lows, but he's carried the second-seeded Raptors whenever Leonard has missed time, and Toronto is 16.5 points per 100 possessions better with Lowry on the floor compared to when he sits. - Lou

Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors (4 total votes)

Raptors head coach Nick Nurse has helped Siakam go from a high-energy, transition big man to All-Star caliber in under a year. He may not provide awe-inspiring numbers - averaging 15 points, seven rebounds, and three assists - but his two-way impact is worthy of recognition. Similar to Lowry, the team is 13.8 points per 100 possession better with Siakam on the floor. - Saghir

Others receiving votes: Jimmy Butler (3), Dwyane Wade (2), D'Angelo Russell (2), Eric Bledsoe (1), Domantas Sabonis (1)

Western Conference

Starters

Ronald Martinez / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Guard - James Harden, Houston Rockets (8 total votes, 8 starter votes)

Harden has sustained a 42-point-per-game clip since mid-December and only Wilt Chamberlain has scored 30-plus points over a longer stretch of consecutive games. The Rockets superstar is on pace for the highest regular-season scoring average since Michael Jordan in 1986-87. An All-Star start is almost beneath him at this point - he should be representing Earth against the Monstars. - Chick

Guard - Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors (8 total votes, 8 starter votes)

We take Curry's greatness for granted. He's shooting 49 percent from the field, 45 percent from deep, 93 percent from the free-throw line, and is averaging 29 points per game. The Warriors, with their embarrassment of riches, still nearly fell apart when Curry went down with an injury, which really speaks to how important he is to what is quite possibly the best team ever assembled. - Lou

Frontcourt - Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors (8 total votes, 7 starter votes)

Durant is having another brilliant season, as he ranks fourth in the NBA in points per game (28), second in individual offensive rating (117.7), and third in mid-range field-goal percentage (51.8). Much like his aforementioned teammate, the two-time Finals MVP is also flirting with another 50/40/90 season, having first accomplished the feat during the 2012-13 season. Only Steve Nash and Larry Bird have posted multiple 50/40/90 seasons. - Nacion

Frontcourt - LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers (8 total votes, 7 starter votes)

If you think James' month-long absence with a groin injury has diminished his worthiness for the All-Star Game, here's some food for thought: he's played just two fewer games (34) than Leonard and Curry (36). All of James' per-game averages are at or above his career line and the Lakers are 20-14 with him in the lineup, compared to 5-9 without. That's all you need to know about the King's impact at age 34. - Potter

Frontcourt - Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans (8 total votes, 5 starter votes)

Stats-based arguments are boring, but honestly, Davis deserves a starting spot based on his statistical profile alone. He ranks second in the league in scoring, fourth in rebounding, second in blocks, third in real plus-minus, fourth in box plus-minus, and tops in both PER and win shares. Though his rim protection hasn't been quite as good as his block totals suggest, Davis remains an elite interior stopper who bears little responsibility for the Pelicans' disappointing defense. Were it not for his team's lack of depth and bad injury luck, he'd be a top-three MVP candidate. - Wolfond

Reserves

Cameron Browne / National Basketball Association / Getty

Paul George, Oklahoma City Thunder (8 total votes, 3 starter votes)

Nine years into his career, and nearly five years after a horrific leg injury, George is playing the best ball of his life, emerging as the Western Conference's most consistent two-way star. George, who might be the Defensive Player of the Year front-runner, is averaging career highs in points (26.8), rebounds (7.9), and steals (2.3), propping the Thunder up even as Russell Westbrook's shot has fallen off a cliff. - Casciaro

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets (8 total votes, 2 starter votes)

Jokic has a legitimate case to start in the West ahead of Davis or James. He's been the leading man for the second-best team in the conference and has kept the Nuggets afloat despite significant injuries to three members of their starting five. Jokic is averaging nearly 20 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists while shooting 50 percent from the field. Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson are the only other players in NBA history to have matched those benchmarks. - Lou

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (8 total votes)

Lillard has become the king of consistency. The 28-year-old's averages haven't drastically changed over the last four seasons but he continues to push the steady Blazers to the playoffs. Despite being one of the NBA's most underappreciated players, Lillard has undoubtedly earned a fourth All-Star appearance as one of the most valuable offensive players in the league. How many guys outside of Curry have mastered the art of the logo jumper? - Saghir

Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves (6 total votes)

No Timberwolves player has turned the exit of Butler into a fresh start like Towns. Since Butler was traded, the big man is averaging 23 points, 13 rebounds, and almost two blocks on 50 percent shooting from the field and 35 percent from three. He's also refocused defensively after two years of less than stellar play at that end of the floor. - Chick

Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder (6 total votes)

There's a lot to nitpick about Westbrook's game and his All-Star case. He's having a historically bad 3-point shooting season, and at age 30 with four knee surgeries under his belt, his explosiveness is starting to wane. Yet he also leads the league in assists per game and assist percentage, running point for the third-best team in the Western Conference. Above all else, he's still Russ: an absolute force of energy who draws attention on the floor and off. - Chick

Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz (5 total votes)

Gobert is a deserving first-time All-Star selection. The towering Frenchman leads the league with 65 percent shooting from the field, and is one of only three players averaging at least 10 rebounds and two blocks per game. The Jazz outscore opponents by 6.9 points per 100 possessions with Gobert on the floor, but that number craters to minus-5.4 when he sits. He may not be as flashy as Donovan Mitchell, but Gobert is Utah's most important player. - Potter

Tobias Harris, LA Clippers (4 total votes)

Harris is having a career season and could command a max contract as an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Like both Curry and Durant, he's threatening to crack the elusive 50/40/90 barrier with marks of 50.2 percent from the field, 44.3 percent from downtown, and 87.6 percent from the charity stripe through 46 games played - not bad company to keep. - Nacion

Others receiving votes: LaMarcus Aldridge (3), Klay Thompson (3), De'Aaron Fox (2), Luka Doncic (2), Jrue Holiday (1)

Comments
theScore's 2019 NBA All-Star Game picks
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
Daily Newsletter
Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox