The fans, media and players had their say on who will participate in the 68th NBA All-Star Game. The former accounted for 50 percent of the votes while the other two entities split 25 percent.
As the leading vote-getter, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James will assume a team captain role as the opposition to Giannis Antetokounmpo, who listed second in fan ballots. Along with the squad leaders, eight players have been confirmed as starters.
From the Eastern Conference, Kawhi Leonard, Joel Embiid, Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker have been named 2018-19 All-Stars. Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden and Paul George will join them in the pool of talent for the star-studded contest.
The coaches will decide which players fill the reserve spots; the TNT crew will reveal those selections Thursday. It's up to James and Antetokounmpo to assemble their teams from a pool of 22 players—regardless of conference—February 7.
Before confirmation on the remaining selections, take note of the viewing information for this year's All-Star Game. Also, check out the names to monitor as candidates to earn roster spots for the contest.
NBA-All Star Game Viewing Details
When: Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019
Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
Kickoff Time: 8 p.m. ET
National TV: TNT
Livestream: TNT Drama
Roster Reserve Predictions
1. G Ben Simmons, Philadelphia 76ers
2. F Blake Griffin, Detroit Pistons
3. G Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
4. G Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
5. D'Angelo Russell, Brooklyn Nets
6. C Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic
7. F Jimmy Butler, Philadelphia 76ers
1. F/C Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
2. F/C Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves
3. C Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets
4. G Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
5. G Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
6. G DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs
7. G Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
D'Angelo Russell, Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets have been a major surprise in the East—listing sixth in the postseason picture. Fourth-year guard D'Angelo Russell leads this squad as the primary playmaker, averaging 19.5 points and 6.4 assists per game. During the 2017-18 campaign, he required knee surgery, and thus only appeared in 48 contests.
Now, it seems as though Russell has regained form and elevated his play. A little more than halfway through the season, the Nets wouldn't have emerged as a surprise playoff team in the East without him. Assuming he stays healthy, head coach Kenny Atkinson has a solid roster building block for the team's future.
If selected, Russell would participate in his first All-Star Game. As a flashy southpaw, he can help others find their rhythm with timely passes or create his own shot as a treat to watch in an entertaining showcase. The 22-year-old deserves a spot on a roster among the top talents in the league.
Jimmy Butler, Philadelphia 76ers
Jimmy Butler could stir some controversy in a discussion about East All-Stars because he spent the first month of the season with the Minnesota Timberwolves in the West. However, since coming over to Philadelphia, he's averaged 19 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and two steals per contest.
It's fair to pose the argument the Sixers won games before Butler joined the squad, but he adds another scoring dimension to the starting lineup. The four-time All-Star isn't a consistent three-point shooter (averaging 1.3 made per outing). However, the 6'8" forward still possesses the ability to reach the restricted area, draw contact and finish at the free-throw line.
Butler has been able to adjust to his new surroundings quickly. Through 29 games with the Sixers, he's the second-leading scorer and averaging the most made field goals (0.9) in the last five minutes of contests on the team.
As the new face and closer of the squad, the 29-year-old is flourishing with his third team. Say what you want about his leadership skills, but he's one of most productive players on both ends of the court when healthy.
DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs
Although unhappy about the way it happened, guard DeMar DeRozan landed with the San Antonio Spurs via trade in exchange for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. Despite his reluctance to leave the Toronto Raptors behind, he's elevated his game as a facilitator and continued to take advantage of scoring opportunities using a reliable mid-range shot.
Point guard Dejounte Murray suffered a torn ACL in October, which forced the Spurs to spread ball-distribution duties across the starting lineup. DeRozan has become the Spurs' top passer, averaging a career-high 6.3 assists per game while also leading the team in scoring (21.5).
DeRozan has yet to develop a consistent three-point shot, but head coach Gregg Popovich doesn't plan to change his game and already saw him as an All-Star before the regular season started, per ESPN.com's Michael Wright:
Michael C. Wright @mikecwright
Pop won't change DeRozan's game: “DeMar’s already an All-Star. He’s played a certain way. There will be some things we’ll try to add to his game, if he’s willing. I’m not going to jump on him the way I did L.A. I tried to turn L.A. into John Havlicek. I think it confused him.”
The coaches, who place the votes, could make a case for LaMarcus Aldridge as an All-Star, but DeRozan has managed to uplift his new teammates and still find his lane as a prolific scorer. If he makes the cut, it would be his fifth All-Star selection and testament to a strong start in San Antonio.