NBA All-Star Rosters 2020: LeBron-Giannis Starters, Reserves, Likely Injury Subs

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, left, slaps hands with guard LeBron James during an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)
Michael Owen Baker/Associated Press

For the second straight season, LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo are captaining the NBA All-Star Game squads. 

James, who has two All-Star victories as a captain, will play alongside Los Angeles Lakers teammate Anthony Davis in the February 16 event at United Center in Chicago. 

Kawhi Leonard, Luka Doncic and James Harden are the other starters on James' squad, which was drafted Thursday night. 

Antetokounmpo chose Joel Embiid, Pascal Siakam, Kemba Walker and Trae Young to be part of his starting five. 

The best reserve on both rosters could be Damian Lillard on Team LeBron, as he is in the middle of one of the most impressive individual runs of the 2019-20 NBA season. 

                

NBA All-Star Game Rosters

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Team LeBron

Between Davis, Doncic, James and Leonard, there is plenty of size in the Team LeBron starting five. 

The chemistry between James and Davis should be an advantage the squad attempts to exploit in the first quarter. 

Getting off to a quick start will be a key for the 2020 All-Star Game because of the new rules implemented for the contest. 

Team LeBron should also benefit from Harden's scoring, as he leads the NBA with 35.4 points per game, which is five points better than Antetokounmpo in second place.

With the other four starters expected to take up more space down low, Harden may fire at will from three-point range to ignite a fast start.

Doncic, who is averaging 28.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 8.7 assists per game, could be Team LeBron's X-factor in his first All-Star start if he is deemed healthy. He is dealing with an ankle injury that has kept him out since January 31.

The combination of Lillard and Russell Westbrook off the bench could give Team LeBron the advantage it needs to earn its third straight victory.

After putting up 26 points Thursday, Lillard has a streak of 17 consecutive 20-point performances, with 11 of them featuring 30 or more points. 

Westbrook eclipsed the 30-point barrier seven times over the last nine games, including his 41-point outburst versus the Lakers Thursday. 

Nikola Jokic could be the key to setting up transition baskets or second-chance opportunities for the pair of guards, as he is averaging a double-double for the third straight campaign. 

Chris Paul will likely take charge of ball-handling in the reserve group, while Ben Simmons, Jayson Tatum and Domantas Sabonis may be asked to chip in with rebounding and defensive stops in secondary roles if Lillard and Westbrook score at their highest potential.

               

Team Giannis

The scorers on Team Giannis should benefit from Young's passing ability, as the Hawks guard is second to James in assists per game with nine

If the first-time All-Star can pick apart Team LeBron by either cutting into the lane, or with his vision at the top of the key, his teammates could have some easy field-goal attempts. 

The rebounding battle between Embiid and Davis may be the matchup that determines the result of the first quarter. 

If either player commands the glass from the start, it could open up more opportunities for the top scorers to open up a gap on the scoreboard. 

The main concern leading up to February 16 for Team Giannis is the health of Walker, who is dealing with a knee injury.

Walker has not played since January 30, and if the issue continues to linger, there is a chance he misses out on the exhibition. 

Team Giannis will have to find scoring to counter Lillard and Westbrook off the bench, with Jimmy Butler, Donovan Mitchell and Brandon Ingram among the options. 

Butler has five 20-point outings in his last seven games, including a 38-point outburst versus the Sixers Monday. 

Ingram and Mitchell both rank in the top 15 in points per game, but neither of them produce at the high volume Lillard and Westbrook typically do. 

With Rudy Gobert and Bam Adebayo working the glass, Team Giannis may be able to control the pace at points, but it will need to find a way to shut down the scorers on Team LeBron to find a path to victory.

           

Likely Injury Subs

Bradley Beal, SG, Washington

Bradley Beal is the only player in the top five in scoring without an All-Star nod at the moment. 

The Washington Wizards guard spoke out about his omission during a post-game interview with NBC Sports Washington (h/t ESPN.com)

"I'm a little pissed off about it, but I know how I am, I was kind of expecting it, honestly," Beal said. "It's disrespectful, but the real ones know so I'm just gonna keep competing and try to get my team to the playoffs for sure."

If he is not added to either squad, Beal would possess the highest scoring average of any All-Star snub in 41 years, per NBA on ESPN

Since Walker is dealing with an injury, there is a chance Beal ends up as his replacement, but nothing has been confirmed yet. 

            

Devin Booker, SG, Phoenix

Devin Booker should be next in line as an injury replacement behind Beal. 

The Phoenix Suns guard is the only other player in the top 10 in scoring to not be on the initial All-Star list. 

Booker is averaging a career-best 26.7 points per game and is shooting 50.6 percent from the field and 36.2 percent from three-point range. 

Suns head coach Monty Williams was one of many who stood up for Booker's All-Star case after he was snubbed, per ArizonaSports.com:

"I've done a lot to promote our guy, and I wouldn't do it if I feel like he wasn't worthy of it. It'd be hard-pressed to name another guard that's that much better than Devin, that is that efficient and plays the way he plays and means as much to our team and where we are as much as Devin."

If Walker and/or Doncic are unable to participate, Booker should the second person called after Beal. 

If both snubs are added as injury replacements, 14 of the 15 best scorers in the NBA would be named to All-Star Teams, with Chicago's Zach LaVine the lone exception if that occurs.

            

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from Basketball Reference