NBA All-Star Game 2021: TV Schedule for Reserves Reveal and Predicting Top SnubsFebruary 22, 2021
With the large number of high-quality players across the NBA, it seems inevitable that a few of them will be snubbed from All-Star Game honors each year.
With only 12 players selected from each conference to participate in the March 7 event in Atlanta, a few top producers will miss out on the list.
The decisions for which players make the reserve list, which will be announced on Tuesday, could come down to small details, or how certain teams are performing.
Some voters may be more inclined to reward players from winning franchises, which would significantly hurt John Wall's chances.
For Gordon Hayward, the issue may be too many stars at one position in a single conference. He may lose out to Zach LaVine, Ben Simmons and others out of the Eastern Conference.
Reserve Reveal Info
Date: Tuesday, February 23
Start Time: 7 p.m. ET
Predicting Top Snubs
We could be denied a chance to see Wall and Bradley Beal play on the same team one more time.
With the All-Star draft format in place, there would have been a possibility that the current Houston Rockets guard and his old Washington Wizards teammate could combine forces.
Unfortunately for Wall, he could be on the outside looking in, with Damian Lillard, Mike Conley, Donovan Mitchell and Chris Paul playing at high levels.
A strong argument can be made to place Conley and Mitchell in the All-Star Game since they propelled the Utah Jazz to the top of the Western Conference.
Lillard is one of two of the top-six scorers that was not voted in as a starter, and Paul is enjoying a resurgence in Phoenix.
An All-Star snub should not take away from what Wall has accomplished in his first season with the Houston Rockets.
Wall is averaging over 20 points per game for the third season of his 11-year career. He earned those totals without James Harden and an injured Christian Wood.
The 30-year-old should be one of the front-runners for Comeback Player of the Year, but with Houston mired in the basement of the West, some voters may be more inclined to reward the guards having successful individual and team seasons.
For example, Conley is not typically an All-Star candidate, but he has been a key second scorer out of the backcourt alongside Mitchell during Utah's surge to the top.
Lillard can't be left out of the All-Star Game because of his incredible scoring prowess, so that would leave one guard or wild-card spot open for Wall to compete with Paul and a few others for a roster position.
Paul has significantly improved his assist total and percentages from the field and three-point range in his first season in Phoenix. Those numbers combined with Phoenix's fourth-place standing could land him his 11th All-Star berth over Wall.
The Eastern Conference backcourt is too crowded for Hayward to make an imprint on the reserve vote.
James Harden, Jaylen Brown and LaVine feel like reserve locks, and Ben Simmons has made a strong case over the last two weeks that he belongs in Atlanta as well.
The lack of an All-Star nod would not take away from the success Hayward has achieved in his first year with the Charlotte Hornets.
Hayward is averaging 21.9 points per game, which matches his career-best from the 2016-17 campaign with the Utah Jazz.
The one-time All-Star is shooting 43.2 percent from three-point range, his best total since his rookie season, and has helped push Charlotte into the playoff conversation.
LaVine, Brown, Harden and Jayson Tatum all rank above Hayward on the NBA scoring chart and Simmons has added three 20-point performances in his last four games to his resume that is bolstered by one of the best defensive skill sets in the game.
Unless one of those players can't participate on March 7, it looks like Hayward will be stuck behind those stars in the voting process.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
Statistics obtained from Basketball Reference.