In choosing the All-Star reserves, the Eastern Conference is much less complicated than the West. But it appears that a backcourt position could be a point of contention.
Kyle Lowry and Dwyane Wade are locked in as starters. Jimmy Butler and DeMar DeRozan have the strongest cases among non-starters.
And that leaves a Wild Card spot available for a true point guard. With Lowry as the only point guard on the roster, it appear the final spot will go to John Wall, Reggie Jackson or Isaiah Thomas.
The case for Wall:
Among Eastern Conference point guards, Wall is second in real plus/minus, only to Lowry. Much of this can be attributed to Wall’s defense, as his defensive real plus/minus shows that he’s the only one of these players to rank above average defensively.
His effective field goal percentage is the highest of his career. Despite taking small steps backwards in rebound and assist percentage, Wall’s efficiency is it’s highest in 3 years.
The case for Jackson:
Jackson is crushing it in his first full season as a starter. He’s averaging career highs in efficiency, assist percentage and is contributing to his teams win’s at a rate 49% higher than last season.
Offensively, he’s really getting into the teeth of the defense as his average shot distance of 11.4 feet is the closest of his career.
The case for Thomas:
Thomas is the second-most efficient point guard in the East, behind only Lowry. His offensive real plus/minus is the highest of these players, despite shooting a career low in effective field goal percentage.
The Celtics need an All-Star, right? They are 5th in the East and Thomas has the best case. Boston is 10% more efficient offensively with Thomas on the court (6% less efficient defensively).
Peter Newmann is an analyst and writer who spent 10 years at ESPN, 8 as the NBA senior researcher working 24/7 on the league. He wrote game notes for crews, articles for ESPN.com, analysis for studio shows, and regularly assisted reporters and writers. Follow him on Twitter, and check out his daily NBA content service at www.allball365.com.