With the NBA season approaching fast and it now being official that the All-Star break will be extended, I thought it would be a good time to look at the chances for each Mavericks starter to make the All-Star team. Being that the Western Conference is bursting at the seams with talent, making the All-Star line up will be no easy feat. Last year the only Maverick to make the team was 12 time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki.
While Jameer Nelson is a great player who provides solid shooting and defense along with an outstanding ability to facilitate an offense, his chances are very slim. Unless Nelson has the best season of his career, I don’t seem him beating the other Western Conference point guards out.
Competition: Chris Paul, Steph Curry, Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook, Tony Parker, Michael Conley, Jrue Holiday, Eric Bledsoe (pending free agency)
Monta Ellis, in my opinion, was snubbed last year when he was left off the All-Star roster. Hopefully that will not happen again this year. If Monta and Rick Carlisle worked on his jump shot like they said they would be doing over the course of the summer and he can keep up his great playmaking which he had last year, I think it would be hard for the coaches and fans not to put Ellis on the team. Even with the addition of Chandler Parsons I believe that Monta Ellis can average 20+ PPG if he becomes more efficient. If this becomes reality Ellis deserves a spot on the roster.
Competition: James Harden, Kobe Bryant, Goran Dragic, Klay Thompson
Here is where things get interesting. While Parsons only averaged 16.6 PPG, 5.5 RPG, and 4.0 APG last season, he now has the ability to develop and will have a huge drive to succeed this season. If he develops into a player who can put up 20+ points along with 6 rebounds and 5 assists a game, then he will have a chance at making the All-Star roster.
Competition: Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Andre Iguodala, and Rudy Gay
I feel that there is only one argument that needs to be said here. If Dirk plays like Dirk should, he will make the team even though he would rather see his teammates in the exhibition. He is coming off a season where he still averaged 20+ points per game and barely missed the 50/40/90 mark. Dirk has played the same way for 16 years and has been an All-Star for 12 of those years. Also with the exodus of Kevin Love and Pau Gasol to the Eastern Conference, his chances increase.
The only way I see Dirk and his production decline, is by Dirk purposely doing so with the addition of Monta Ellis last season and Chandler Parsons this season. The Mavericks will always be Dirk’s team until the day he retires, but this is the first season where Dirk does not have to be the 1st (or even 2nd) option for the team to be successful.
Competition: LaMarcus Aldridge, Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin, Serge Ibaka, Zach Randolph, and David Lee.
Tyson is a harder player to gauge odds for being that he is defense first. All-Star games are all offense until the 4th quarter so Tyson’s chances of being on the roster lie in the hands of the league’s coaches. If he returns to defensive player of the year form, he will have a pretty good shot at ending up as a bench player for the Western Conference. If Tyson doesn’t return to the days where he was the most terrifying player on the court than his chances are much slimmer.
Competition: Dwight Howard, Marc Gasol, Demarcus Cousins, Deandre Jordan, and Tim Duncan.
All in all there should be at least two Dallas Mavericks players on this years western conference All-Star team. Which players will make it remains a mystery, but I have a strong feeling that Dallas’ presence during the All-Star game will be felt much stronger than in previous years.