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Picking the NBA's Western Conference All-Star reserves


With the Western Conference All-Star starters set, let’s look atthe players who deserve a reserve slot for the West All-Star teamthis season. Check out our Eastern ConferenceAll-Star reserve picks here.

Guard: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

Curry is a lock to make the teamand the only question is: why isn’t he starting? It took historicindividual seasons from Dallas’ Luka Doncic and OKC’s ShaiGilgeous-Alexander to dislodge Curry from his usual starter spot atthe All-Star game (the first time that's happened since 2014). Asone of the legends of this generation and a face of the league foryears running, Curry is still playing at a high level this season,averaging 27.5 points, 5 assists and 4.3 rebounds in 41 gamesplayed.

Guard: Anthony Edwards, MinnesotaTimberwolves

Like Jayson Tatum out East,Edwards is the best player on the best team in the West, whichabsolutely strengthens his All-Star case. Blossoming into afull-blown superstar this season, Edwards is averaging 26 points,5.3 assists and 5.2 rebounds. Even at only 22 years of age, Edwardshas been leading his team to wins and the top seed in the WesternConference, earning a ton of respect from fans and the media. Thoseefforts won't go unnoticed as he earns his second All-Starnod.

Forward: Kawhi Leonard, Los AngelesClippers

The Los Angeles Clippers havehad the league’s best record over the last 10 weeks and the reasonis pretty simple: Kawhi Leonard is performing like his usual self.Leonard has played 41 of the Clippers' 45 games, which is hugeconsidering the 6-foot-7 forward’s injury history and past loadmanagement. In the past, Leonard has missed a lot of games in theregular season and playoffs, but that hasn't been the case thisseason. Leonard has been the Clippers' best player, averaging 23.8points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.7 steals a night. WheneverLeonard is playing well, the Clippers look like an elitesquad.

Forward: Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers

Arguably the Lakers’ best playerthis year, Anthony Davis has taken it upon himself to lead LosAngeles both on offense and defense. Despite playing out of hisnormal position, Davis is averaging 25 points, 12.1 rebounds, 3.7assists, 2.3 blocks and 1.2 steals as a center. There is a directcorrelation between Davis’ play and the Lakers' success this year.The Lakers would probably be even deeper down the standings if notfor Davis and he's likely done enough to join Lakers teammate andAll-Star captain LeBron James on the team.

Center: Rudy Gobert, Minnesota Timberwolves

Perhaps a controversial pick,Rudy Gobert is a worthy All-Star due to his production and the factthat he's helped lead the Wolves to the No. 1 seed in the West.Gobert is the anchor of the best defense in the entire league andis the main reason why Minnesota can effectively deploy atwo-center lineup. Even though his 13.3 points per game don't jumpoff the page, Gobert is also averaging 12.5 rebounds and 2.1blocks. The 7-foot-1 center is once again a Defensive Player of theYear candidate and leading his team to a ton of wins, which he hasbeen doing since his Utah Jazz days. That is a testament to hisvalue.

Wildcard: De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings

Last year, Fox made his firstAll-Star appearance. This year, he’s been even better, upping hisaverages to 27.5 points, 5.6 assists and 4.1 rebounds for thefifth-place Sacramento Kings. This is Fox’s best scoring campaignof his career, just a season removed from winning the NBA’sinaugural Clutch Player of the Year award. A lot of the 6-foot-3guard’s success this season can be attributed to him shootingbetter from three (increasing his three-point percentage from 32.4%to 38.6%), which has allowed him to become a true three-levelscoring threat. Using a lethal arsenal of mid-range jumpers andfloaters, he has raised his game to the next level.

Wildcard: Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns

Devin Booker takes the West'slast slot after some recent explosive performances. Booker has beenon a stunning scoring tear as of late, which might help him securea place on the team. Over the past week, the 6-foot-6 guard isaveraging mind-boggling numbers of 42 points on 64% shooting fromthe field, including a 62-point outing and 52-point performance.This season, Booker has taken on more on-ball duties than everbefore since Chris Paul is out of the picture and he's trying tofit alongside All-Star starter Kevin Durant and Bradley Beal. Thisrecent explosion reminded everyone that he can light up teams whenhe gets hot and look the part of an All-Star.

Snubs: DomantasSabonis (Center,Sacramento Kings); Paul George (Forward, Los Angeles Clippers);Brandon Ingram (Forward, New Orleans Pelicans);Zion Williamson (Forward, New Orleans Pelicans);Alperen Sengun (Center, Houston Rockets); LauriMarkkanen(Forward,Utah Jazz)

The West is too deep. Even withSabonis and George having stellar seasons and their teams in theupper half of the standings (the Clippers are fourth and the Kingsare fifth), both still fail to crack the West’s top 12.One can argue Sabonis and/or Georgeover Gobert, but it's hard to give just one All-Star spot to thebest team in the conference and two slots to teams below them. BothSabonis and George could also get in through the wildcards, butBooker has been on another level recently and Fox and Sabonis arelikely competing over the same spot.

The Pelicans’ Ingram andWilliamson didn't get in as they don't have the stats compared toothers on this list, with the Pelicans being one of the deepestteams in the league.

Sengun and Markkanen each have acase as a leading mnn on the next tier of West playoff teams, butthe conference is filled with so much talent that even acareer-best season may not warrant a spot.

Check out our Eastern ConferenceAll-Star reserve picks here.

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