Why Durant, Irving, Harden, Randle are all-stars

For the first time in years, a New York basketball player will be selected to the all-star game. The Nets have not had an all-star since 2019 when D’Angelo Russell was selected to his first all-star game. The Knicks have not had an all-star since 2018 when Kristaps Porzingis was selected to his first all-star game. The Nets and Knicks players who will be discussed are Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Julius Randle.

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant is deserving of his 11th all-star selection. Durant is averaging 29.0 points per game this season. This is the sixth-highest in the NBA, behind just Bradley Beal, Stephen Curry, Joel Embiid, Damian Lillard, and Luka Doncic. This is his highest points average per game since the 2013-14 season. Additionally, Durant is averaging 7.3 rebounds per game, his highest since the 2016-17 season. Furthermore, Durant is shooting his highest three-point shooting percentage of his career, at 43.4 percent.

Despite coming off an Achilles tear and missing a whole season, Durant has proven that he is still the same player and quite possibly even better. Above all, Durant is leading the Nets to a 16-12 record, good for 3rd in the Eastern Conference. Although he has missed 9 games, Durant’s play when he is on the court is too good to not be gifted yet another all star game selection. Though injuries have prevented him from playing every game this season, he continues to prove to the NBA that he is one of the most dangerous offensive scorers in the league.

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving is deserving of his 7th all-star selection. Irving is averaging 27.6 points per game, the highest points per game average of his career. He is 9th in the NBA in points per game. Additionally, Irving is having the most efficient shooting season of his career, shooting 52.5 percent from the field and 40.9 from three, both being the best of his career. Irving is having his best season from the free-throw line, shooting 95.1 percent, good for second in the NBA behind just Chris Paul. Similar to Durant, injuries and personal reasons have limited Irving, as he has also missed 9 games. Despite this, Irving is still one of the top players in the NBA and deserves another all-star selection.

James Harden

James Harden is deserving of his 8th all-star selection. Harden is averaging a career-high 11.2 assists per game and is leading the NBA in this category. Similar to Irving, Harden, is also having a very efficient shooting season. Harden is shooting 48.3 percent from the field, his highest percentage since the 2011-12 season. Additionally, Harden is shooting 38.1 percent from three, his highest percentage since the 2011-12 season. Despite averaging only 23.0 points per game with Brooklyn, his lowest total since the 2011-12 season, Harden is still top 20 in scoring.

Harden has fit in great so far with his new team. However, he has had to sacrifice a lot to help his team win. In conclusion, this shows a lot about Harden as a player. With all this being said, Harden absolutely deserves to be back in the all-star game and maybe even as a starter.

Julius Randle

Julius Randle is deserving of his 1st all-star selection. Randle is having by far the best season of his young career. Randle is averaging a career-high in points per game, rebounds per game, assists per game, three-point shooting percentage, free throw percentage, and steals per game. After not playing up to his expectations last season, Randle knew he would have to step up this season and be a leader for this young Knicks team, and he has clearly done that. Additionally, Randle is single-handedly carrying a very mediocre Knicks team to the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference while playing at an all-star level,

Also, if you are curious, here are my own picks for the 2021 NBA All-Star Game

Eastern Conference
James Harden- BKN
Bradley Beal- WAS
Kevin Durant- BKN
Giannis Antetokounmpo– MIL
Joel Embiid- PHI

Jayson Tatum– BOS
Jaylen Brown– BOS
Trae Young– ATL
Bam Adebayo– MIA
Domantas Sabonis– IND
Zach LaVine– CHI
Khris Middleton– MIL

Western Conference
Stephen Curry- GSW
Luka Doncic- DAL
Kawhi Leonard– LAC
Lebron James– LAL
Nikola Jokic– DEN

Damian Lillard– POR
Paul George– LAC
Anthony Davis– LAL
Donovan Mitchell– UTA
Brandon Ingram– NOP
Zion Williamson– NOP
Devin Booker– PHX

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