Unfortunately, the Hawks are stuck in the middle of the pack between LeBron James and company, the Golden State Warriors, with a “dab” of the dominant San Antonio Spurs. I’ve already established this, in addition, the Hawks are facing the fact they haven’t really developed much of their future prospects for when the domination era is over for the super teams.
However, the Hawks still deserve one representative for the team in New Orleans next month.
This season has looked extremely similar to all Hawks fans, maybe even weaker than others, with the team playing in inconsistent spurts. For some reason, it seems that this shouldn’t end the team’s 10-year All-Star streak just now.
Dwight Howard and Paul Millsap are putting up All-Star numbers on a team in the playoffs, which would be guaranteed spots as reserves most years. However, the harsh reality is the Eastern Conference is bringing some heat this season.
Let’s just look at a potential All-Star reserves list in the East:
Guard- John Wall
Guard- Isaiah Thomas
Frontcourt- Paul George
Frontcourt- Kevin Love
Frontcourt- Dwight Howard
Wild Card- Kyle Lowry
Wild Card- Kemba Walker
Hassan Whiteside is averaging 17 points, 14 rebounds and 2 blocks a game as opposed to Howard’s (13.7) points, (13) rebounds and (1.3) blocks per game in each of those respective categories. Howard still has a chance at getting picked over Whiteside because he has a better field goal percentage, with Atlanta depending less on him than Miami depends on Whiteside offensively and the Heat are currently 14th in the Eastern Conference.
Andre Drummond’s numbers are slightly better than Howard’s this year and the Pistons are still in the playoff race. Him getting the nod over Howard wouldn’t be so much of a “we forgot about the Hawks choice” as much as it would be a “the East’s big men have really looked good this year.”
Kristaps Porzingis, Kevin Love and Paul Millsap could all find themselves on the outside looking in. Love has the edge in rebounding, team record, and points out of the trio, but Embiid is averaging over two more blocks a game than Love and how fun would that see him live his Hollywood dream as a rookie????
In all seriousness, any two of the players out of this quartet make strong cases to make the Eastern Conference squads, but Embiid only played in 30 games so far and the Sixers aren’t in the playoff race just yet. Now we’re back to a trio.
Paul Millsap tallied 32 points and 13 rebounds.
Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images
In any of these scenarios of Millsap vs. Porzingis and Embiid or Howard vs. Drummond and Whiteside, the nod should go to at least one Hawk because they’ve won. If a Hawk is selected, then all top nine teams in the Eastern Conference would be represented at the high-scoring exhibition.
If a Hawk isn’t selected, fans shouldn’t be completely surprised because their stats wouldn’t look better than the players picked ahead of them. No All-Stars from Atlanta for the first time in a decade, though, would be another huge blow to the franchise trying to stay afloat.