Central Division All-Stars
To get into the All-Star festivities, we have adopted a different format for the main event. We have an All-Star lineup for each NBA division.
The Central Division is an interesting group to pick an All-Star starting five from, particularly when one team has been so thoroughly dominant. However, with an eye on the All-Star game format, this team has been put together with scoring and highlights in mind.
PG - Malcolm Brogdon, Indiana Pacers
We start by inserting a former Buck into this Central All-Star lineup with Indiana’s Malcolm Brogdon. While current Milwaukee point guard Eric Bledsoe was close, Brogdon gets the nod for his cool head in clutch moments.
Averaging 16.6 points, with nearly five rebounds and seven assists per game, Brogdon has been producing quality in amongst an injury-interrupted season.
Perhaps the disappointing part of his campaign thus far has been his three-point shooting, with his long-range percentage dropping from 42% last year to 32% now. Nevertheless, Brogdon can get hot and be relied upon in the clutch, which is particularly important when it comes to the rest of this team.
SG - Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls
Thought to have been robbed of an NBA All-Star Selection, never fear. Zach LaVine is a Central Division All-Star, which is a much higher honor of course. All jokes aside, LaVine has been lighting it up this season.
On track for making the Chicago Bulls record for threes in a single season, improving as a defender and averaging 25 points per game, LaVine belongs in this game.
Able to catch fire from downtown or posterize the opposition with eye-opening dunks, LaVine provides an offensive wildcard needed for All-Star weekend.
SF- Khris Middelton, Milwaukee Bucks
Starting to shake the tag of underrated, Khris Middleton has had a terrific season for the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks. Scoring 20.5 points on 50.5% shooting from the floor and almost 44% from behind the arc, Middleton has been damn fun to watch.
On pace for a career season, punctuated by a career high 51 point game against Washington, Middelton has also been fantastic on the other end of the floor. Using his long 6”7 frame and averaging a steal per game, Middelton will be taking the opposition's best player and giving him absolutely nothing.
PF - Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
The leading 2019-20 MVP candidate on the best team in the NBA, Giannis Antetokounmpo will lead this Central Division team like he is leading his own team to the All-Star Game in Chicago.
The new father has recently notched another record, joining Wilt Chamberlain as the only NBA players ever to record five straight games with 30+ points, 15+ boards and 5+ assists. Insane.
Averaging 30 points, 13.5 rebounds and almost six assists per game, on almost 55% from the field, the Greek Freak is putting together a season like no other. Of course he’s in this game. Next.
C - Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers
The other position I deliberated about, Brook Lopez just misses out here, with young Pacers center Domantas Sabonis getting the nod. Averaging 18.3 points and 12.7 rebounds per game, Sabonis has kept the Pacers afloat while Victor Oladipo has worked his way back from injury.
Adding in almost a block and a steal per game, Sabonis has had 34 double-doubles, trailing only Andre Drummond (36) and Antetokounmpo (37).
A force on both ends with savvy scoring and creative passing, Sabonis will thrive as the fifth member of this Central Division All-Star team.
Why is this the Central Division All-Star team?
At any All-Star weekend, this team would create serious problems on the court. On the offensive end, Brogdon, LaVine and Middelton’s long-range shooting opens up the floor for Antetokounmpo to do whatever he damn well pleases.
Whether that’s to kick it out to shooters, let his old teammate Brogdon hit floaters, feed LaVine for alley-oop dunks or allow Sabonis to work on the block, the Greek Freak would be very excited by this team’s offensive versatility.
Defensively, although LaVine isn’t a perennial All-Defensive Team selection, his teammates more than cover the slack. Both on the perimeter with Brogdon and Middleton, and down low with Antetokounmpo and Sabonis, this would be a tough team to score on.