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Breaking down the Western Conference starters in the NBA All-Star Game

LeBron James will be Captain for third straight season for the West. Plus we give you predictions for the reserves to round out the roster.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James during the game between the Mavericks and the Lakers at the American Airlines Center. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA announced the starters for the Western Conference in the 2020 All-Star game, including LeBron James as Captain for the third season in a row.

So your Captain’s for the ASG are Giannis Antetokounmpo for the East and James for the West. Rounding out the West starters is no surprises at all: Luka Doncic, James Harden, Anthony Davis and Kawhi Leonard. DK Nation contributor Garion Thorne hit the nail on the head with his predictions, here are some thoughts:

“This is basically a lay-up, but I guess there was a slight case for Nikola Jokic or even Rudy Gobert to start this game. Jokic, who almost seemed to be working his way into shape during the beginning of the year, has been the best possible version dating back to the beginning of December. In that span of 27 starts, the Nuggets’ center has averaged 21.8 points, 6.7 assists and 9.8 rebounds per night with an immaculate .633 true shooting percentage. As for Gobert, he’s been one of the key pieces in Utah’s recent surge up the standings, putting up 17.1 points per game in his last 25 starts. As usual, the veteran has also played like a Defensive Player of the Year candidate on the other end, while posting the best overall rebounding rate of his career (22.9%).”

Predictions for the Western Conference All-Star reserves

Forward: Nikola Jokic
Forward: Rudy Gobert
Forward: Brandon Ingram
Guard: Damian Lillard
Guard: Devin Booker
UTIL: Donovan Mitchell
UTIL: Paul George

I’ll be completely honest, I don’t feel great about giving George the final slot, but the veteran has been fantastic this season when actually healthy and with so, so many injury concerns with All-Star candidates in 2019-20, I feel less bad about giving him the nod over a very deserving of praise Chris Paul or the human shrug emoji that is Russell Westbrook. Instead, let’s use this space to celebrate Devin Booker. With Ricky Rubio now in Phoenix to ease the playmaking duties of the former lottery pick, Booker’s efficiency has thrived. He’s currently posting career-highs in field goal rate (50.8%), effective field goal rate (56.0%) and true shooting percentage (.630), all while sitting 14th in the league in minutes played. In fact, among all qualified players, Booker leads the NBA in points generated per touch at an astounding 0.44. He’s been amazing.