SPANISH HARLEM – As the anointed Julius Randle Fan Club President (thanks Angry Ward), I am here to make a case for his first NBA All-Star appearance. If that isn’t enough to keep you gnawing your nails, we’ll also look at some players in the Eastern Conference that play the same position and… get this… are competing with Randle for a spot on the roster! So, to summarize for the confused Junoir Blaber types out there, this will include positional comparisons of forwards and centers because Dr. Julius (too soon?) has played each on New York Basketball Knickerbockers. As El Presidente of the JRFC, though, I’ve decided we’ll only consider those players talked about most by media types like Big Ben Whitney, around the water-cooler.
Let’s begin with the starters.
Kevin Durant (29 points, 7 Rebounds, 5 Assists)
KD is the leading vote-getter in the east, as of right now. Considered the by many as the second best player in the league, Durant is a shoe-in. He hasn’t missed a beat after a devastating injury and looks every bit as good as he was before the injury.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (28 Points, 11 Rebounds, 6 Assists)
The back-to-back MVP winner is having another great year. While his team is not winning nearly at the same rate they were last year, it’s hard to argue against him as a starter for the East. He is one of the top players in the conference and he easily makes the Milwaukee Bucks one of the best teams in the league by being in the lineup.
Joel Embiid (30 points, 11 Rebounds, 3 Assists)
The leading MVP candidate in the eyes of many (mine included). Arguably, the best center in the game, he is having a tremendous season so far. Embiid is a beast in the paint and can take over a game in the post with his defense and offense. He also provides the occasional 3-pointer but is nearly unstoppable around the basket. There is no reason he should not be the starting center on the East.
NOTE: We now switch to possible bench players for the NBA All-Star roster:
Bam Adebayo (20 points, 9 Rebounds, 5 Assists)
This guy is the second best player on a team that went to the NBA Finals last season. He is one of the best forwards in the game and definitely one of the best in Eastern Conference. Has missed some games to injury but has played well when healthy. He can take over a game on both sides of the ball and is a highly skilled big man that can play forward and center.
I see him as more of a center and have him as the back-up to Embiid.
Khris Middleton (20 points, 6 Rebounds, 6 Assists)
He is the secondary weapon on the Bucks and a top outside shooter that has developed into one the most well-rounded forwards in the game. Middleton passes very well for someone with his size. He’s got a great skill set but I don’t think he is having a better season than Randle. And again, the Bucks aren’t playing as well as they have in the recent past.
Jayson Tatum (25 points, 7 Rebounds, 5 Assists)
One of the best young forwards in the game today. Aside from his name sounding a lot like that of a bald English action movie star, he is scratching the surface of being a potential superstar but he is not there yet. An extremely good defender and can score in a variety of ways. My knock against him? He is probably not the best player on his team this year. Jaylen Brown is having a big year and if anyone on the Celtics deserves a spot on the All-Star team, its Brown.
Julius Randle (23 points, 11 Rebounds, 6 Assists)
And now our conclusion… we end with the one and only Julius Deion Randle. #30 has been nothing short of a rock for the New York Knicks. He is their best player and the numero uno scoring option on the team. Has played point power forward since the start of the camaign and is having his best NBA season. The Knicks are in playoff contention because of him and have had their best season (so far) in years… to the surprise of many. Clearly, you’d have to be crazy to leave him off the NBA All-Star team!
What do you think? Does Randle deserve a spot? Consider that some spots will go to guards, though, before you answer.
That’s it for now, come back tomorrow for Different Matt.
Until Next Time…