The 2022-23 NBA season has wrapped up its first month, and things have become more compelling. Basketball’s biggest mid-year events are also slowly approaching, that includes the 72nd NBA All-Star Weekend in Utah next year, which could see several first-time participants, such as Tyrese Haliburton.
The talent in today’s league has evolved and is more exciting, and there have been plenty of outstanding performances from different backcourt players. With the amount of perimeter performers, fans and media are in a burdensome situation to give out roster spots in the All-Star games to those who precisely deserve it. There are, of course, players who are locked to get roster spots in one of the colossal events of the NBA season.
Stephen Curry, Ja Morant, and Trae Young are already sure guards to be named All-Stars due to their performances and status around the league. Due to the multiple All-NBA talent around the league, it’s hard to narrow it down to decide which players should make the All-Star game. Still, we’ve been able to scout three backcourt players who should play alongside the best on February 19, 2023.
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Tyrese Haliburton is in another world in 2022
The Indiana Pacers have done a tremendous job of incorporating Tyrese Haliburton into their system this year. The 2022-23 NBA year marks his first complete season with the Pacers after he was traded by the Sacramento Kings a year ago.
He’s been effective as the team’s point guard, leading them to the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference so far. Haliburton is also a candidate to win the Most Improved Player award.
Through 22 games, the 6-foot-5 guard is averaging 19.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 10.9 assists, which makes him the current league leader in the passing department. Haliburton is shooting 46.1% of his shots from the field and 36.9% of his three-pointers. Aside from his impressive offensive outing, the third-year guard out of Iowa State has also improved his defense this year.
The 22-year-old guard is snatching the ball from opponents 1.8 times per game. During his third appearance, Haliburton had five steals that helped the Pacers get their first win of the year. He’s one of the substantial reasons for where Indiana is right now, and he deserves a roster spot among the Eastern Conference All-Stars.
Related: Tyrese Haliburton sets NBA record with ridiculous turnover-free streak
De’Aaron Fox becoming leader for Sacramento Kings
The Sacramento Kings have been playing unbelievable basketball. With a new head coach in Mike Brown, things are starting to come together, and their hopes of returning to the postseason are very much alive.
De’Aaron Fox has plenty to do with the team’s success, as he’s developed into a mature leader for the Kings. Fox is responsible for how Sacramento has been playing this season, and they have a real shot at being a playoff squad.
The speedy guard has spent his first five seasons with the team that drafted him and has been patient in their rebuild, which is starting to pay off. The front office has finally surrounded Fox with capable players who have helped him take the Kings to a different level. The former Kentucky guard is averaging 23.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 5.9 assists. The 6-foot-3 guard is shooting 52.2% of his field goal shots and a career-best 38.4% of his attempts from the three-point arc.
With Fox’s evolution as the Kings’ leader, he led them to a 13-9 record in the Western Conference. He’s also a sizeable contributor during their seven-game win streak. The 25-year-old guard averaged 25.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 8.3 assists, and 2.0 steals during that seven-game span.
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Shai Gilgeous-Alexander soaring to new heights
The third guard who deserves an All-Star spot is Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Despite the lack of team success of the Oklahoma City Thunder, SGA will be a name making a buzz once All-Star fan voting starts. Out of the three players on this list, he’s shown the most improvement in scoring the ball. Yet, the competition in the West has made it difficult for the Thunder to have a decent place in the standings, as OKC is currently in the 13th seed with a 10-13 record.
SGA has surprised everyone with his increased volume in scoring. He’s been averaging 31.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 6.0 assists on 50.9% shooting from the field and 34.4% from beyond the arc. If only they were getting more wins, Gilgeous-Alexander would be in the top five in the MVP race, giving Luka Doncic and Jayson Tatum a run for their money. The 24-year-old guard is currently third in points per game and one of five players averaging at least 30 a game.
The Thunder guard has already had 15 instances where he scored at least 30 or more points, solidifying his case as an All-Star guard. NBA legend Charles Barkley has also shared his opinion on SGA’s All-Star status, believing the 6-foot-6 guard should have a spot on the roster as well.