Perhaps you live an ascetic life, or perhaps you do own a television but decided that the New England Patriots' deflated balls would be your only viewing today. In either case, you may have missed the announcement of the starting lineups for the 2015 NBA All-Star Game.
It's Fantasy Friday, which means we aren't interested in any of that real life stuff -- no ma'am, we only care about the fantasy life. I present to you my 2015 NBA Fantasy All-Star starters. Like the NBA's game, I've followed the two backcourt player/three frontcourt player formula.
John Wall, Washington Wizards: The fifth-year blur has matured into a complete point guard and maybe the best the East has to offer, with the next guy in this list in the conversation too. Wall is scoring a little less than in previous years, but he's bumped his oh-so-valuable assist number to the magic 10-spot while barely nudging his turnover rate. Throw in his 2.1 steals per game, and you've got a Fantasy All-Star.
Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors: Look, it's the East's other top point guard! (Yes, I consider Jeff Teague a notch below.) A more dedicated scorer than Wall, Lowry is pouring in just shy of 20 while turning over over the ball fewer than 3 times per game. His 7.5 assists aren't too shabby, either, and if you find a game that counts them, he's made 44 more threes than Wall. Throw in 1.6 thefts per game, and you have another complete guard that puts Jimmy Butler on the Fantasy All-Star bench.
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers: The King still reigns among Eastern Conference forwards. We've heard so much about Cleveland's troubles, and that James just isn't passing the eye test as the hands-down best player in the world, that we've overlooked another sensational statistical season. Or maybe you haven't, in which case, you're enjoying his 26.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 7.3 assists, and 1.5 steals. By FanDuel's scoring rules, he's tops in the East.
Pau Gasol, Chicago Bulls: Allow me to collect my prize and be the 100,000th person to say, "I guess he wasn't done." Actually, I had faith in you the whole time Pau. I knew you hated Mike D'Antoni and playing with Dwight Howard. I knew you just needed to be surrounded by smart, competitive people who could get you the ball in your comfy spots. I believed you would benefit from a move into the East's shallower talent pool. You didn't let me down, Pau. You're giving 18.7 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks, and you rarely turn it over. Hey, Pau, you're an All-Star.
Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic: I can't put Carmelo here. I just can't. Technically, he's good for three-tenths of a point more than Vucevic each night on FanDuel, but that isn't enough to make me play a Knick, because if I play a Knick, then I have to watch the Knicks, and... you see where I'm going, right? Plus, Carmelo has that knee thing, so the steadier Vucevic with his Gasolian numbers gets the job. He's giving 19.2 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 2.2 assists that compare favorably to the Chicago veteran. He doesn't protect the rim like Pau, but otherwise, it's a nice impression. It earns him the last spot.
James Harden, Houston Rockets: Allow me to collect my prize and be the 1,000,000th person to say, "I bet Oklahoma City sure misses this guy." He may be in a dead heat with the next guy on this list for the MVP award, but what's really amazing about his season is that he's dominating daily fantasy and weekly fantasy, and he doesn't even need you to count his three-pointers to do it. By ESPN's player rater, he's number one. By FanDuel scoring, he's number three. Again, FanDuel doesn't count his three-pointers, of which he's making nearly three per game. He's only putting up 27.2 points, 6.7 assists, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.9 steals. It'll be a few months before we find out if he's the MVP, but we can say today today that he's a Fantasy All-Star.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors: Another player dominating the FanDuel leaderboards that ignore his threes. As a Clipper fan, it pains me to see the pesky W's thriving, but the scoreboard doesn't lie, and Steph fills it. 23.0 points, 8.1 assists, 2.2 steals, and a surprising 4.8 rebounds. It's a conference loaded at guard, so it takes a special performance to beat out the likes of Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, and Russell Westbrook, who's penalized for playing just 28 games. Curry's giving it.
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans: I feel like everyone should be aware of his staggering numbers, but just in case you aren't: 24.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 2.9 blocks, 1.5 steals, 1.4 turnovers, all on 56% shooting. He even shoots 82% from the free throw line. At this point, I'd believe you if you told me he was also curing cancer. Davis is the current FanDuel king, and is a fantasy All-Star with a
DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings: Boogie is slowing down as his Kings crumble, but he still looks like the league's most immovable force. His averages of 24.0 points, 12.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.7 blocks aren't quite Shaq-like, but Shaq-lite is enough to grab a Fantasy All-Star spot. In FanDuel points, he worth nearly as much as Anthony Davis, besting everyone in the East, even LeBron.
LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers
Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers: Changed my mind again. Call me a homer, but it's my list and I'll do what I want. Aldridge is a 6'11" monster with shooting range that's crossed the three-point line this season, but Blake gets the edge because I said so. I'm not stretching much -- Aldridge is worth just four-tenths more on FanDuel per game. Blake's rebounding has notoriously faltered, but 5.6 assists from a power forward outside the Lebron category is just preposterous, especially when put against his 2.3 turnovers. He's the Clippers' workhorse, and he's my final Fantasy All-Star.
As always, head over to FanDuel to register and play their NBA fantasy games.
Disclaimer: Even though this is a sponsored post with affiliate links, all of the opinions in this post are my own. And as an FYI, FanDuel gave me some cash to play its daily fantasy games.