The Athleticin AS-valinnoissa menee Lauri reserveihin, helposti. Ohi Aaron Gordonin ja PG:n.
West’s top-five reserves (in alphabetical order)Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Using remarkable body control and his feel for the offensive game, Gilgeous-Alexander is enjoying his best season yet, averaging a career-high 30.9 points per game to go along with 4.8 rebounds, 5.6 assists and a career-best 1.6 steals. Gilgeous-Alexander is even enjoying a resurgence from 3-point range; after he shot an uncharacteristic 30.0 percent from deep last season, he’s back up to 34.3 percent this season. Gilgeous-Alexander didn’t make an All-Star team during his first four seasons, but Year 5 should be the year he breaks through.
Lauri Markkanen, Jazz:
“The Finnisher” has been one of the league’s most surprising players this year, for one of the league’s most surprising teams, and has emerged as a clear favorite for Most Improved Player. After averaging just 14.8 points per game in Cleveland last season, he’s exploded with 24.5 a night in Utah, while hitting 41.5 percent of his 3s, nearly doubling his free throw rate, and throwing down an impressive 75 dunks in 40 games. While he may not be a household name, his case is pretty ironclad: Markkanen has played in 40 of Utah’s 43 games, and among West players with at least 1,000 minutes, Markkanen is seventh in PER and sixth in BPM.
Ja Morant, Grizzlies:
Morant continues to burnish his reputation as one of the sport’s most exciting players, and he’s also been one of this season’s most effective point guards. The only reason he’s not one of our West backcourt starters is the excellence, and efficiency, of Curry and Dončić. Curry is averaging 138 points per 100 shots (field goal attempts or trips to the free-throw line, including when fouled in the bonus), according to Cleaning the Glass. Dončić is averaging 124 points per 100 shots. Morant checks in at 112 points per 100 shots — good, to be sure, but not elite (like Dončić) or otherworldly (like Curry).
Domantas Sabonis, Kings:
Both the Kings and the Pacers benefitted, though perhaps to different degrees, from last February’s blockbuster trade that sent Sabonis, Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb and a 2023 second-round draft pick from Indiana to Sacramento for Haliburton, Buddy Hield and Tristan Thompson. Sabonis has been superb for the Kings, averaging 18.7 points per game and leading the NBA in rebounding, with 12.4 boards per game, as they stay on track to end the NBA’s longest playoff drought. Do they light the beam for All-Star berths?
Zion Williamson, Pelicans:
If the NBA still had a Comeback Player of the Year Award, Williamson would be the odds-on favorite, and deservedly so. Before he strained his right hamstring on Jan. 2, Williamson was having a spectacular season, averaging 26.0 points per game and shooting 36.8 percent beyond the arc. Beyond the stats, he’s been a much more engaged and impactful defender than in previous seasons, keeping the Pels near the top of the West standings despite the extended absence of his co-star Brandon Ingram.