Thanks to the pandemic, the Pacers and Indianapolis lost a chance to host the NBA All-Star game this year. Now with the make-shift showcase in Atlanta, the Pacer won’t have a player repping the blue and gold after the NBA announced the All-Star reserve list on Tuesday sans Domantas Sabonis, the most likely Pacer to earn the nod.
Sabonis has been an extremely valuable cog when the Pacers are rolling, currently averaging 21.5 points, 11.6 rebounds and 5.7 assists. He carries a heavy load for the Pacers, particularly on the offensive end while also being among the league leaders in minutes played.
All of those minutes certainly helped bolster his stat line but may also have contributed to his recent inconsistency since the Oladipo trade which has left the Pacers short-handed when it comes to bucket getters. Looking at the list of reserves, it appears Nikola Vucevic (24+ ppg, 11.7 rebpg) was chosen instead of Sabonis.
We could argue the finer points of each player all day, but it is certainly not an egregious snub and I’m sure if the Pacers were hosting the show this year, Sabonis would’ve gotten the nod. Hopefully, the big man has the goods to earn a spot in two years when the game is played at the Fieldhouse.
The snub list is actually pretty impressive, including both Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo from Miami along with Devin Booker, Trae Young, Khris Middleton, Tobias Harris, Gordon Hayward and Fred Van Vleet to name a few. There is certainly a chance that several of these player are asked to fill in if there are any opt outs among those already chosen for the ASG.
The silver lining to all of this is that the Pacers roster can shut it down for the official break and enjoy some much needed rest to come back as healthy as possible for the rest of the regular season.
Here are the All-Star reserves from each conference which will be divided up in a draft by LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
East reserves: Jaylen Brown, James Harden, Zach LaVine, Julius Randle, Ben Simmons, Jayson Tatum, Nikola Vucevic
West reserves: Anthony Davis, Paul George, Rudy Gobert, Damian Lillard, Donovan Mitchell, Chris Paul, Zion Williamson