Will James Harden Make the Cut? 2021 NBA All-Star Predictions

Published 01/27/2021, 3:48 PM EST
NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 14: James Harden of the Houston Rockets shoots duringState Farm All-Star Saturday Night – NBA All-Star Weekend 2015 at Barclays Center on February 14, 2015 in New York, New York. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

The league has confirmed arguably the most anticipated event of the NBA regular season. There were some reports suggesting that Adam Silver & Co may scrap the All-Star game this season because of the absence of fans. But they have put those to rest now.

The voting for the starters will begin on January 28th, 2021, at Noon ET and will continue till February 15th, 2021. While the fan votes will hold 50% weight-age, players and the media will account for 25% each. As usual, the Head Coaches will select the reserves.


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But which will be the most surprising selections/non-selection this year? Who will make the cut for the first time? Anthony Davis or Kawhi Leonard – who will be among the starters?

Conference captains in the NBA All-Star game

In a bid to spice up things, the league introduced a draft-style format for the All-Star game. And it has been a smash hit among the fans. They will vote for a captain from each conference who will pick their roster one-by-one. This will be televised to the live audience.

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 18: Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Durant warm up at the 67th NBA All-Star Game: Team LeBron Vs. Team Stephen at Staples Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

No surprise that fans will vote for LeBron James as the captain from the West. But the honors for the East are up for grabs. While Giannis has been the go-to-guy for the last couple of years, he has fallen out of favor recently. Plus, the East has the likes of Kevin Durant now.

This honor from the East will likely go to either KD or Joel Embiid. But while Embiid is playing at a Shaq level, Keven’s comeback trail plus his reach with the fans may help him pip the Cameroonian.

Big surprises from the East

James Harden may not make it as a starter this time around, and his teammate Kyrie Irving may not even make it to the event. Jimmy Butler may face the same fate if he does not turn around Miami Heat’s fortunes.

Though on the brighter side, Cavs’ Collin Sexton is on course. He is averaging 24.8 points a game, including a 40-point performance that torched the Brooklyn Nets.

Jaylen Brown’s exception form should be rewarded with an All-Star starting berth ahead of his more heralded teammate, Jayson Tatum.

Probable NBA All-Star Starters from the East

  • Trae Young
  • Jaylen Brown
  • Joel Embiid
  • Kevin Durant (C)
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo

Big surprises from the West

The Western Conference is stacked with superstars, which presents selecting the starters as a dilemma. Here’s an unpopular prediction – Neither Kawhi Leonard nor Anthony Davis will get the nod among the five.

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 18: DeMar DeRozan (L) and LeBron James play during the 67th NBA All-Star Game: Team LeBron Vs. Team Stephen at Staples Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

The likes of Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic, and Paul George deserve the berth more along with the perennials Curry and LeBron. Zion Williamson and Ja Morant will make the first of many All-Star appearances.


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Probable NBA All-Star Starters from the West

  • Stephen Curry
  • Paul George
  • Nikola Jokic
  • Luka Doncic
  • LeBron James (C)


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It is important to note that we base these predictions on player performances until now. There’s plenty still left to play, and the narrative could change in a matter of days. But this year’s All-Star Game will see a perfect mix of youth, talent, and experience.


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Bharat Aggarwal

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Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.