Giannis Antetokoumnpo headlines the 2017 NBA All-Star starters


The 10 starters for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game have been announced, with Milwaukee Bucks point forward Giannis Antetokounmpo as the biggest headliner.

On Thursday, Jan. 19, the starters for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game were announced. The game will be played on February 19 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.

It was originally going to be played at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte but is now moving to the Big Easy because of North Carolina’s discriminatory HB2 bill. TNT will have the telecast.

For the East, the starting five are Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving, Toronto Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan, Cavaliers small forward LeBron James, Chicago Bulls wing Jimmy Butler and Milwaukee Bucks point forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.

For the West, the starting five are Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden, San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard, Warriors small forward Kevin Durant and New Orleans Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis.

The 10 selected to start in the 2017 NBA All-Star Game are certainly deserving. These are 10 of the very best basketball players in the NBA. However, there are two main takeaways from the news of the starting lineups.

The first is that Curry got the nod over Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook. Curry is the two-time reigning NBA MVP, but Westbrook has had the better first half than Curry. Westbrook is averaging a triple-double for the Thunder and is a serious MVP candidate. Curry has willingly become the No. 2 in Oakland behind Durant with this juggernaut Warriors team.

The other huge takeaway (pun intended) is that there are almost no traditional frontcourt players on either starting five. James, Butler and Antetokounmpo are all ball handlers for their respective Central Division teams. Only Davis feels like a guy who can play center at any point in a serious NBA game.

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That being said, this is a glorified exhibition with the best players getting to play. Expect the benches to be filled out with other great point guards, wings and especially big men. All 10 elected to start absolutely deserve to be in the 2017 NBA All-Star Game.