With the starters announced for the 2019 All-Star Game, the attention now shifts to the reserves who will be selected by the league's coaches.
Who should get the nod? Here's a closer look at the case for each of the All-Star candidates.
MORE: NBA announces All-Star starters
Unless otherwise stated, all stats are through Monday, Jan. 21 which was the final day for All-Star voting for fans, media and players. Although the deadline for coaches is later, the Jan. 21 cutoff is meant to keep the playing field consistent among all every All-Star contender.
Eastern Conference backcourt
Ben Simmons, PG, Philadelphia 76ers - Let's stop focusing on what Simmons can't do (outside shooting) and what he can do (almost everything else). He's currently averaging over 16 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists per game, something that only Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain and Russell Westbrook have ever done. Did we mention he's only 22-years-old?
Kyle Lowry, PG, Toronto Raptors - Lowry looked like the second coming of Steve Nash to start the season, leading the Raptors to their best start in franchise history. He hasn't been able to maintain that level of play, but he's still averaging almost 10 assists per game. The Raptors have been a completely different team with him on the court.
D'Angelo Russell, PG, Brooklyn Nets - Russell has stepped his game up since Caris LeVert went down with a gruesome injury. He's averaging 20.9 points, 7.4 assists and 3.7 rebounds per contest in his last 22 games, doing so on 47.0 percent shooting from the field. The Nets are 18-4 during that stretch.
Eric Bledsoe, PG, Milwaukee Bucks - Given Milwaukee's sterling record, it would be tough for the Bucks to have only one All-Star. Bledsoe has a good case to join Giannis Antetokounmpo in Charlotte as he's third on the team in scoring and second in assists while doubling as perhaps the league's best defender at the point guard position. Nearly a quarter of his points come on the fastbreak, where Bledsoe helps spark one of the league's most uptempo offenses.
Bradley Beal, SG, Washington Wizards - An All-Star a year ago, Beal is averaging career highs in points, assists and rebounds and has kept the Wizards in playoff contention even after John Wall went down with a season-ending injury. Since Wall last played on Dec. 26, Beal is scoring 28.5 points per game which ranks third in the East behind only Joel Embiid and Kawhi Leonard.
Victor Oladipo, SG, Indiana Pacers - The serious knee injury sustained against the Raptors shouldn't discount Oladipo's All-Star case, even if it means he can't play in the actual game. Oladipo's overall numbers are down compared to last season, when he made the All-Star team for the first time, but he's been one of the best clutch scorers in the league this season. He's also an elite defender.
Dwyane Wade, SG, Miami Heat - This would be a legacy inclusion for Wade, who is in the final season of his career. It's clear the fans want to see him after finishing second in the fan vote among Eastern Conference guards. Could the coaches give Wade the nod, just as Michael Jordan was given a spot in his final season with the Wizards? Wade is a 12-time All-Star, last making it in 2015-16.
Eastern Conference frontcourt
Jimmy Butler, SF, Philadelphia 76ers - Butler wasted no time making his mark with the 76ers, hitting a pair of game-winning shots within his first two weeks with the team. For a team starved for fourth-quarter scoring in the half court, Butler provides a much needed boost. Since making his debut on Nov. 14, Butler ranks 12th in the East in overall scoring and seventh in fourth-quarter scoring.
Khris Middleton, SF, Milwaukee Bucks - Similar to Bledsoe, Middleton's case is in part tied to team success. Also a strong defender, Middleton is the team's second option on offence behind the Greek Freak and at times has carried the load. In 471 minutes this season that Middleton has been on the court without Antetokounmpo, he's averaging 27.9 points per 36 minutes. More importantly? The Bucks have outscored their opponents by 177 points in that time.
Pascal Siakam, PF, Toronto Raptors - Given the musical chairs with the availability of Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry, Siakam has been the Raptors' second-best player in at least half of Toronto's games. Through Toronto's first 50 games, Leonard and Lowry have only played in 25 together which has put the onus on Siakam to deliver. Advanced stats love him. Case in point? The only Eastern Conference frontcourt players to rank ahead of him in Real Plus-Minus are Antetokounmpo, Embiid and Nikola Vucevic.
Blake Griffin, PF, Detroit Pistons - In his ninth season, Griffin is having somewhat of a renaissance year. Not only is he averaging a career-high in scoring, Griffin is one of only three players averaging at least 26 points, eight rebounds and five assists per game. The other two? LeBron and the Greek Freak. Griffin is seeking his first All-Star appearance since 2014-15.
John Collins, PF, Atlanta Hawks - When available, the second-year power forward has been a wrecking ball for the rebuilding Hawks. After missing the first 15 games (plus one more), Collins has emerged as one of the East's most productive bigs. Dating back to the start of December in which he went for 24 points and 11 rebounds against the Warriors, Collins is averaging over 20 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 57 percent from the field - including 40 percent from beyond the arc.
Nikola Vucevic, C, Orlando Magic - 36 points and 13 rebounds in a win over the Lakers. 31-15-7 in another win over the Lakers. 30-19-8 in a win over the Raptors. 30 in a win over the 76ers while outscoring Embiid, Simmons and Butler. Vucevic has delivered time and again for the Magic. Though they've faded, Vucevic is a walking 20-12 as he plays out the final year of his contract.
Andre Drummond, C, Detroit Pistons - For the third time in four years, Drummond is leading the NBA in rebounding while also averaging a career high 16.3 points per game. A beast on the offensive glass, Drummond leads the NBA in second-chance points per game.
Western Conference backcourt
Russell Westbrook, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder - Though he's having the worst 3-point shooting season ever by a volume shooter, Westbrook leads the NBA in both assists and steals per game, and for the third straight year is averaging a triple-double. Even if Paul George is having the better season, Westbrook remains the heart and soul of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers - If it weren't for James Harden lighting the NBA on fire with a blowtorch and Stephen Curry once again operating on a 2015-16 MVP level, Lillard would have warranted consideration as a starter. You can make a case he's having the third-best season of any guard in the NBA and he's done it while playing in every single game for the Blazers.
Jrue Holiday, PG, New Orleans Pelicans - Anthony Davis is the best player on the Pelicans and yet it's Holiday whose on-the-court presence has had a bigger impact on the bottom line. Through Jan. 21, the Pelicans were 17.3 points per 100 possessions better with Holiday on the floor than with him off, over twice as large of a disparity when looking at the same split for Davis.
Jamal Murray, PG, Denver Nuggets - The Nuggets have been at or near the top of the West from the jump despite missing more games due to injury than any other team in the NBA. If Denver deserves two All-Stars, Murray is the only option alongside Nikola Jokic. He's averaging nearly 19 points per contest while appearing in every game.
De'Aaron Fox, PG, Sacramento Kings - Fox has emerged as a legitimate franchise cornerstone in Sacramento as the second-year point guard is averaging over 17 points and seven assists per game. The last player to hit those numbers in his second season? Chris Paul, who has nine All-Star appearances and counting.
DeMar DeRozan, SG, San Antonio Spurs - In his first season in San Antonio, DeRozan is pumping in a team-high 21.4 points per game and more importantly dishing out a career-high 6.4 assists per game. For a team desperate for playmaking after losing starting point guard Dejounte Murray for the season, DeRozan has answered the call and added a new wrinkle to his game in his 10th season.
Klay Thompson, SG, Golden State Warriors - What an odd season for Thompson. After going 5-36 from beyond the arc to start the season, he erupted for 52 points while making an NBA record 14 3-pointers on Oct. 29. In a nutshell, that's been Thompson's season - he's alternated between hot and cold. Though he's shooting under 40 percent from the perimeter for the first time in his career, Thompson's hot streak of late has him up to over 22 PPG and not far off his career-high of 22.3 set in 2016-17.
Derrick Rose, PG, Minnesota Timberwolves - Rose believes he's a better player now than he was back in 2010-11, when he was named the youngest MVP in NBA history. As crazy as it might sound, he has a point. To go along with the 23.1 points he's averaging per 36 minutes - the second-highest rate of his career - Rose has never shot this well from the 3-point line. He's taking 3.4 3-pointers per game this season and making them at a 42.1 percent clip.
Donovan Mitchell, SG, Utah Jazz - Mitchell has been a different player in the month of January. Following a slow start to the season, Mitchell is averaging 28.3 points on 46.5 percent shooting from the field and 42.5 percent from 3-point range in his last 12 games. The Jazz are 9-3 in that stretch and back in the Western Conference playoff picture.
Western Conference frontcourt
Luka Doncic, SF, Dallas Mavericks - At the time voting wrapped up, the 19-year old phenom was sporting tidy averages of 20.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. Care to guess how many rookies have averaged 20-6-5 for an entire season? Two. Michael Jordan and Oscar Robertson, both of whom made the All-Star team as rookies.
Danilo Gallinari, SF, L.A. Clippers - No Italian-born player has ever made the All-Star team. That could change if Gallinari gets the nod to represent an overachieving Clippers team that's in the thick of the playoff race. Though Tobias Harris has gotten more All-Star buzz, the advanced stats favour Gallinari, who owns an edge in PER, Win Shares and Box Plus-Minus among others (it's close!).
Tobias Harris, PF, L.A. Clippers - If the Clippers receive an All-Star, conventional wisdom points to Harris as he's the team's leading scorer. Sometimes it's as simple as that. Still just 26-years-old, Harris is not only averaging career highs in points, rebounds and assists, he's also shooting over 50 percent from the field for the first time in his career.
Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Minnesota Timberwolves - Towns has taken off since the Jimmy Butler trade, averaging over 23 points and nearly 13 rebounds per game. In a season in which stars have missed extended stretches, Towns remains one of the most reliable players in the league. He has yet to miss a game after starting all 82 games in each of his first three years.
Anthony Davis, C, New Orleans Pelicans - If the Pelicans had a better record, Davis would surely be in the starting lineup. Were it not for James Harden turning into 1987 Michael Jordan, Davis would be threatening to become the first big man to win a scoring title since Shaquille O'Neal in 1999-00. There's an argument to be made that he's been the most complete player in the league as he leads all players in PER and Win Shares.
Nikola Jokic, C, Denver Nuggets - In an era defined by ball dominant scoring guards and bigs who pile up the points, Jokic is an entirely different breed. Though certainly capable of big scoring nights when needed, Jokic makes his mark as a playmaker. His 7.7 assists per game are the most by a center in over 50 years. Simply put, he makes everyone around him better, almost like a 7-foot version of Steve Nash.
Rudy Gobert, C, Utah Jazz - The reigning Defensive Player of the Year might just win it again as he's leading the NBA in Defensive Real Plus-Minus. With Gobert on the floor, the Jazz allow just 100.7 points per 100 possessions, over three points better than Milwaukee's No. 1 ranked defence. He's no stiff offensively either - Gobert is shooting 64 percent from the floor while averaging a career high 14.9 points per game.
Steven Adams, C, Oklahoma City Thunder - Of every player on this list, Adams is probably the one whose game least fits the mold of All-Star Weekend. And yet his demeanor and physicality sets the tone for an OKC team that looks like as big of a threat as any to Golden State. It's admittedly cherry picking, but something to think about? He has over twice as many Win Shares as Westbrook.
Draymond Green, PF, Golden State Warriors - Among the Golden State All-Star holdovers, Green's case in 2018-19 is likely the most tenuous. His offensive game alone does not fit the mold of an All-Star. He's averaging just 7.2 points per game on an abysmal 42 percent shooting, including 25 percent from deep. And yet his on-court presence transforms Golden State's defence from one that would rank in the bottom five to one that would lead the league. With the Warriors back on top in the West, don't be shocked if the coaches give Green the nod.