At this point in the NBA season, Tobias Harris has already had his name in the conversation for an all-star selection. Unfortunately for Harris, the Western Conference is full of talented players and there may not be room for him. Still, there is a strong argument to be made for the Clippers’ forward. He has been the best player on the Clippers who currently hold the 5th seed in the West. In last month’s power rankings, they were number two. Their position in the standings is even more impressive when considering preseason predictions. Many people, including myself, thought the Clippers would land around the 13th seed in the conference. The team exceeding expectation has largely been because of Harris’ play, but will that be enough?
Tobias Harris 2018-2019 Stats – 21.6 PPG, 50.9 FG%, 42.4 3P%, 87.9 FT%
The fact that Harris isn’t an all-star lock despite his team’s success and his stats reflects how much talent is in the Western Conference. Harris is having a near 50/40/90 season while averaging over 20 points a game. If he brings his free throw percentage up by just 2.1% by the end of the season Harris will join seven others in an exclusive club. The players in the 50/40/90 club include Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Larry Bird, Mark Price, Steve Nash, Reggie Miller, Dirk Nowitzki, and Steve Nash. Pretty impressive company. Tobias’ incredibly efficient scoring should be enough for an all-star nod, but it’s far from guaranteed.
Unfortunately, nobody cares about the Clippers, making it much harder for Harris to gain a spot through the fan vote (unless you want to vote for him here). Even though they are in LA, the Clippers receive little to no recognition. With LeBron James‘ move to the West, the spotlight has been shining on him and the Lakers. This has led to much of the NBA community, even in LA, to ignore the Clippers and their success. It’s just not flashy enough. Harris is a great player, but he makes very few highlight plays and puts up very few crazy stat lines. He doesn’t have the same athleticism as other stars, making him less appealing to watch for some fans.
Harris will likely have to compete with CJ McCollum, Klay Thompson, Mike Conley, and Karl-Anthony Towns for the final reserve spots. While all of these players have had amazing seasons I believe Tobias Harris has been better than all of them. Even with that said, it’s hard to imagine Thompson not getting voted in despite having the worst 3-point percentage of his career and being extremely average on offense. The name recognition he gets for being great the last 3 years should prevent him from losing his spot in the all-star game. Also, it doesn’t hurt that he had a 52-point game and is on the infamous Warriors.
Even assuming Klay gets in, and there is a small chance he won’t, Harris can still make it into the all-star game. CJ McCollum is scoring less on way worse efficiency while being a bad defender. Also, CJ isn’t the best player on his team with Damian Lillard being the star in Portland. Harris also has a strong case over Conley. Although the Mike-Conley-is-underrated movement started gaining steam earlier this season, it has recently died off. Conley hasn’t played great the past few weeks and being a defense-first player hurts his chance to gain votes. Additionally, Memphis gets even less recognition than the Clippers.
The hardest player to argue Tobias over is Karl Anthony-Towns. Luckily for Harris, the infatuation with KAT being the next dominant center has died down. With that said, there’s no doubt his offensive game and rebounding abilities are elite. The only advantages Harris has over Towns is his efficiency and team success. Tobias’ near 50-40-90 season is something few players can match and Towns is multiple percentage points short in every category. Additionally, Harris’ eFG% is 4% higher than Towns’. Also, with similar amounts of help, Harris’ team has played much better than the Timberwolves.
Harris still can’t match the hype around Towns’ name. Being a former number one overall pick, already having an all-star selection, and averaging 25 points a game two seasons ago all add credibility to Towns’ resume. I believe Harris has been better than Towns on the court, but all-star selections aren’t always about skill.
I believe Tobias Harris should be an All-Star, but the realities of voting may get in the way. Nevertheless, Harris has had an incredible season so far and will likely become an all-star very soon. There are so many deserving players in the West it will be hard to see who gets snubbed this year.
Who do you think deserves an all-star selection this year? Do you think Tobias deserves a spot? Comment Below