The Toronto Raptors will be without an All-Star representative for the first time since 2013, despite sitting fifth in the Eastern Conference.
The 2021 All-Star reserves were leaked on Tuesday, with Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and Kyle Lowry all missing the cut. VanVleet figured to have the best chance at a nomination, given that he set a franchise record with 54 points earlier this season, and he grades out as one of the league’s most productive players by advanced metrics. However, a dismal 2-8 start to the season as the franchise temporarily relocated to Tampa Bay seemed to have disqualified any of the Raptors.
Sources: 2021 NBA All-Star reserves:
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 23, 2021
Another factor cutting against the Raptors’ candidacies is that there isn’t one clear-cut player that is head and shoulders above the rest. VanVleet and Siakam lead the team in scoring with 20 points apiece, while Lowry and Norman Powell each average 17 per game. The Raptors win as a group, not with one player determining the success of the team, which produces overall success at the team level, but not huge boxscore numbers that drive individual acclaim such as All-Star nomination.
The Raptors produced four All-Stars dating back to 2014, with DeMar DeRozan earning the first of four nods. Lowry represented Toronto from 2015 to 2020, and his six-year run has now been snapped with Lowry suffering various minor injuries that caused him to miss time. Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam were also named starters in 2019 and 2020. Both Dwane Casey and Nick Nurse have also coached the team.
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