The NBA All-Star game is right around the corner and votes are rapidly coming placed. There have been a plethora of players playing at an all-star level this season, so decisions may be difficult to make. Three players that should definitely be in the conversation are on the Chicago Bulls: Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler and Pau Gasol.
The Bulls are off to a decent start with a 18-9 record, sitting at the #4 spot in the Eastern Conference, and it should be credited mostly to the supreme play of this trio.
Derrick Rose has been in and out of the line-up due to injuries and other issues. However, while his play is not exactly what we have become accustomed to, when he has been on the court, he’s performed at an elite level, giving us flashes of his superstar self. In a few games this season, he has hit a variety of shots in the clutch, put the jets on to speed up the court for easy transition layups and set up players for easy opportunities. Even when he didn’t perform well, his presence was still felt. All of these efforts have been All-Star worthy, despite staying healthy has being an issue. Rose is one of the most popular players in the NBA, so his votes may pave a way for him in the starting line-up for the All-Star Game. If he isn’t in the starting line-up, then his superstardom will at least dub him a reserve spot.
Rose’s backcourt sidekick, Jimmy Butler, has been playing out of his mind lately, and should find his way to his first All-Star Game. No other shooting guard in the Eastern Conference is playing on Butler’s level. In the last three games, his scoring totals have been: 27, 35 and 31. So far, he’s a top 10 scoring leader this season and is the leading scorer at his position in the Eastern Conference, as well as for the Bulls with 21.9 points per game. Butler’s offense had been questioned since he entered the league, but this season, has made it a point to prove himself as a reliable source of scoring for his team. Currently one of the league’s most elite two-way players, he’s earned himself the “Player of the Month” award and could very well win “Most Improved Player” honors by the end of the season. Although popularity could hamper his All-Star chances, he is very well deserving of a starting spot. Since this will be his first bid, he may have to began as an All-Star reserve.
To complete the Bulls possible all-star trio is Pau Gasol. The resurgence of Gasol as a member of the Bulls is a story for the ages. His career as an elite player looked like it was coming to end during the end of his run with the Lakers, but since coming over to Chicago, it’s been like a breath of fresh air. Gasol has embraced the toughness of the Bulls and is fitting in seamlessly. He is averaging 18 points per game — his most since the 2010-11 season. He is also a top 5 rebounder, snatching just under 12 rebounds per game and is one of the league leaders in blocks with 2 per game. His efforts with the Bulls is superstar-esque and should position him to be a starter on the Eastern Conference All-Star team.
Voting for the 2015 NBA All-Star teams are open now at NBA.com.