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SALT LAKE CITY — In what is becoming a yearly ritual, Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell have been named to the 2022 All-Star Game.
On Thursday, both Jazz stars were voted in as Western Conference reserves by conference coaches; it's the third straight season the duo have made the team. Only Karl Malone, John Stockton and Adrian Dantley have more All-Star selections while members of the Utah Jazz.
Gobert, who has won the Defensive Player of the Year three out of the last four seasons, is averaging career-highs in points and rebounds per game and just missed being named an All-Star starter by votes.
He's averaging 16.0 points and 15.1 rebounds, and is once again a favorite to win the DPOY award.
Utah's recent struggles while Gobert has been out due to COVID-19 protocols and a left calf strain have only emphasized his impact on the team.
The Jazz are 29-13 this season when Gobert plays, which would be the third best winning percentage in the league. When he sits, the Jazz are just 2-8.
Utah has some kinks to work out, no doubt, but Gobert is the centerpiece to Quin Snyder's system. He leads the league in screen assists, is one of the best dive men in pick-and-roll actions and he's shooting 70.7% from the field.
He's even improved this season in sealing defenders and giving teammates a target to get him the ball down low; he creates a league-high number of second-chance points. In short, everything the Jazz do works better with him on the court — it's no surprise he, once again, is an All-Star.
The same goes for Mitchell.
In fact, if this exercise would have happened a month ago, Mitchell would have had a strong case to be named a starter — he was that good (fan vote, however, would have made that very difficult — Andrew Wiggins got in over Gobert, after all.)
After an impressive December where he averaged 30.2 points and 5.2 assists, Mitchell was named Western Conference Player of the Month and was playing some of his best regular season basketball of his career.
He was scoring at an elite level, and the Jazz held the NBA's best point differential.
A month later, things were a bit more rocky.
In his eight games in January, Mitchell has shot just 41% from the field and 31% from the 3-point line. Some of his worst shooting performances of the season were followed by what has been a lengthy stretch in concussion protocols.
Mitchell, though, didn't miss enough time to hurt his case — especially this season when most of the league has missed games due to COVID-19 — and his overall numbers (25.5 points, 5.2 assists) were still good enough to get him in.
Western Conference All-Stars
- LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers)
- Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets)
- Andrew Wiggins (Golden State Warriors)
- Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)
- Ja Morant (Memphis Grizzlies)
- Rudy Gobert (Utah Jazz)
- Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz)
- Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors)
- Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves)
- Chris Paul (Phoenix Suns)
- Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns)
- Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks)
Eastern Conference All-Stars
- Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks)
- Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers)
- Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks)
- DeMar DeRozan (Chicago Bulls)
- Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat)
- Darius Garland (Cleveland Cavaliers)
- James Harden (Brooklyn Nets)
- Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls)
- Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks)
- Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)
- Fred VanVleet (Toronto Raptors)