NBA

Karl-Anthony Towns.

Four players to earn All-Star honours in 2017

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Karl-Anthony Towns

The first-ever unanimous winner of the Rookie of the Year award, Karl-Anthony Towns has a big future ahead of him with the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are primed for a shot at the playoffs - ahead of future title challenges - after they finished 13th in the Western Conference with a 29-53 record.

He averaged 18.3 points and 10.5 rebounds during his rookie year and with a full campaign of NBA action under his belt - playing all 82 games - his production is only set to improve. Shooting 54.2 percent from the field and 81.1 from the free throw line, the T-Wolves really have a superstar on their hands.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

The Milwaukee Bucks may have struggled last season but the Greek Freak certainly didn't. Playing a point/forward role during the back end of last season he excelled in all categories, producing five triple-doubles as the Bucks ended the season with a 33-49 record.

He averaged 16.9 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists while shooting 50.6 percent from the field and 72.4 from the charity stripe. The Bucks will be expecting to return to postseason action in 2017 and Giannis will be a huge part of that. He is a big favourite with the fans and could see his strong form rewarded.

Milwaukee Bucks v Boston Celtics

Damian Lillard

Ok, so this is somewhat of a cop-out. Damian Lillard should have been an All-Star in 2016, there is no doubt about that. His form for the Portland Trail Blazers was simply incredible and it only got better after his snub from the event in Toronto.

The point guard was a huge part of Portland's success as they made it to the conference semi-finals, averaging 25.1 points and 6.8 assists - both career-highs - while shooting 37.5 percent from three-point territory. He twice reached at least 50 points as he broke his career-high in a single game; dropping 50 against the Toronto Raptors and 51 in a win over the Golden State Warriors.

Portland Trail Blazers v Golden State Warriors - Game Five

Hassan Whiteside

The incredible rise of the center will continue next season as he looks set to become the focal point of the Miami Heat's attack in the post-Dwyane Wade era. The franchise focused all their attentions on retaining Hassan Whiteside - something that contributed to the departure of their three-time title-winning guard - and he will have to repay the organisation with another improvement.

He averaged 14.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and an incredible 3.7 blocks as Miami reached the semi-finals in the east. Alongside Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson, he will lead the Heat into a new era.

Chicago Bulls v Miami Heat

Topics:
Miami Heat
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
NBA
Milwaukee Bucks
Central Division
Portland Trail Blazers
Northwest Division
Western Conference
Minnesota Timberwolves

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