With the NBA All-Star Weekend just having recently ended, and no Latino players having been selected to participate, it seemed fitting to come up with the top Latino players thus far this season. Many of these players are highly under-appreciated in the league, and rarely get recognition for the contributions they make to their respective teams. Below is my ‘all-star lineup’ of Latino players from this season.
Point Guard: Facundo Campazzo – Denver Nuggets
Stats: 6.0 points per game, 3.7 assists per game, 1.1 steals per game
Standing at 5’10”, Campazzo is one of the sneakiest guards in the league, using his speed to get past defenders on offense and averaging more than a steal per game defensively. He is one of the most important role players on a good Nuggets squad, and makes a big impact for his team despite having only started 4 games the entire season for Denver.
Shooting Guard: Chris Duarte – Indiana Pacers
Stats: 13.4 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game, 43.5% field goal
Duarte, a rookie out of Oregon University, has been a bright spot on a downward trending Pacers team, as he has shown many flashes of future stardom, including a 27 point breakout game in an 121-117 upset win over the Warriors on February 21. Duarte is currently the second-highest scorer on the team, behind only star point guard Malcolm Brogdon. Despite this early success, Duarte is rarely mentioned by the basketball world and continues to go under the radar.
Small Forward: Juan Toscano-Anderson – Golden State Warriors
Stats: 4.5 points per game, 2.6 rebounds per game, 49% field goal
Toscano-Anderson, now in his third season in the league, has continued to make an impact on his Warriors team despite resurgences from superstars Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, which have given him fewer opportunities to shine. Toscano has shot extremely efficiently from the field heading into the All-Star break and has also maintained a defensive presence as a key piece on a Golden State team that currently sits second in the standings in the Western Conference.
Power Forward: Trevor Ariza – Los Angeles Lakers
Stats: 4.0 points per game, 3.4 rebounds per game, 1.2 assists per game
Despite a lackluster season from the LA Lakers, Ariza, now 35, is still out there continuing to impact the game. Although his numbers are not what they once were, Ariza has still provided support for the Lakers as they continue to make a push into securing a playoff spot. Ariza has taken on a veteran role for the injury-plagued superteam and helped them stay in contention for the playoffs as star players like LeBron James and Anthony Davis continue to try to get back to full strength.
Center: Al Horford – Boston Celtics
Stats: 10.1 points per game, 7.5 rebounds per game, 1.3 blocks per game
Horford, who is now in his 14th season in the NBA, has managed to continuously make an impact for whichever team he plays for. Horford has played in 51 of the 60 games this season and started everyone. He has been able to provide support for main scorers Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown with help scoring and rebounding on the offensive side, as well as doing a good job protecting the paint on the inside, as he picks up more than a block a game.
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