With the NBA's inaugural in-season tournament in the books and the Los Angeles Lakers having raised the NBA Cup, it's time to look ahead to the next marquee event on the league's schedule: February's All-Star Game.
My choices for players performing at an All-Star level over the first quarter of the regular season include a rookie -- which hasn't happened since Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin in 2011 -- and four other first-timers, two as starters in the Eastern Conference. Three other starters squared off in Saturday's in-season tournament final between the Lakers and Indiana Pacers.
Using advanced player metrics as a guide, I selected the 12 players in each conference who have performed the best so far according to the NBA's typical format -- two backcourt starters and three in the frontcourt, the same number of reserves and two wild-card selections regardless of position.
Since some players will see their fast starts cool after the season's first 20 games and other established stars will return to form, this isn't exactly the way I'd select All-Star teams. Nonetheless, it offers a useful look at which players have been the best so far during the 2023-24 season. Let's take a look at my teams.