Today the NBA announcement of the 2013 All Star team reserves was made. This year, the course-correction NBA head coaches vote for, to try to make amends for critical voter error, due to their loyalty to under-performerss, or in some “Lin-sane” cases, vote based on ethnical identity were made (see China internet voting).
I completely understand and acknowledge that we all, at times, make mistakes. In a preference-based system such as an All Star Ballot, we can let our judgement be met with cloudy decisions at times due to these longstanding loyalties to favorites and franchises.
However, now that the likes of Jeremy Lin have rightfully been denied All Star status, we can look at these rosters and determine whom might have been better suited, and why.
2013 Eastern Conference All-Star Team
- Carmelo Anthony (New York)
- Chris Bosh (Miami)
- Tyson Chandler (New York)
- Luol Deng (Chicago)
- Kevin Garnett (Boston)
- Paul George (Indiana)
- Jrue Holiday (Philadelphia)
- Kyrie Irving (Cleveland)
- LeBron James (Miami)
- Joakim Noah (Chicago)
- Rajon Rondo (Boston)
- Dwyane Wade (Miami)
Biggest snub: Brook Lopez (Brooklyn)
Lopez has a been a monster in the middle this year, and at times has actually displayed interest in rebounding and playing defense. Offensively, he currently possesses the 4th-highest player efficiency rating (PER) in the league.
I am adamantly against advanced statistics in most scenarios as they don’t perpetuate the intangibles that cannot be measured by statistics, but this is just too glaring to overlook. Out of all of the All Stars, the player with the 4th-highest ranking PER, in the LEAGUE, is not on the team, and in a Eastern Conference that lacks quality centers.
At minimum, this means Lopez is the best offensive center in the league this year.
I love defensive players, and I completely support Tyson Chandler as he makes any team he plays for relevant, and shoots field goals at a percentage that most skilled players drain free throws (slight exaggeration, but you know what I mean), currently .674 on field goals this year. That is amazing efficiency and he should be the starting center in my opinion.
Most undeserving, yet included: Kevin Garnett
Garnett is nowhere near All Star level anymore, and as his team continues to disintegrate, people who know the game must be scoffing at his inclusion on this team as a starter. He remains a fan favorite on a team swiftly on the decline, with a loyal fanbase that thrusts him blindly into All Star prominence.
Compare him to Tim Duncan for a moment. Duncan is playing revived ball on a dominant Spurs team that refuses to go away and lose, whereas Garnett’s Celtics appear to be in serious trouble this year. Meanwhile, Lopez’s Nets are currently ranked 2nd in the Atlantic Division, and third overall in the Eastern Conference.
2013 Western Conference All-Star Team
- LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland)
- Kobe Bryant (L.A. Lakers)
- Tim Duncan (San Antonio)
- Kevin Durant (OKC)
- Blake Griffin (L.A. Clippers)
- James Harden (Houston)
- Dwight Howard (L.A. Lakers)
- David Lee (Golden State)
- Tony Parker (San Antonio)
- Chris Paul (L.A. Clippers)
- Zach Randolph (Memphis)
- Russell Westbrook (OKC)
Biggest Snub: Stephen Curry (Golden State)
Curry has been the leader of the revolution taking place in the Bay Area sports scene. It is rather simple, from my perspective, that if the decision was down to one Warrior, it should have been Curry all the way. Aldridge, Randolph, and Lee are all basically the same position, and Curry is the guy providing Lee with good looks for scoring. It’s the threat of Curry’s range and ability to score form anywhere that has inevitably led to the uptick of Lee’s easy baskets.
It is also the main reason Lee and all the other Warriors have been experiencing a revival in the concept of defense. If anyone is injured and cannot play during the game, it would be a crime if Curry is not immediately selected to be the replacement. Curry has been durable, and is showing what he can do as a healthy PG in this league, and the team is skyrocketing to heights well ahead of anyone’s expectations.
Alas, the fans select the starters. If anything, and speaking strictly form a basketball perspective, I believe Marc Gasol has been the best center in the NBA this season, and should have also been on this team, ahead of Randolph.
Most undeserving, yet included: Dwight Howard
I might be critiqued harshly for this, but hear me out before jumping on your soap box and screaming “this dude is crazy, and shouldn’t have a blog!”
Howard did a lot to lose my respect on how he handled his affairs exiting Orlando, and further compounded this in Los Angeles with the affect he has had on team chemistry for the Lakers this year. He tell his teammates, who are deeply concerned about his free throwing, those who see the value of his improvement will bring to the team success, that he simply isn’t listening. This shows where his head is at.
All these personal reasons aside. Dwight Howard has not made the Lakers better, and they are sinking.
By my definition, an All Star is a star player who makes his team better, and does so by playing inspired basketball. Tim Duncan has been a far better player, and so has Marc Gasol, and both are playing on teams who currently would be playoff bound if the playoffs started now.
The All Star game is supposed to award recognition to players based on the current season. It mostly fails to do that.
Did this new restructuring of the All Star team permanently derail legitimate centers from being able to make the team? My inclination is yes.
Did fans loyalty also play a massive factor by derailing more deserving players a chance at moving up a tier in the All Star status? Unequivocally yes.
Ultimately this is a meaningless game showcasing tons of offense in an attempt to promote the NBA to newer heights, ad should be taken as such. Sadly, those of us who are purists who cherish the game at a level bordering on lunacy must painfully accept this. We can only sit and watch, and pray, that the universe balances these mistakes out, and course-corrects in the form of replacement players.