Monday, February 6, 2012

NBA All-Star Game Reserve Picks

Last week, the fan voting results for the NBA All-Star starters were announced. A quick recap:

Eastern Conference
G Derrick Rose, CHI
G Dwyane Wade, MIA
F Lebron James, MIA
F Carmelo Anthony, NYK
C Dwight Howard, ORL

Western Conference
G Chris Paul, LAC
G Kobe Bryant, LAL 
F Kevin Durant, OKC
F Blake Griffin, LAC
C Andrew Bynum, LAL

I don't really know when the reserves are announced, but I can tell you how they are selected. Every coach gets to vote for the bench in his conference - 2 guards, 2 forwards, 1 center, and 2 wild cards - without voting for any of his own players. One new addition is the center position is very ambiguous - coaches can vote for any player who has played any center this season, because honestly there's not enough All-Star caliber centers to pick four. Here's who would be on my ballot, and let me just tell you that I think the only reason we should have an All-Star game is to entertain the fans (see: NFL Pro Bowl):

Eastern Conference
G Deron Williams, NJ
G Ray Allen, BOS
F Luol Deng, CHI
F Josh Smith, ATL
C Chris Bosh, MIA
Wild Card John Wall, WAS
Wild Card Joe Johnson, ATL

Western Conference
G Russell Westbrook, OKC
G Ricky Rubio, MIN
F Kevin Love, MIN
F LaMarcus Aldridge, POR
C Marc Gasol, MEM
Wild Card Ty Lawson, DEN
Wild Card DeAndre Jordan, LAC

Are there more qualified players than Smith, Wall, Rubio, Lawson, and Jordan? Absolutely. Are there any players that are more fun to watch that aren't already on my list? Nope. Lob City in full force. Rubio. John "Faster Than A Speeding Bullet But Doesn't Win A Lot Of Games" Wall. Ty "Same Boat As John Wall But On A Much Better Team" Lawson. Josh Smith is a master of the alley-oop. I understand that fast break dunks and awe-inspiring dunks doesn't win championships - but this is the All-Star Game, so why not have a little fun?

PS: To any 76ers fans reading, I have two reasons that your team doesn't get a representative. (1) Who do you pick? Jrue Holiday, Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand, Spencer Hawes, Lou Williams, Evan Turner? (2) The answer to number 1 is this: the Sixers are so good because they don't have a superstar. Everyone on the roster is fairly evenly balanced. I think picking an All-Star off the team would hurt them in the long run, because they currently don't have a best player. The benefit of that is teams can't just focus on one guy. They have to watch everyone.

I was looking for the scene that's showed around 1:13 that went something like this:
"Your best player thinks he's a pirate"
"First of all, he is way more of a pirate than you will ever be.
Second of all, we don't know who our best player is. We've only played one game"

Denver falls into the same category as Philly, but Ty Lawson against John Wall would be loads of fun to watch.

PPS: It will be interesting to see who the Peter Lafleur turns out to be for the Sixers - you know, their best player who gets the ball in late game situations. Because so far, they've pretty much just blown everyone out. Come playoff time, I hope Doug Collins figures out who his go-to guy is. But come on, it's Doug Collins - he already knows. 

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