The 2013 NBA All-Stars were announced and once again the fans and the coaches didn’t exactly get it right. This is nothing new, the All-star picks will forever rev up a debate. The starters are voted in basically as a popularity contest by the fans and the reserves tend to be more accurately chosen by the coaches but even they slip up. So what should the East and West rosters really look like? Check it out after the jump.
Here’s the players chosen:
|Eastern Conference Starters:||Western Conference Starters:|
|Guard Rajon Rondo (Boston Celtics)
|Guard Chris Paul (LA Clippers)|
|Guard Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat)
|Guard Kobe Bryant (LA Lakers)|
|Forward Lebron James (Miami Heat)
|Forward Kevin Durant (OKC Thunder)|
|Forward Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks)||Forward Blake Griffin (LA Clippers)|
|Center Kevin Garnett (Boston Celtics)||Center Dwight Howard (LA Lakers)|
|Eastern Conference Reserves:||Western Conference Reserves:|
|Guard Jrue Holiday (Philadelphia 76ers)||Guard Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs)|
|Guard Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)||Guard Russell Westbrook (OKC Thunder)|
|Forward Chris Bosh (Miami Heat)||Guard James Harden (Houston Rockets)|
|Forward Paul George (Indiana Pacers)||Forward Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs)|
|Forward Luol Deng (Chicago Bulls)||Forward Zach Randolph (Memphis Grizzlies)|
|Center Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks)||Forward LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trailblazers)|
|Center Joakim Noah (Chicago Bulls)||Forward David Lee (Golden State Warriors)|
Who should be added:
Guard Stephon Curry (Golden State Warriors): One of the biggest snubs this year is Stephon Curry. The Warriors success was dependent on his fragile ankle and since he’s been healthy they’re now 26-15 holding the fifth seed in the highly contested Western Conference. Curry is currently averaging 20.9 points per game, 6.6 assists per game and 4.1 rebounds per game. He’s shooting 45.1% from three-point range, is the key to the Warriors offense and their most valuable player; definitely a huge snub.
Center Brook Lopez (Brooklyn Nets): Along with Curry this is one of the biggest snubs of the year. Lopez is arguably the best center in the league right now. He’s also the best player on a team that includes Deron Williams. Brooklyn hit a slump before the subsequent firing of coach Avery Johnson but Lopez has been a key to their success. Averaging 18.6 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game, Lopez has greatly improved on defense and rebounding, something he’s been criticized for not to mention he’s the best offensive center in the league. The Nets have climbed back from a horrible December and are now 26-16 and third in the Eastern Conference.
Who should be taken off:
Forward Kevin Garnett (Boston Celtics): Making a case for Lopez over Garnett is incredibly easy but unfortunately the fans voted Garnett in and well we all know that’s a popularity contest. Garnett is currently averaging 14.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1 block per game. Over his 18-year career Garnett has been voted into 15 All-Star games but this shouldn’t have been one of them. But since he was voted as a starter if I have to pick a reserve to be left off in favor of Brook Lopez I would have to go with…
Forward Luol Deng (Chicago Bulls): Deng is undoubtedly having a great season but I’m not sure if it’s All Star worthy. His defensive ability and drive is to be admired but the Bulls having two representatives while the Nets and Hawks have none is questionable. And if I had to pick between Deng and Noah getting a nod, I would most definitely go with Joakim Noah. Noah averages a double-double with 12.2 points and 10.9 rebounds as well as 2.1 blocks per game. You may argue the choices of Chris Bosh and Tyson Chandler but I think those choices are correct. Bosh averages 17.3 points and 7.2 rebounds on a team that includes Lebron James and Dwyane Wade. His presence is felt and although he isn’t given the credit he deserves, he’s stepped up numerous times for this team. Chandler averages 12.1 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. His infamous #TysonTipOut and presence in the paint has aided the Knicks in their 26-14 record; sitting as the second seed in the East behind the Miami Heat.
Forward LaMarcus Aldridge (Portland Trailblazers): Aldridge is having a great season averaging 20.7 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game but believe it or not he’s having his worst season in three years. His rookie teammate Damian Lillard can even make a case of having more impact on the team. The Blazers are currently 21-21 the eighth seed in the West. Tony Parker, James Harden and Tim Duncan are all having stellar seasons and in my opinion are rightfully deserving of their spots but arguments can be made about Zach Randolph, David Lee and Aldridge for the case of Stephon Curry and even center Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Guard Jamal Crawford (LA Clippers): A big case was made for Clippers guard Jamal Crawford to make it into the All-Star game but it was highly unlikely that the Clippers would have three representatives in the highly stacked Western Conference. The potential Sixth Man of the Year is averaging 16.7 points and 2.5 assists per game. His flashy crossovers and hot shooting are impressive but he’s somewhat one-dimensional and definitely wouldn’t get a nod over Stephon Curry.
Guard JR Smith (New York Knicks): Also a potential Sixth Man of the Year, JR Smith and his supporters made a rousing case for him to get an All Star spot this year. He’s improved greatly on defense and his heroic shots have won games for the Knicks but his shooting percentage is questionable. Smith is averaging 16.5 points and 2.9 assists but in his last 10 games he’s averaging 36.8% from the field. He’s always been known as a high volume shooter who’s never saw a shot he didn’t like. In the beginning of the season we turned a blind eye to that because well he was hitting them. Now he’s hit a bit of a slump going 3-16 and 7-19 etc. from the field. JR has been extremely useful for the Knicks roster just not quite All-Star worthy yet.
Mentionables: Josh Smith (Atlanta Hawks), David West (Indiana Pacers), Al Horford (Atlanta Hawks), Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics)
Unfortunately there’s only 24 spots and someone deserving will always be left off.