The All-Star reserves were announced yesterday, and I just want to throw in my two cents.
My immediate reaction. Iverson cost a worthy candidate a spot. There were three definite snubs, and we’ll get to that in a short bit, but if Iverson gave up his spot, or some how was not allowed to be voted for, than there would be only two snubs. Two is better than three.
Let’s start with the East. Real quick, Rajon Rondo and Gerald Wallace definitely deserve their first All-Star nods, both players have quietly molded themselves into great players, the best players on their teams in fact. Yes, that includes Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Stephen Jackson. If you take both Rondo and Wallace out of the equation, imagine how the Celtics and Bobcats would run. Yes the Celtics would still have a winning record, but without him, I dare say they wouldn’t be “elite“. Rajon Rondo has turned himself into “Baby” Jason Kidd minus the 3’s. Kidd is a first ballot Hall of Famer.
I’m not quite sold on Derrick Rose being an All-Star (I think this is what got him in). Yes, he’s had one fine month in January, but he was playing mediocre basketball for the first two months of the season. He was the right choice considering the All-Star roster format, which brings me to another topic. Change that format. I honestly would have chosen Joakim Noah over Rose if the East were allowed to load up on 4’s and 5’s. Noah should have made it over Al Horford! David Lee should have made it over both of them. Yes winning has a lot to do with it, but it’s not like David Lee is out there just playing for stats. If you watch this guy play, you can see, he’s playing hard and trying everything he can in order to help his team win. That’s enough for me.
Josh Smith should have made it over Horford. Actually, take out the All-Star roster format, put Josh Smith over Iverson, and Joakim Noah over Al Horford. I have both Smith and Noah on my fantasy team, and I can tell you first hand that they deserve spots. Actually, keep Horford in, and take Garnett out. Start Josh Smith at the 4. Yes I said it, and I will repeat it. Garnett doesn’t deserve to be an All-Star this year. What’s supposed to happen, is that fans vote in a player to start based on the season they’re having. Garnett was not having a stellar season, and on top of that, he missed some games due to injury. I love Garnett, and I have no doubt that he’ll finish the second half of the season strong, but he doesn’t deserve his spot. Not over Josh Smith. Not this season.
To the West. Not as much drama. I can’t believe this is Deron Williams first bid. Although Chris Paul (in my opinion) is the better of the two, Deron Williams is only a step or two behind. How he hasn’t been an All-Star at his level of play is quite shocking. Well that is no longer the case. Zach Randolph deserved a spot. He’s been playing great basketball all year, and he might be the biggest reason why Memphis is in the hunt for a playoff birth.
The only player I might question in deserving a spot in the West, is Brandon Roy. He kind of falls into the Derrick Rose mix, he’s played well as of late (prior to his hamstring injury) but started the season out average. I guess both he and LaMarcus Aldridge have done all that they can in keeping the Blazers afloat while they go through injury after injury, but Monta Ellis has done the same for the Warriors. I can’t count how many D-League call ups the Warriors have had this season due to injury on one hand! And unlike Brandon Roy, Monta Ellis was doing it up since the season began. Yes, I am being biased, I will admit to it, but outside of the records of the teams these two play for, you tell me who’s more deserving? Ellis averages are better in points, assists and steals. I’m just saying.
Other than that, I have no major gripes with the remainder of the selections. Congrats to Durantula too! He is what I like to call, “Dope Sauce“. I must say I don’t appreciate the All-Star game falling on Valentine’s Day though. That’s probably not the NBA‘s fault, but because of the occasion, I give myself a 7.5% chance of being able to watch this game. Oh well, it’s usually a boring game until the last 5 minutes, when all the players start to sniff the bigger bonus dealt to the winners.