The NBA fans have done a stellar job in picking the All-Star game starters this year. I would have picked Kevin Love to start over Blake Griffin in the West but that is nothing to quibble over. Kudos are still in order for the voters’ worthy selections.
Now comes the hard part where the coaches have to pick the 7 most deserving reserves. The “formula” traditionally forces coaches to pick at least one player from the top tier teams unless another’s numbers are just so grossly obese that they can’t be ignored.
I have never been one in favor of formulas or traditional norms but do understand the argument. I will attempt to toe the line on tradition and those who deserve it with my selections:
Eastern Conference Reserves (in no particular order):
- Deron Williams: Rounding up slightly Williams averages 20 points, 9 assists, and 4 rebounds a game on a less than impressive team. Yes he also averages a stomach turning 4.5 turnovers but there isn’t a better guard in the East not already on the roster.
- Rajon Rondo: While he has missed 8 games with a wrist injury there still isn’t a better pure facilitator in the East than Rondo.
- Andre Iguodala: Iggy’s scoring is down (12.8ppg) but he is in the epitome of a team orientated system. He still averages 6.8 boards and 5.2 assists while his team sits atop the Atlantic division.
- Josh Smith: A favorite of the coaches to be snubbed annually, I believe this is the year he should finally be rewarded for his all around play. Smith has stepped things up since a pectoral injury has sidelined teammate Al Horford for the season.
- Roy Hibbert: I like Hibbert, but I feel like I am selling out a little bit here to the fact the Pacers are playing so well. (Damn you tradition) Couple that with the alternative of selecting Danny Granger and I will choose Hibbert instead and my reasoning is thus validated.
- Paul Pierce: It’s hard to imagine where the C’s would be without the play of Pierce who revived Boston from the dead in the absence of Rondo. Conventional people would like to see Luol Deng here and I couldn’t argue that much, but Pierce feels like the right selection with the what have you done for me lately thought process in mind.
- Greg Monroe: The Pistons are terrible but that is no fault of Monroe who is averaging a cool 16.9 points, 9.9 rebounds 2.5 assists, and 1.5 steals this season. There is almost no chance he gets selected but he would be my choice.
My notable snubs in the East are: Chris Bosh (will almost assuredly be selected), Luol Deng, Kyrie Irving, Anderson Varejao, Joe Johnson, and Brandon Jennings.
On to the West:
- Russell Westbrook: Easy choice no explanation needed
- Steve Nash: Father time continues to grant Nash a pass so to speak. 14.5 points and 9.9 assists at age 38 is fountain of youth like.
- Kevin Love: Easily could have been a starter in the West.
- LaMarcus Aldridge: Overlooked last year but rounded up numbers of 23 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block and 1 steal will be next to impossible to glaze over this year.
- Marc Gasol: Has benefited from the absence of Zach Randolph and is proving to be worth the hefty contract he received in the off season.
- Tony Parker: The Spurs are 2nd in the Western conference without Manu Ginobili and half a Tim Duncan. Parker is the main reason why.
- Paul Millsap: His teammate Al Jefferson is just as deserving but I would give the Millsap the nod for his versatility defensively and he has been a little more healthy than Big Al this season.
My notable Western conference snubs is a who’s who in the NBA: Pau Gasol (probably going to get in maybe over his brother), Dirk Nowitzki (just doesn’t deserve it although he is coming on of late), Al Jefferson, Kyle Lowry (would be a nice story but not this year), Monta Ellis (the Susan Lucci of the West) and Denver Nuggets Danilo Gallinari and Ty Lawson (Gallo probably makes it as a result of the team’s record but I am not impressed enough to make either a selection)
The official reserves will be announced later in the week. It will be interesting to see how
politics …er tradition plays into this year’s selections.
About the Author
Written by Warren Shaw
I am an avid Basketball fan who has worked for the New York Knicks, Alonzo Mourning Charities and various other sports organizations. Having covered many NBA and various professional sporting events has given me the opportunity to provide insight with an unbiased but flavor driven view. I look forward to providing NBA content and interacting with knowledgeable fans and readers. Follow me on Twitter @shawsports or Email your questions to me at Warrenshaw@prosportsblogging.com