All-Star, Featured Gallery, NBA / Jan 19, 2012 / 5:00 pm

Filling Out The NBA All-Star Lineups

Kevin Love

Kevin Love (photo. Blake Peterson)

Thank you NBA fans. You’ve officially destroyed any drama that I ever got out of the All-Star voting. Not that it really matters. Almost every year, you can bank on certain names garnering the most votes and a starting spot in the Sunday capper of the best midseason weekend in basketball. Kobe Bryant could do his whole “watch what happens when I don’t shoot, world” routine for four weeks straight, and his fans would probably declare he’s the best passer in the world and should be in the game. LeBron James could act like a train off its tracks, and keep up that weird “I’m here, but don’t ask me to do anything heroic” face he’s had on since last June, and fans would still call him the most talented player in NBA history. Blake Griffin could blow out his knee or decide to never dunk again as long as the refs continue to screw him (Watch him complain on every call. Hubie almost had a heart attack last night: “GET BACK ON D! YOU GOTTA GET BACK!”), or he could have both happen, and Quake would still be in February’s ultimate showcase.

By opening night, I could’ve named at least seven or eight of these starters. But you can’t blame me for feeling like I missed out. All I wanted was one voting race, maybe Kevin Love pushing Griffin or Rajon Rondo giving Dwyane Wade or the MVP a run for their money.

Alas, it’s not happening, and you can basically pencil in your All-Star starters right now:

EAST
Guards: Derrick Rose (1,040,210 votes), Dwyane Wade (972,015) … next highest – Rondo (394,672)
Forwards: LeBron James (Mia) 972,580; Carmelo Anthony (NYK) 779,945 … next highest – Stoudemire (281,617)
Center: Dwight Howard (Orl) 1,161,797… next highest – Noah (141,683)

WEST
Guards: Kobe Bryant (LAL) 1,110,379; Chris Paul (LAC) 835,026… next highest – Rubio (248,423)
Forwards: Kevin Durant (OKC) 973,152; Blake Griffin (LAC) 619,913… next highest – Nowitzki (354,434)
Center: Andrew Bynum (LAL) 777,365… next highest – Jordan (214,883)

So now that we’ve got that out of the way, eventually the real drama will come out of who fills out the rosters. People love to complain about the fan voting – they love to complain more than they love to watch the actual game it seems sometimes – but it’s quite often the coaches who are the ones screwing things up. Remember Jamaal Magloire? Or Dale Davis? Or how about B.J. Armstrong? No one needs to tell Monta Ellis or LaMarcus Aldridge about this either.

If it was up to me, here’s how I would fill out the rest of the lineups:

EAST:
Rajon Rondo
Easy pick. The Celtics are fighting over ping-pong balls if they didn’t have the cockiest point guard in the league. Rondo’s scoring numbers are way up across the board (15 points a night), and he’s already had a few nights (Christmas Day against New York comes to mind) where he’s shown a somewhat-legit (or at least improved) jumper. Without a healthy Paul Pierce, he’s had more thrown on his plate than ever before. He’s the only thing on that roster standing between the second round and the retirement home for Boston.

Josh Smith
He’s been the best player for Atlanta all season, and without Al Horford manning the middle, Smith has had to be consistent and do more of the dirty work. His PER is up to 20.77, partly because he’s shooting better than he ever has (51 percent) and rebounding over nine boards a game for the first time in his career. Smith has been on the edge of getting invited into the showcase for years. His problem all along? Joe Johnson was a legit All-Star, and Horford would normally get invited because of his center status. Smith was always left out because no one wanted three players from a team that hardly anyone took seriously as a contender.

Chris Bosh
The NBA’s whipping boy has been the one constant for the Heat all season. Wade has been out, LeBron has disappeared in a couple of late games. But Bosh – who proved himself over and over again in the playoffs last season – is putting up slightly better numbers than last year. 20 points, eight rebounds and both of his primary defensive stats (steals and blocks) are each above one per night.

Roy Hibbert
He might not be having the best season for a young Eastern Conference center. I’d give that to Greg Monroe. But Hibbert has finally emerged for a Pacer team that really should be 10-3, except that they checked out after the third quarter last night in Sacramento. The former Hoya is going for 14 points, nearly 10 boards and 1.6 blocks a night on a team that miraculously has seven guys averaging double figures. The numbers aren’t eye-dropping, but he’s had a huge impact on one of the best up-and-coming teams in the league. Plus, he’s a center. That helps.

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  • Andy

    Millsap has a chance tonight on national tv to show he is allstar worthy. Im not sure Marc Gasol will make it in even though he has been playing great. Same with Kyle Lowry, he deserves it also, but Nash has the reputation.

  • cesar

    crappy list

  • 123

    no love to aljeff?

  • K Dizzle

    Gasol gets in cuz the West gotta have 2 centers. Lowry should be a lock. Hopefully, Dirk sits out to rest that knee, leavin an opening for Milsap

  • http://www.haywoodplanning.com D.H.

    I’m sorry, but Kyle Lowery has got to make the team. The guy has been playing hard for the last month.

  • Banny

    I think if you can pick Bargnani with T.O at 4-11 you could substitute him for Monroe with the Pistons at 3-12.

    Monroe is having a more complete season and is only at the age of 21. Bargnani still doesn’t rebound at 7ft with under 1 offensive rebounds.

  • the cynic

    hopefully players who aren’t used to receiving all-star bonuses will make the team. Its kind sad that every year there are over the hill players getting the extra coin when players having career years are getting shafted

  • catdaddywhack

    ^^^^ obviously means the Celtics LOL

  • http://www.dimemag.com Slick Ric

    joe johnson should NOT be on this list, Deng deserves it more than he does.

  • cesar

    rose, wade, james, melo, d12
    rondo, d-will, jsmoove, amare, bosh, barnani, monroe

    paul, kobe, durant, griffin, bynum
    nash, lowry, westbrook, love, dirk, lma, gasol

  • PrettyBoyPeeWee

    Andre Iguadola should be on the allstar team on the East the 76ers got a winning record this year and he’s been play’n good so I hope he finally make’s it.

  • top_gun

    Joe Johnson? Dude was sucking ass at the beginning of the year.

  • JDish

    Snap, this is what my starting five looks like for the all-star game.

    For the West:

    C Marc Gasol
    PF Kevin Love(he’s killing it in the stats department)
    SF Kevin Durant
    SG Kobe Bryant
    PG Chris Paul

    For the East:

    C Dwight Howard
    PF Carmelo Anthony
    SF Lebron James
    SG Dwayne Wade
    PG Derrick Rose

    The East squad looks like maybe the best squad that can ever been assembled just in athletesism and talent.

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    Andre Iguodala

    14ppg 6.5rpg 4apg 2spg 1bpg
    46%Fg 41%3pt
    Team is 10-4

    I would think he’s an all-star before Joe Johnson. And he’s playing with a bunch of gunners/scorers otherwise he’d be scoring more.

  • weezy f

    no love for cousins??? besides the trade saga his numbers have been amazing..deandre jorda is just being voted cuz of the hype surrounding the clippers

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    @weezy f,

    DeAndre Jordan is 10x better than DMC.

    Cousins is shooting 42%FG and turns the ball over 3 times a game in only 28mpg. He’s a piece of shyt that is being force fed the ball so he can put up numbers. Put him on a playoff team and he’s useless.

  • Big AL

    If Deng OR Boozer doesnt make the EAST team alongside D-Rose, it will be the biggest snub in a LOOOOOOONG ASS TIME. Especially after the old weak ass Celtics had 4 players make it last year and ended up finishing 3rd in the east.

    Also Aldridge should make the west

  • 2cents

    This is a very interesting piece dime. I couldn’t agree more with you about how bad the All-Star game has become. It’s not about the best players in a fierce game with pride on the line. It’s a bit of fluff for the show ponies of the league to prance around.

    Shut it down.

  • ab40

    amare isn’t an all star this year, neither is monta ellis. You might even say that Deron Williams is not playing at an all star level this year.

  • david gamboa

    How does Chicago have the best record in the NBA but only have one all star to represent them again? Let’s give Derrick Rose the MVP again this season, eh?