The reserves for this month’s NBA All-Star Game in Orlando were announced last night, and while I don’t agree with all of them, I DEFINITELY am not feeling Kenny and Chuck‘s reasoning. Listen, the All-Star selection process is fundamentally flawed as it is. Inevitably it comes down to what you deem worthy – is it wins? numbers? impact? – and inevitably, that’s different for everyone. But I’m sorry: Smith and Barkley were way off last night.
Smith saying he doesn’t even count the bottom four teams is just stupid. And Barkley saying Nash shouldn’t make it because his team sucks, but yet says Kevin Love was worthy last year because “you can’t fake rebounds” is more of a front than his Weight Watchers spokesman-ship (so Nash is faking assists?). Both of them were wrong on so many critiques – Paul Pierce not being deserving…Luol Deng making the team…Danny Granger not being on it, etc.). But I guess that happens every year right?
In case you missed the reserves, here are the guys who will be reppin’ the East and West later this month in Orlando:
Here are my 10 biggest snubs from the All-Star Game. Granted, I don’t believe all these players should’ve made it. But they all had arguments, and I’ll attempt to explain them all.
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He’s averaging 18.4 points and 6.7 rebounds for a team that lost their best player and still has a shot at the playoffs in the loaded West. As the season’s moved on, he’s playing much better. But yet his PER is only 16.32, and the improvement he made in his overall game last year has disappeared. His shooting percentages are all WAY down, and even his assists have dropped to a paltry two a night. If Gay was going to make the All-Star Game, it should’ve been last year. If anyone is calling for Gay to make the ASG, it should be me. I love the dude, and spent the summer hyping him as an All-Star on here and Issue 66 of the mag. For some odd reason, Shaq seems to think he’s the biggest snub of all. On second thought, it is Shaq so I guess that isn’t surprising at all.
Level of BS: 3
Is it possible to take Rondo for granted? I think we definitely are. His numbers haven’t dropped at all – 18.90 PER, 13.6 points and 9.6 dimes a night – and the Celtics have finally turned the corner after a slower-than-snail start. Plus, Rondo missed eight games. Eight. Since when did that disqualify someone from the midseason classic? It’s not like he missed the majority of the season. You know another guy who’s missed seven games this season? Some All-Star named Luol Deng, who also ranks 53rd in PER. Total travesty. This one makes no sense to me.
Level of BS: 8
Y’all know where I used to stand with Millsap. The problem, though, is a predictable one: Millsap couldn’t keep up the pace he had going in the early weeks of the season. His PER, once up with LeBron, Kobe and KD, is now No. 11 in the NBA at 24.28 and even the Jazz are just 4-6 in their last 10 games. He’s still averaging nearly 17 and 10, but the momentum of his hot story has hit a dull. Whether it’s right or not, when you’re looking for a breakthrough year, you have to killing it every night, all year long. I’m not as mad about this one as I could’ve been.
Level of BS: 3.5
I won’t spend much time dwelling on this. I’d take Smith over Hibbert every time, just because his numbers are slightly better and he’s a bigger part of his team. Defensively, Smoove is so versatile and disruptive (two blocks and 1.5 steals a game), and without Al Horford, he’s dealing with even more pressure.
Level of BS: 9
Gasol picked up his game too late, and the aggressiveness of a coming-of-age Andrew Bynum stole a lot of his offensive shine. But one thing is certain: Gasol is more deserving than Dirk. Then again, so are three or four other guys as well. His averages – 16.8 points, 10.2 rebounds and 51 percent shooting – all scream All-Star. But the minute Bynum dropped the training wheels, the big bro was doomed. It’s stupid, but no one’s asking for three All-Stars from a team that can’t even win its own division.
Level of BS: 5