The NBA names its All Star reserves on Thursday night, but the Crackle names its All Star reserves on Tuesday afternoon. The two lists are bound to have some major differences.
I have a slightly different philosophy on All Star teams than many others. A lot of talk this year has been about how players on teams with losing records don’t belong on the All Star team. I couldn’t disagree more. This is the only time standout players on sub-par teams are given any chance to shine. Reserve your postseason awards for players who make the playoffs. I think there’s something noble in a player putting forth a solid effort and achieving great things on a team with no immediate hope for success. Plus, limiting All Star teams to players on successful teams closes the door on the next generation of young stars. Almost by neccesity, great young players will start out on bad teams. It’s not their fault and they shouldn’t be punished.
Anyway, on to the teams:
Ray Allen-Celtics shooting guard
Paul Pearce-Celtics small forward
Jameer Nelson-Magic point guard
Mo Williams-Cavs point guard
Danny Granger-Pacers small forward
Chris Bosh-Raptors center/power forward
David Lee- Knicks center/power forward
Allen and Pearce are no brainers. Of the big three, it’s actually Kevin Garnett, who was voted in as a starter, who has the weakest case to be an All Star this year. The Magic have been the suprise team of the year, and one of the reasons they’ve been able to step up into the upper echelon is that Nelson has picked up his game to a new level this season. It’s the same argument which lands Mo Williams on the team. The Cavs added him in the offseason and became legitimate challengers to the Celtics in the East. Granger is fourth in the league in scoring and has been the lone bright spot on a bad Pacers team. Bosh has become one of those players who should be a no-brainer on the All Star team every year. Other than Dwight Howard, he’s the most consistent big man in the conference. As far as David Lee goes, yes, I’m a Knick fan. But I can honestlly say that isn’t factoring into my decision here. It’s simply a case of numbers. He has 32 double doubles this year. That’s second in the league. He’s fourth in the NBA in rebounding. And most importantly, his team has been on the rise in the last few weeks, thanks in no small part to his ability to finish with both hands underneath the basket.
If I had made this list last week. Lee would have been replaced by either Devin Harris or Vince Carter. But the Nets have been going downhill for about a month, and Harris’s play has gone in the same direction. Carter has been consistently excellent, as always, but can’t beat out Granger or Allen for a spot this year.Â Rajon Rondo is also having a breakout year, but you can’t have a third of the team made up of Celtics. Zydrunas Ilgauskus was hurt too much. Joe Johnson also has an argument to make the team, but I chose to go in a different direction.
Shaquille O’Neal-Suns center
Dirk Nowitzki-Mavericks power forward
Pau Gasol-Lakers power forward
Brandon Roy-Blazers shooting guard
Chauncey Billups-Nuggest point guard
Kevin Durant-Thunder small forward
Al Jefferson-T’wolves center/power forward
Shaq is having his best season in probably half a decade. Dirk is once again shining in Dallas, as they recover from a slow start. Gasol is the first proper running mate Kobe has had since Shaq was forced out. Roy is the best player on a very good Portland team which is positioned to dominate the next decade, whether or not Greg Oden lives up to his hype. Billups arrival turned the Nuggets season around. Durant and Jefferson are dominant players on terrible teams, but it’s time for their accomplishments to be acknowleged.
Players like Melo and Nene have gotten a lot of All Star pub, but Billups is the reason for the Nuggets turn around and they’re not quite good enough to have multiple players named. Tony Parker is always a candidate, but with the exception of one 50 point game, he hasn’t had a standout season. Marcus Camby and Zach Randolph have been hurtÂ too much. Steve Nash suffers from his team’s slower offense.
Differences? share them in the comments section.