Just about an hour ago, the NBA released this year’s reserves for the 2013 all-star game. Following the selection, the bulk of the outrage has centred around the absence of Golden State Warriors guard, Stephen Curry. While it’s plausible, but not as easy, to make the argument that Curry should have made it ahead of fellow guards James Harden and Tony Parker the NBA all-star game hasn’t exactly been known for its rigorous standards regarding player positions. Warriors coach Mark Jackson seems to share the sentiment:
C’mon Coaches! Ur Better Than That!!!!!#StephCurry
— Mark Jackson (@JacksonMark13) January 25, 2013
There’s no good reason for why LaMarcus Aldridge ended up with more votes than Stephen Curry, other than the fact that LMA is a forward and Curry is not. To put his season into statistical terms, Curry has averaged 20.9 points per game this season, which is good for eighth in the league to go along with his 45% shooting clip from long-range, 3rd in the league.
He’s also leading the league in made three-pointer per game. Oh, and the Warriors are 25-16 at the midpoint of the season while the Blazers are evening out at 21-21.
While Aldridge has had a great season in his own right, his 20.7 points per game and 8.8 rebounds don’t make up for the fact that he’s in the lower-echelon of efficiency when compared to players in his position.
Aside from any of that, who would you really rather see play? If Curry had made the all-star game, I’d have advocated a betting line on whether or not the all-time 3 point record for the game would be eclipsed. Luckily for Golden State, they’ll have David Lee representing them, marking the first time since 1997 that a Warrior has played in the game. Yes, you read that right.
The statistical argument, however, can have its flaws. This is most apparent in examining the selection of Zach Randolph. While the Grizzlies, at 27-14, were bound to have some representation in Houston any Memphis sports fan will tell you that they picked the wrong guy.
Z-Bo, averaging 16.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game, is statistically the best player on the Memphis Grizzlies. It doesn’t take more than 12 minutes of watching the Grizzles play though, to see that he isn’t even the Grizzlies most important big man, let alone player.
Marc Gasol may not be averaging a double-double, he is so much more for Memphis than his 13 points and 7 rebounds per game. Gasol is the anchor of the best defense in the Western Conference. Not to mention, he’s just so much more huggable than Randolph. The fact that the coaches left him off the list for Z-Bo indicates that they should be watching a little bit more game tape.
On the other side of the nation, the all-star selection wasn’t nearly as controversial. While Jrue Holiday, whose team is far from .500 threshold, made the team over both Brook Lopez and Deron Williams of the East’s third best team, the Brooklyn Nets… it’s hard to argue that Holiday hasn’t been fantastic this season. Especially if you’re going to ignore the fact that Kyrie Irving’s team, the Cleveland Cavaliers are in NBA hell.
The only real controversy may lie in the East starting line-up, featuring both Kevin Garnett and Carmelo Anthony. However, both of those guys are seasoned veterans that have taken part in their fair share of confrontations. Narratives will be narratives, though.
Aside from the Curry snub, which in reality can be considered bad, but not terrible my biggest beef about the all-star game is with the voters. Now, I know LA is LA and voters will be voters, but how does a team with a 17-25 record and possibly the longest-shot ever at making the playoffs have two starters in their line up? Especially when one of the players is the bane of almost every NBA fans’ existence.
The only positive that can be extracted from the Howard selection is that if he sits out due to injury, it’ll probably mean that Stephen Curry will take his place. The NBA all-star game will take place at the Toyota Center in Houston on Febraury 17th. Tell us what you think. Who were this year’s biggest snubs, in your eyes?