Following up the list of 10 potential Eastern Conference All-Star snubs, today we’re breaking down the West.
With one recent regular All-Star pick (Allen Iverson) having gone East, and others like Steve Nash, T-Mac and Carlos Boozer dealing with injuries and/or declining stats, that leaves some roster spots open. But as usual, someone will still get snubbed.
Given the typical All-Star roster set-up (at least four guards, four forwards, two centers, and two wild-card spots), I’d imagine there can be an absolute maximum of six guards taken, or six forwards, or four centers, but most likely it’ll be 5-5-2.
Here are some players facing the possibility of being snubbed come decision-time:
Likely starters: Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul (guards), Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki (forwards) and Yao Ming (center).
Steve Nash (15.4 ppg, 8.3 apg)
Pro: When the Suns have been able to run, he’s often looked like his old MVP self. And just like old times, everyone from Amare to Matt Barnes has produced a career game under his direction.
Con: Numbers are down from a year ago, and his defense isn’t any better. Was he really just a glorified system player?
Baron Davis (18.8 ppg, 8.1 apg, 1.9 spg)
Pro: Sixth in the League in assists, third-leading scorer among point guards behind Devin Harris and Chris Paul.
Con: The Clippers are the Clippers, but in this case, they’re also underachieving against their preseason hype.
Jason Terry (20.2 ppg, 1.6 spg)
Pro: Running away with the Sixth Man of the Year award.
Con: With so many more-talented and bigger-name guards in the West, a guy who doesn’t even start and who isn’t named Ginobili stands next to no chance.
Deron Williams (11.7 ppg, 10.2 apg)
Pro: Too good to not have an All-Star berth on his resume yet.
Con: Has already missed 13 games due to injury. Scoring and shooting is way down from last year; 39% from the field, 26% from three.
Carmelo Anthony (20.9 ppg, 8.2 rpg)
Pro: His 33-point third quarter against the Wolves yesterday will stick in people’s minds for a while.
Con: Missed a few games due to an elbow injury, which has also effected his shooting; he’s barely cracked 40 percent from the floor.
Pau Gasol (17.5 ppg, 9.4 rpg)
Pro: By all rights the Lakers should have more than one All-Star, and Gasol is playing better than Andrew Bynum or anyone else after Kobe.
Con: Like Ilgauskas in Cleveland, Gasol could fall victim to the misnomer that’s he just another of Kobe’s minions.
Stephen Jackson (20.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 6.3 apg)
Pro: Was Mr. Do-It-All at the beginning of the year, playing everywhere from point guard to power forward and keeping the Warriors surprisingly competitive.
Con: Golden State has fallen into the gutter as of late, and S-Jack isn’t carrying them out of it. Perception could be he’s just another chucker on a team full of them.
Zach Randolph (20.7 ppg, 11.2 rpg)
Pro: Only six players in the League are averaging 20 and 10. Randolph ranks 4th in the NBA in rebounding.
Con: The 20-10 numbers Z-Bo put up in Portland were never good enough to warrant an All-Star selection. All that’s changed now is he’s playing on a worse team.
Al Jefferson (21.3 ppg, 9.9 rpg)
Pro: Numbers-wise, he’s the best center in the West and the second-best center in the League behind Howard.
Con: His team is bad and they’re never on TV.
Andris Biedrins (15 ppg, 12.3 rpg, 1.5 bpg)
Pro: NBA’s second-leading rebounder behind Dwight Howard. One of the few bright spots on a bad team.
Con: Not only does his team stink, their defense is atrocious, and that’s supposed to be his thing. Are his rebounds merely a byproduct of so many shots being thrown up in your average GS game, and from no one else on the team to compete with for boards?