The 2013 NBA All-Star Game starters really couldn’t have been much more predictable, meaning the remaining spots are tight out West. It’s simple math. While guys such as Russell Westbrook and James Harden are going to be sure-fire picks in a conference driven by big men, it’s going to be tough for the remaining guards. After you put Westbrook and Harden in the equation only five spots remain. Tim Duncan, Zach Randolph and David Lee will all likely make the cut, leaving just two spots left.
For all the players left on the bubble, Stephen Curry is more likely to be one of the final two selections than anyone else.
It’s a tight race for the remaining two spots. Tony Parker has been a perennial All-Star in the past and he hasn’t given any reason to leave him off the team this year. Jamal Crawford has been one of the most exciting players to watch in the entire league, regardless of coming off the bench, and has been a major factor in the Clippers’success. And nobody is more long overdue for a selection than LaMarcus Aldridge, a 2012 All-Star who’s just as deserving this year but could make the snub list. But when you compare Curry’s 2013 credentials to the rest of the group, there’s no question he’s definitely among the top two candidates.
What puts Curry a cut above the remaining players is the effect he’s had for the Warriors this season. Averaging 19.5 points and a career-low 1.5 turnovers per 36 minutes, his three-point shooting is 46 percent (calculated as 67 percent efficient field-goal percentage), the best of his young career. That offsets his career-low 43 percent shooting from the field, which is a bit misleading. Curry has stayed close to his career averages in his shooting percentage by shot locations, but has made a nearly 16 percentage point gain in 10-to-15 feet shooting to 47 percent this season, perfect for pick-n-rolls or handoffs from the high post. All which means Golden State has quickly turned into one of the top teams in the Western Conference. The Warriors already have won two more games than they did all of last season, they’re one of few teams who consistently can beat the Clippers and they’re tied with Brooklyn for the largest increase in win percentage from last season at 2.77. Last week against Miami, Curry sat out with an ankle injury and watched as his team struggled in a blowout loss, proving to be the deciding factor after the Warriors were victorious against Miami with him on the court earlier this season.
Curry is just as important to his team as any player in the conference. Although his teammate Lee has a lot to do with the Warriors’ success, Curry controls the tempo for coach Mark Jackson. He’s had such a major impact for the Warriors this season and has earned his way into the mid-season MVP conversation.
The problem with the NBA All-Star game in the past is it doesn’t showcase enough of the NBA’s up and coming stars. There are too many familiar faces each year and not enough surprises. While guys like Parker and Tim Duncan deserve to be honored, it’s simply more fun to watch players really come into their own and grow into NBA stardom. Curry has done exactly that and it’s time for the NBA to give him some well deserved recognition.
Curry has anchored the NBA’s biggest turnaround from last season for a team that’s now seeing its brightest days in a long while. They currently sit as the fifth-best team in the NBA and although there are other deserving players on the bubble, they simply just haven’t been able to achieve what Curry has this year.
Should he be an All-Star this season?
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