NBA All Star Reserve Chris Paul is out indefinitely because he reinjured his knee. Early reports suggest he’ll likely miss up to two months of playing time and may need surgery. It’s a shame considering he’s my favorite point guard in the league. But this unfortunate circumstance leaves a spot open out West for the All Star Game. And what do you know? CP3 is a guard. That opens the floodgates for discussion considering the West is teeming with talent at the 1 and 2 spots. Here are the likely suspects that may fill in for Paul in for the NBA’s showcase of its best talent. There may be favorites but you really never know until it’s decided.
Monta Ellis — Monta is a favorite considering the anti-fan voting movement going on lately. If you want to play numbers, he’s sixth in the league in points per game at nearly 26 points a night and third in the A in steals per game. Thing is dude is suffering from Mitch Richmond-itis as he’s a good player on a sub-par squad. And it’s not like the kid’s game is boring either. Ellis’ s blinding speed combined with his superb athletic ability will be more than enough to entertain the fans in Dallas.
Chauncey Billups — Chauncey is just as worthy as Ellis, if not more so, of nomination as Paul’s replacement. The west is chock full with great point guards and Chauncey just got the short end of the stick behind Nash, Paul and Williams. But he’s played some phenomenal basketball recently as he helped lead the Nuggets to just two losses in January. This impressive run let the Nuggets slide by Dallas into second place in the West. Add in Chauncey’s solid year until his mean streak and you’ve just run out of excuses against him deserving that spot.
The Long Shots
Aaron Brooks — If you looked at Houston’s roster on paper you’d think they’d be in the pits of the Western Conference. But the squad pooled their meager resources together under Brooks’s new role as a leader and they’re just a game out of 8th place. If Aaron doesn’t get a spot on the team he should at least gain consideration for the Most Improved Player award.
OJ Mayo — His touch from the perimeter has improved despite his ppg average staying the same more or less as last year. Nevertheless Orange Juice and Mayonaisse’s contributions as a scorer and a young leader have helped keep Memphis of all teams in the playoff hunt into the second half of the season.
Tyreke Evans — Brandon Jennings may be the media favorite among rookies but Evans’ output has been just as impressive. He’s one of the few bright spots for Sacramento and his upside is quite scary to even muster. You’d think the 20 year old was a seasoned vet netting a consistent 20, 5 and 5 a night.
So what do you desktop analysts think? Is Monta a shoe in or is the pack closer than expected? Personally, I’d be happy for Ellis if he made it since he’s having a monster year. Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if bad team syndrome reared it’s ugly head as it’s a chronic illness among many snubs before him. So with that said, I expect Chauncey fill CP3’s vacant lane to the ASG. I hope I’m wrong but history has a thing for repeating itself.