So the 2013 NBA All-Star Game starters released last night. Anyone who actually watches basketball rolled their eyes at some fan choices but that’s expected every year. Then again the constant miscues each season makes you wonder about the average NBA fan. Do they watch the game on YouTube and SportsCenter? Did they hop on the Heat bandwagon? How many found out about NBA players via gossip sites and bad reality TV shows?
We can’t sit here and ask questions about these suspect voters all day. Therefore, a few thoughts on each of the starters are in order. Some of these hits may have a tinge of bitterness but they don’t hide the truth. Let’s get the tip off going, folks.
West Coast All-Star Starting Five
Chris Paul – The only thing stopping Chris Paul from being the league’s best point guard is his knee bruise: sidelining him for a few games. He ought to be fine in a month’s time for the biggest exhibition game on earth.
Kobe Bryant – Ko-Bean’s numbers remain high but LA’s W-L record stays well under .500. Let’s all clap for Bryant getting his 15th straight ASG bid (as well as being the top vote-getter again). I can’t sit here and say James Harden is the best 2 guard in the West. I tried, though.
Kevin Durant – Here’s another no-brainer. Kevin’s scoring efficiency and defensive prowess are on the rise and, scarily enough, he still has room to grow.
Blake Griffin – Perhaps there’s an unwritten rule stating teams with top records need two selections. Yet Blake’s arguably not even the second best player on his team. He’s a starter by virtue of his athleticism, YouTube track record, commercials and not much else.
Dwight Howard – Name and (old) highlight recognition probably locked Howard in by fan vote. Recovery from back surgery and his ill fit place in LA’s offense makes his seventh straight ASG appearance eyebrow-raising. Funny how a 5 gets into the starting in the first year the center rule gets dropped. What’s funnier is Tim Duncan fans are probably tight as hell over their boy getting snubbed. Meanwhile, there’s little doubt Timmy doesn’t care about missing the starting five.
East Coast All-Star Starting Five
Rajon Rondo – Rondo still doesn’t have a jumper but he’s the glue leading Boston’s resurgence. Hate him all you want. I know I do. However their aging support cast would be in crisis mode without him.
Dwyane Wade – No, just no. The player formally known as flash has lost more than a step thanks to injury and inconsistency. His scoring abilities are at their worst in years. Chris Bosh should’ve been Miami’s second selection.
LeBron James – Well, he made it again. Next!
Carmelo Anthony – Anthony’s been playing out of his mind all year so the pick is deserved. Expect things to get awkward when he shares the front court with…
Kevin Garnett – …This guy! My basketball nerd side wants to hate on this pick so bad but I’ll let it ride. Here’s hoping for a front court implosion between these bozos.
Who Got Snubbed?
There are a few trends you should notice in all of this. For starters, the Spurs have the second best record in the league yet feature zero starters. Meanwhile, the Lakers are 11th in the West and have two starters. It sounds wrong because it is.
Indiana and Chicago continue to succeed without their respective star players in Danny Granger and Derrick Rose. Losing Rose is obviously a far larger hurdle than missing Granger. Nevertheless, it’s possible the Bulls and Pacers will have no representation in Houston. The same is especially true for Denver but, much like last year, there aren’t strong arguments for snubs on their roster.
The conferences’ respective coaches have the duty to vote on reserves. They have the usual mess to clean up but here’s hoping the heads who deserve it get their shine. Now if you excuse me I have to start my Brook Lopez/Joakim Noah ASG front court campaign.