We already know who is starting the 2015 NBA All-Star Game, and noon today was the deadline for the coach’s picks sliding in seven more players per conference with two more guards, three more frontcourt players and two wildcards. With the East’s best team, the Hawks, whiffing on a starting nod (Jeff Teague finished eighth in the backcourt fan voting, and Paul Millsap was 10th in the East’s frontcourt), some are predicting four Hawks fill out the seven reserve spots in the East. We really hope this happens and they all get to share the court for a stretch, but we doubt it’ll happen.
The four Hawks players we’ve seen mentioned the most as the four getting an All-Star spot are Teague and Millsap, though some oddly disagree on the latter name, plus Al Horford and Kyle Korver. If Teague and Millsap miss out, it would be a mistake, but it’s Korver and Horford who are on the precipice and could go either way.
A host of NBA Twitter’s trendsetters believe nominating four Hawks is a good thing, and we agree.
BTW — I'm officially predicting the Hawks get all four All-Stars in. Coaches love the way they play. I bet they reward them.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) January 27, 2015
ASG: coaches picking players on winning teams not all bad–provides incentive to sacrifice personal stats for winning.
— Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) January 27, 2015
But we also think Marc Stein of ESPN is right when he predicts the coaches will fall short of nominating all four Hawks:
I think East coaches, to give four All-Star spots to various Hawks, will have to leave either Bosh or Wade at home. Don't think that happens
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 27, 2015
And we agree what handing out four All-Star nominations to a team, rather than four deserving individuals implicitly says about those four players, as SI’s Rob Mahoney notes:
Isn’t saying that “[Team] deserves X All-Stars!” a concession that the individual’s play may not warrant it?
— Rob Mahoney (@RobMahoney) January 27, 2015
Is there anything we disagree with? Yes, the Hawks aren’t getting four players into the All-Star game despite how incredible they’ve been playing all year — specifically during their current 16-game winning streak (tied with Golden State for the longest this season).
They play excellent team basketball, with a lot of motion and spacing in Mike Budenholzer‘s equal-opportunity offense. For basketball purists, we’d just pit the Hawks vs. the Warriors for Sunday’s main event, but most casual NBA fans tune into the game for the star wattage, and that’s something the Hawks unfortunately lack.
It’s likely Dwyane Wade — who just missed out on a starting nod — or Chris Bosh inherit Korver or Horford’s spot, but we’d love it if we’re wrong.
There are some players in the East who deserve a nod, and if the Hawks get four representatives in it’ll be unfair to them. Two examples: Greg Monroe has been a big part of Detroit’s Lazarus impression, and Nikola Vucevic has been downright elite on the block during stretches this year.
There are others who feel the Warriors should have four players if the Hawks do because the Dubs have a better record and have to face stiffer competition in the West. That’s all true, but because the West is so much better, the number of deserving players is a lot higher than the East, too.
There’s no right or wrong about this, it’s just fun to debate. Let’s keep track of that perspective when asserting the merits of players on Twitter and elsewhere.*
*We don’t think people will actually do this.
Should the Hawks get four players in the 2015 All-Star Game?
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