The third returns for the NBA All-Star ballots are in and as usual, there were some surprises to and fro in both conferences.
In the East, Pau Gasol is the 2nd leading vote-getter in the frontcourt comfortably behind LeBron James and slightly above Carmelo Anthony. The backcourt’s vote leader is John Wall (very well-deserved) but oft-injured superstar Dwyane Wade is in Wall’s rear-view mirror, over a hundred thousand votes atop Kyle Lowry and Kyrie Irving and nearly twice the votes Jimmy Butler got.
Wall’s Washington Wizards is the number two team in the East and is definitely deserving of another All-Star to accompany the point guard. The question is who’s it gonna be? And while we’re at it, how about the conference-leading Atlanta Hawks? It’s time to give them a fair shake that’s why I think Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague will eventually get voted in by the coaches.
Out West, Steph Curry and Kobe Bryant paces the guards while Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin, and Marc Gasol rounds out the top 5. (Freaking BIG frontcourt!) James Harden, Chris Paul, Damian Lillard and Klay Thompson nip at the heels of Curry and Bryant at the backcourt. Same thing with Tim Duncan, Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Dwight Howard up top.
That’s a lot of warm bodies right there and what does it smell of? You guessed it right. SNUBS!
I don’t want to come across as a kill-joy or something and trust me, this is my least-favorite part of the All-Stars, knowing there’s someone deserving out there that couldn’t take part because of hyper-loyal fans and angry opposing coaches. At least, that’s what I thought.
If I had it my way, the top two teams of each conference should at least have a couple of representatives and let the dice should roll from there. (Or open up three more roster parts for each team, but that won’t happen anytime soon.)
To recap this thing off, the fans vote the starters for both conferences while coaches vote amongst themselves on the seven other roster spots– 2 backcourt, 3 frontcourt, and another 2 regardless of position.
Here is my list of possible 2015 NBA All-Star snubs and this is one of the rare times I’d like to be proven wrong.
D-Rose is a big name: a former MVP and a three-time All-Star. Any Bulls championship aspirations hinge squarely on his shoulders but he isn’t Chicago’s best player right now. That distinction goes to Jimmy Butler and in a much lesser sense, Pau Gasol (who is on his way to be a starter). That leaves Rose the odd man out.
While I’m making a case on Derrick Rose not deserving to be an All-Star, the opposite goes for Brandon Knight. He is the unquestioned leader of a Bucks team that went from 15 wins a season ago to a club sitting fifth in the Eastern Conference right now. However, coaches tend to vote for the bigger names and they should have no problem counting out a non-commodity.
The Pistons are streaking since Josh Smith left town and that created huge opportunities for Andre Drummond. He’s good for 14.4 points and 15.1 rebounds (not to mention 1.6 steals and 1.8 blocks) in the past month plus his high-flying ways should be perfect for the All-Star game. But by the virtue of a horribly slow start, Drummond could take a backseat to guys like Chris Bosh, Kevin Love, Joakim Noah, or even to Marcin Gortat whose Wizards are the East’s current No.2 seed. Come to think of it, Drummond is not even in the top 15 in voting for frontcourt players.
Phoenix holds on to the last playoff spot for now in a stacked Western Conference and this guy is a BIG reason why. He shrugged off a slow start to average 17.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.9 steals and half a block over the past month. But with guys like Chris Paul, James Harden, Damian Lillard, Klay Thompson and Russell Westbrook in a crowded Western Conference backcourt, you can easily see why Bledsoe will be left out almost a hundred percent.
If coaches are going to vote based on names alone, Klay Thompson is in danger of being left out. The ones mentioned above (Paul, Harden, Westbrook, Lillard) is a wall too formidable to penetrate, but I’m hoping the Warriors overall record (currently at 29-5) can make a difference. (I say ditch Westbrook. Or Kobe. Wait, that ain’t possible right?)
I can only imagine how Boogie would react if he gets left out again for the All-Star showcase. After all, 23.8 points, 12.3 rebounds 2.9 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.7 blocks is hard to ignore and is All-NBA worthy. But while Sacramento did improve, they are still on the outside looking in, which may bode very badly for his campaign. He has Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Dirk Nowitzki and LaMarcus Aldridge to deal with so I doubt coaches will tab the mercurial big man. I sure hope they do and leave out the oldies. No offense.
The best player on a play-off bound team but see Bledsoe, Eric. (Not even top 10 in voting.)