It is that time of the year. A lull in professional sports. We have already gone a week without professional football and we still have another week to go. Baseball has yet to get rolling in spring training. Hockey, to me, is still as irrelevant as it was during the lockout. And the NBA, well I have grown to dislike it because of the divas throughout the league. I am still a strong Cavaliers fan, though. I still have a jersey on my wall and a flag folded away in a cupboard somewhere–typical Cleveland fan.
So with the lack of action on pro sports I took some time to see if the NBA fans got the All-Star voting correct this year or if it was a popularity contest as every year. The results I compiled were quite interesting.
2013 Centers – East: None. West: Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers. My 2013 starters turned out to be Tyson Chandler from the New York Knicks and Howard for the West. Their back ups would be Joakim Noah for the East and DeMarcus Cousins from the Sacramento Kings.
2013 Power Forwards – East: Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics. West: Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers. My starters came out as Chris Bosh for the East with Boris Diaw as his reserve. And for the West it was Mr. Fundamental himself, Tim Duncan being backed up by Serge Ibaka.
2013 Small Forwards – East: Lebron James, Miami Heat and Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks. West: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder. This one is a no brainer when it comes to starters. Even my results showed James and Durant as the obvious starters for their respective conferences. However, their substitutes were some more interesting names. Josh Smith from the Atlanta Hawks would be behind James and Kenneth Faried would come in for Durant.
2013 Shooting Guards – East: Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat. West: Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers. Based on the way I did my research there were not many candidates in the shooting guard to choose from. I was lucky that I found two of each from both conferences. For the East, Wade would still be the starter and Andre Iguodala would be his reserve. Bryant would be the substitute for James Harden in the West.
2013 Point Guards – East: Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics. West: Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers. Both mine and the real starting lineups will inevitably change due to Rondo’s season-ending ACL tear, but he would not have been starting for my All-Star game either way. Brandon Jennings would be the East’s starter while Kemba Walker would be taking Rondo’s spot as Jennings’ sub. On the West’s side, Paul would start on the bench while Russell Westbrook took the court.
Now I am sure that with some of the names I mentioned you find yourself wondering, “how did he come to the conclusion that he is an All-Star?” Well, I based my lineups purely off of statistics. I looked at the top twenty-five players from each of the six major categories (points, assists, rebounds, field goal percentage, blocks, and steals). From their I gave players points. Dwight Howard leads the league in rebounds so he received twenty-five points. Zach Randolph is second so he received twenty-four…and so on and so on. If any player appeared on more than one list he got an extra three points for each extra list. An All-Star should be well-rounded right? A player like LeBron James, who is on four of those lists received an extra nine points for being on three extra lists. I then tallied all of those points up, separated the players by position and conference, grabbed a beer, and then started writing this post. I figured my results would be somewhat similar but I knew there would be some glaring differences. Kevin Garnett was nowhere near the top for power forwards in any categories. Brandon Jennings, who is not even an All-Star is averaging 18.6 points per game, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, almost 2 steals per game. Jrue Holiday is having a great for Philadelphia but I think Jennings may deserve that spot a little more.
All in all I think the lineups are acceptable this year with exception of Garnett as an All-Star and Kobe as a starter. The votes should be based on this half of THIS season, not for their previous years.
How should All-Star teams be selected? Coaches? Stats? Fans? Let me know in the comment section or on Twitter @Believelander.
Keep your eyes peeled and ears open for the MTAF Podcast too. It’s on iTunes!