Not All Stars in All-Star Game

Friday, 4 February 2011, 17:16 | Category : NBA
Tags : , ,

slam dunk, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, LA Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves

Every year as the All-Star selections are announced, someone is sure to get snubbed.  While there isn’t a whole lot of deserving competition in the East despite the exodus of talent during the summer, the West is stacked at every position.  Let’s break down who made the teams.

East: While they may not be my favorite players, I can’t complain about the starters.  I agree that Rondo is a great PG, but Rose deserves the start.  The Celtics’ “Big 4″ are all having great years.  Al Horford is a great player, but he benefited from Joakim Noah’s, his former Gator teammate, injury.  Chris Bosh’s numbers are down, as is to be expected, but I’m not really sure who else qualifies.  Carlos Boozer?  Nah.  Bosh deserves it, even if he is a fake tough guy.

The last spot was given to Joe Johnson and this is the pick I’m least convinced of. Just because he’s the best player on a good team does not mean he’s having an All-Star year.  Many thought Raymond Felton was going to get the spot, and I agree.  He’s having a breakout year, even if his numbers are inflated by the D’Antoni system.  Plus, who doesn’t want to watch Felton feed Stoudemire?

West: There are many that deserve the starting spot in the West, but the fans got it right except for Yoa.  I mean, the guy has barley played in two straight seasons!  (China, I know you love Yao, but it’s time to come to terms with reality.)  Both D-Will and Westbrook need to be on this team, even if it means Nash sits out.  I’m not sure how some middle-aged, balding Argentine is playing the way Ginobili is, but he’s probably been the MVP to the team with the best record in the league.  I don’t care for him, but I’ll give the flopping Argentine the nod.  Ellis is a great player that didn’t get in, but the game is for the fans, and I can’t think of anybody that cares about Ellis outside of the Bay Area.

Griffin has easily stolen the title of Most Exciting Player to Watch in the NBA this season, so I’m glad he got a spot on the team.  He even gets to play in front of his own fans.  What I don’t like is that Tim Duncan, who is posting the lowest numbers of his career, gets the nod over the likes of Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge.  But that’s the good things about Yao getting voted in, Commissioner Stern has the chance to remedy this.  He should move either Pau or Dirk to the starting lineup and have Love come in off the bench.  While Aldridge has been carrying a very thin and beat up team, Love has been putting up extraordinary numbers.  Comish, give some sunshine to Minnesota this winter.  Please don’t blow this.

Only the top 6 teams from the East are represented in their team.  Every other team in the East is below .500, so nobody else can complain (except for the Knicks and Bulls).  The West had a hard job getting this straightened out and got it almost all right.  It’s not that I don’t think Duncan is an All-Star player, but he doesn’t even get the spotlight on his own team.  He’s ready to let the next generation in, so the All-Star game should too.  Then we there’d be room for both Love and Aldridge.  I guess there’s always next year.

The “B”ees’ Knees

Saturday, 28 August 2010, 19:53 | Category : NBA
Tags : , , , , , , ,

Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

With the Dream Team resting peacefully in the Hall of Fame and the Redeem Team busy taking its talents elsewhere, the nation has turned to its b-list players to bring home the gold from the FIBA World Championship.  Besides Kevin Durant, none of the members of the are in the top three in their position in the NBA.  Some are referring to them as the B-Team.

The roster has been in flux all summer as Coach K and the other coaches tired to find the best combination of talent.  I’ve been trying to make my mind up about the lineup, but its been hard without access to the NBA channel.  On Sunday, I finally had the opportunity to watch Team U.S.A. play.  What they say is true: they are young, inexperienced, small, and still developing chemistry.  The upside is that they hustle on defense, are fast, and have lots of options on offense.  Overall, the teams consists of a good group of guys that I am proud to have represent our country.  I’m just not sure that’s going to be enough to win the gold.

I’m not going to take time to go over every player, but I do want to point out a few things that stood out to me:

  • Andre Iguodala is supposed to be a defensive stopper and a go-to-guy on offense, but he let me down on both accounts.
  • I have had little chance to watch the Warrior’s Stephen Curry play, and I’ve expected him to just be a shooter.  He was making excellent passes and playing solid D on Ricky Rubio (who was the first of two point guards the T-Wolves selected over him).  I’m buying in on Curry.
  • Odom needs to worry about playing some of the Lakers’ famous D and rebounding, not launching up unbalanced three-pointers.  To put it in perspective, Chauncey Billups is pulling down more boards.  There are enough scorers on the team, they need to take advantage of the little height they have.  For that reason I think Kevin Love is due for more minutes.
  • I have not watched Eric Gordon play a whole lot, but apparently he’s so good the staff wasn’t even aware of it.
  • Not sure what happened with Rondo before he resigned from the team, but I thought he was a good fit.  He may be the worst shooter of the guards, but the team doesn’t need more scorers.  He is an excellent passer, which is what this team needs.  Rondo was minutes away from leading a star-studded team (on which he was the most consistent player) to its second championship for the second time in three years.  Did I mention he plays defense?
  • Westbrook may not be the best guard on the team, but they have to take advantage of the already existing chemistry between him and Durant.  They had a couple great plays against Spain.
  • Kevin Durant will be MVP this year.

Apparently, the World Championship has been more important to the rest of the world than the Olympics.  The U.S.’s lack of emphasis on this tournament may explain why the it hasn’t brought home the gold since ’94.  Even this year the U.S. failed to bring back a single member of the gold medal team from two years ago.  However, every other powerhouse team is also down at least one of its A-list players.  This is good considering all that Team U.S. “B” has at stake.  Besides their continued struggles in the first quarter, they handled their first match, against Croatia, easily enough.  Let’s hope that they can continue to piece things together and finish what the Redeem Team started.  If they prove themselves bring home the gold, the “B” in B-Team can stand for bling.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...