Tuesday, February 21, 2012

NBA All-Star Snubs

The NBA All-Star selection is like a high school student council voting: a popularity contest.  Thanks to the condensed schedule this year, there has been less time for players to get in shape from the off-season, adjust to new coaching changes, or recover from injuries in order to put up numbers that are All-Star selection worthy.  Adding on to that is the fact that there are so many All-Stars that play the same positions, making it difficult to allocate spots on the team to other "would-be" All-Stars.  Also, there's apparently a rule in which a team with a good records needs to have an All-Star in the game, even though they play fantastic team ball. 

I'm sorry Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers, but none of your players are "All-Stars".

All that combined with a diminished spotlight on losing or small franchises always produces players that shouldn't be in the game and players that deserve to be, but are overlooked.  Here's my list of players that are straight up ballin' that deserve some props.

1. Rajon Rondo, PG, Boston Celtics
Watching the Celtics without Rondo is like watching the old man that lives on your block go for a walk, except he can only make it halfway down.  Plus if he doesn't play, we have to witness the brilliance of the deadly duo of Avery Bradley and Kenyon Dooling run the show.  Aside from the fact that his jump shot might not even find the rim, he's one of the best there is.  Rondo has swag, great court vision and speed to get to the rack on the offensive end and is just as great on the defensive end.  His passing skills will be great to watch during the All-Star games as he feeds Dwight and LBJ and Wade on the fast break.

Replaces: Joe Johnson.  Because he's Joe Johnson and he's already making enough money.  Plus no body wants to watch someone shoot contested jumpers in the All-Star Game.

2. Monta Ellis, SG, Golden State Warriors
Here's a prime example of what happens when you play on a 12-17 team.  Ellis is 7th in the league in scoring and 9th in the league in minutes per game.  He's one of the game's best scorer, whether its in the fast break, driving to the hole or shooting in 4 point land (yea, he's got in the gym range).  He's also wearing the league's best jersey every night, the exact opposite of those awful Memphis Grizzlies vintage green and yellow.

Replaces: Dirk Nowitzki.  Because he isn't putting up All-Star numbers, Dallas is an average team this year, he can't dunk and shoots fadeaway, even though its the best fadeaway to watch. 

3. Kyrie Irving, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers
If you add a rookie that played only 1 year in the NCAA with an injury most of the season with the role of one trying to revitalize a franchise that went through the most excruciating pain witnessed on live television (Sorry Bachelor fans) and what do you get?  Kyrie Irving.  He's single-handedly defied all doubters about his abilities.  He's averaging 18.3 ppg, 49% FG, almost 5 apg and has led the Cavaliers to a respectable 12-17 record.  If Omri Casspi played less, they might actually be playing for a playoff spot...

Replaces: Unfortunately, he's not going to take the place of Rose, Williams or even Rondo in my case.  But I hope Kyrie knows he's on the BallsDontLai All-Star Team!

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