Thursday, January 30, 2014

Breaking Down the 2014 NBA All-Star Teams

Every year when the starting lineups are announced, it's usually the same exact guys from the previous year. Most people wish the league would do away with fan voting, as some players are selected as a starter without even playing a single game, or have played less than 10 games on the year. This year that guy is Kobe Bryant.

Next we get to the reserves and you look through the guys who the coaches selected as bench players. Then you wonder how in the world the coaches think a certain players stats reflect as an All-Star. We also tend to get a little mad about a few guys who were robbed of a spot on the team.

Let's break it down.

Starting Lineups:


Kyrie Irving vs Stephen Curry
  • I love seeing the two of these guys getting the start at PG this season. Both part of this new era of point guards who are taking over the game. Curry is 25 years old and Irving is just 21.
  • Not only is Curry the leading scoring at the PG position with 24.1 point per game but he also ranks 2nd in assists at 9.2. When he gets hot, nobody shoots the ball better than Curry does from behind the arch. Irving is second in scoring behind Curry at 21.5 points per game to go along with his 6.2 assists and 3 rebounds.
Dwyane Wade vs Kobe Bryant
  • Can anyone say boring? Also can we stop with the fan voting?
  • Kobe Bryant does not belong in the 2014 NBA all-star game as he has played in a total of 6 games and is averaging 5.7 turnovers in that time. Not only does he not deserve to be part of the game but he's taking a spot away from some great young talent like Anthony Davis, Goran Dragic, DeAndre Jordan, David Lee and DeMarcus Cousins.
  • I'm not going to say Wade does not belong to be on the team, but he should not be a starter. He's missed 13 of the Heat's 45 games as he does not suit up for the second game of a back to back. He's shooting an impressive 53% and his 18.4 points, 4.7 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals make him worthy of an All-Star reserve.
Paul George vs Kevin Durant
  • Paul George is the leader of the Indiana Pacers team who sit atop the Eastern Conference, and Kevin Durant has led the Oklahoma City Thunder all season long as they own the best record in the NBA.
  • This is going to be an awesome battle to watch as they could potentially meet in the NBA finals. Two of the best young ballers in the league, Kevin Durant is hands down the best scorer, and Paul George might be the best all around player with his offensive talent and ability to play great defense.
LeBron James vs Blake Griffin
  • Can we just let these two battle in a dunk off? These might be the two most explosive players in the NBA. When they drive to the basket you better just get out of the way, unless you want to be part of a poster
  • Once again LeBron is posting MVP numbers with 26.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 6.4 assists per game and he's shooting 58% from the field. Blake Griffin is nearly averaging a double double with 22.9 rebounds a game with 9.8 rebounds. Let me remind you that Griffin is averaging 9.8 rebounds playing next to DeAndre Jordan, who leads the league with 13.9 boards a game.
Carmelo Anthony vs Kevin Love
  • This will be interesting to see Carmelo Anthony play the 5, as there is no longer separate voting for centers.
  • Carmelo has really stepped up his game this year on the defensive end and has improved his effort grabbing rebounds. He ranks second in scoring at 27.1 points a game and pulls down 9 boards a night. We all remember his recent 62 point explosion at Madison Square Garden. 
  • Kevin Love might be one of the most dynamic big men in the game as he's a threat from behind the arch. Love is 4th in the NBA in scoring at 25 points a game and ranks 2nd in rebounding with 12.9. At 6'10 Love is attempting 6 three's a night.

 

Eastern Conference Reserves:

Guards - Joe Johnson, DeMar DeRozan, John Wall
  • I'm a little thrown off with the Joe Johnson selection. He averaging under 16 points a night and shooting 44%. He doesn't do much else with 3.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists. Am I missing something here?
  • With no Rudy Gay in Toronto, DeMar DeRozan has taken over as the star for the Raptors. He's averaging 21.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists. All 3 are career highs.
  • Aside from the starter Kyrie Irving, John Wall has been the best point guard in the Eastern Conference this season. At just under 20 points a night, Wall is averaging 19.8 points, 8.5 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 steals.
  • In my opinion, Kyle Lowry and Lance Stephenson were two guards who should have been on this Eastern Conference All-Star team.
Forwards - Chris Bosh, Roy Hibbert, Joakim Noah, Paul Millsap
  • I want to say the Chris Bosh doesn't deserve to be an All-Star but it's hard to ignore that he's averaging 16.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and shooting 54% as a third option on the Heat. I wouldn't have been upset if he was left off the team but people shouldn't complain about the selection.
  • There is no doubt that Roy Hibbert is a game changer on the defense end of the court but I really am disappointed in his all around game. At 7'2, his 2.5 blocks a night are great. But how do you only shoot 46% from the field when you should never been shooting outside of the paint because everything should be a dunk. Also 7.8 rebounds? Come on, that's just pathetic at your size. Not a fan of this selection
  • Joakim Noah's numbers aren't anything special but he does do a little bit of everything. He's averaging 11.7 points and shooting 46% from the field. Again your 6'11 how are you not shooting at least 50%? Anyways he is averaging 11.4 rebounds, he's a good passer for a center with 4.2 assists and blocks 1.4 shots a night.
  • I feel like Paul Millsap making the All-Star team is a feel good story. After all his years spent in Utah he moves on to Atlanta and is crowned an All-Star. The Hawks lost Al Horford for the year due to injury and Millsap has really stepped up. In December he averaged 20.6 points, 10.8 assists, 3 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.3 blocks a night.
  • A guy who I feel like should have made the team over Hibbert is Andre Drummond from the Detroit Pistons. However at 20 years old he will soon be a yearly selection to this game.

Western Conference Reserves:

Guards - Chris Paul, Tony Parker, James Harden, Damian Lillard
  • There is a chance Chris Paul will not be able to play in this game as he is still recovering from a separated shoulder. At 19.6 points, 11.2 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.4 steals a night automatically qualify you as an All-Star.
  • If you look at the Spurs roster, you will notice that they are playing without Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter. However San Antonio is 2nd in the Western Conference at 33-13. Tony Parker keeps the Spurs going. He is averaging 18.1 points, 6.2 assists and is shooting 50% from the field.
  • James Harden isn't posting numbers like he did in his first year with Houston but that's because they added Dwight Howard to the team. Harden is still averaging 23.7 points, 5.5 assists and 4.9 rebounds a night. He has been very clutch late in games and is almost impossible to stop when he drives to the basket.
  • Damian Lillard is the third leading scorer among NBA point guards at 20.6 points a night. He also averages 5.6 assists, 3.5 rebounds and is shooting the 3-ball at 41%.
  • Guards who I feel should have been added to the team are Goran Dragic, Mike Conley and Monta Ellis
Forwards - Dwight Howard, Dirk Nowitzki, LaMarcus Aldridge
  • You can argue that Dwight Howard should be starting in this game and you would have a good case. Howard is averaging 18.1 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks. He is also shooting a ridiculous 57% from the field.
  • Does Dirk Nowitzki ever age? At 35 years old he is still getting it done. Nowitzki is averaging 21.6 points as he shoots 48% from the field and shoots the 3-ball at 39%.
  • In his 7th season in the NBA, LaMarcus Aldridge is posting career highs in points and rebounds at 24.3 points and 11.6 rebounds.
  • There are a number of big guys in the West who deserve to play in the 2014 All-Star game but unfortunately there are not enough spots for everyone. The other players who you can argue deserved to be here are DeMarcus Cousins, David Lee, DeAndre Jordan and Anthony Daivs.

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