An Epic Mess of NBA All-Stars

Sorry about taking the day off, and I hope y’all can forgive me.
It was important to me to get this post out before the NBA officially announces its 2009-2010 NBA All-Stars. I want to see how much of a read I have on the NBA season so far, since I have admittedly not been following my team as much as in recent years. If you were to ask me last year to do something while the Lakers were playing, you’d be lucky if I didn’t delete you from my phone’s contact list, rid myself of you and anyone associated with you, and spread vicious rumors about your sexuality to anyone willing to listen. I you asked me this year, I’d probably take you up on your offer, assuming it was something I would normally do if the Lakers weren’t playing.

The purchase of a DVR was a major contributor in that, but surprisingly, I am not as excited since we won the championship last year. After following the Lakers for as long as I have, and watching their and Kobe’s fall from grace(basically to the bottom of the totem pole), seeing them win it all was deliciously redemptive. Not just for Kobe, but for me as well. I, along with a select few, defended him amidst the sexual assault trial, the Shaq trade, the Karl Malone dispute, the Ray Allen quarrel, and the Kwame Brown era. Most everybody knows about the first two, while only a few know about the Malone and Allen incidents, and everyone in the State of California wants to forget about the last one.

So, essentially, I feel like I’ve won, and so has Kobe and all of L.A. We all won when the Lakers defeated the Magic in June…except for the Magic.

Let me warn you guys now that this post is going to include who I feel should be NBA All-Stars this season, and not necessarily who the general public or columnists around the country feel should be All-Stars. We’ll start with the East.

Starters

Point Guard: Rajon Rondo

This was tough for me. I wrestled back and forth between Rondo and Joe Johnson. Both of them have had fantastic seasons, and legitimate cases can be made for either of them to be a starter. I went with Rondo for two reasons. 1. He has been the most healthy and consistent player on the team with the second best record in the Eastern Conference. 2. Rondo is a pure point guard, and call me old-fashioned, but I think the All-Star starters should have a point and a shooting guard. With Johnson instead of Rondo, it would further complicate the reserve roles of the All-Star roster. Rondo has been the best floor general in the Eastern Conference. His aging team has battled injuries to their entire roster not including Ray Allen and Kendrick Perkins, and Rondo has carried them on his back to help them maintain a very impressive 27-13 record.

Shooting Guard: Dwayne Wade

There really is no other competition for this role other than Johnson. That’s not to say that there is a shortage of good shooting guards in the East, but Dwayne is just light years ahead of the competition. His efficiency is down across the board, as are his numbers of consistent outings, but that does not matter. My buddy is shooting himself in the foot for drafting him ahead of LeBron in our fantasy draft this year, and with good reason. Dwayne is the best shooting guard not named Kobe Bryant, but this isn’t his best year. Despite that, he’s clearly the best option for this position.

Small Forward: LeBron James

“If Jesus’ paying LeBron , I’m paying Dwayne Wade.”-Jay Z

Power Forward: Chris Bosh

This one isn’t even close. Bosh is having the best year of his career, averaging 24.2 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 1.1 bpg, and all while shooting 52.5% from the field and 42.9% from three-point range. His Toronto Raptors started the season terribly, but have since been on somewhat of a mini-tear. They plowed through the end of December and most of January with Bosh at the helm. He’s been explosive on the year, and he seems to be playing with something to prove. In his matchups against premier big men, Bosh posted some massive numbers, like his 35-point, 16-rebound performance against Dwight Howard. He plays well all the time, especially when it counts.

Center: Dwight Howard

Similar to Dwayne Wade, Howard is not having his best year. Unlike Dwayne, though, there really isn’t a legitimate alternative to the center position in the East. Howard is the best the conference has to offer, and there really isn’t anybody else. Outside of Dwight, the rest looks bleak, with guys like Kendrick Perkins and Andrew Bogut being the only players worthy enough to mention. I think the reason his numbers are down is because of his coach. The Hedgehog seems to be preserving his young, bulky center, and relying on the old legs of Vince Carter and frail body of Jameer Nelson to get through the regular season. On top of that, Dwight plays for quite possibly the deepest team in the league. However, he’s still the best at the position. I mean, who else is going to go? Shaq? Come on now.

6th man: Gerald Wallace

This guy has been BALLING. I can’t stress how well he’s played this year, and his numbers hardly do him justice. The guy plays the small forward position, and for a while was leading the NBA in rebounds. He’s no taller than 6’7”, and he was leading the league in rebounds. That’s Charles Barkley-esque. On top of that, he was helping his team stay afloat in the playoff race before Captain Jack came to town, and the two have seemingly clicked. They have the Charlotte Bobcats in the 5 seed if the playoffs started today. Wallace has to be in the lead for Defensive Player of the Year, and as Daniel Leroux noted in his All-Star column, “It’s just unfortunate he plays the same position as the league’s MVP.”

6 remaining spots, in no particular order

Guards: Joe Johnson(ATL), Mo Williams(CLE-don’t give me that look. I know I ripped the East for choosing him last year, but this year, I feel like he’s earned it. If it’s not LeBron winning it for the Cavs, it’s Mo, who looks like the dad of Kid N’ Play from the movie “House Party”)

Forwards: Josh Smith(ATL), Antawn Jamison(WAS), Paul Pierce(BOS-give him the slight edge over Luol Deng of CHI due to similar numbers but a winning record)

Center: Andrew Bogut(MIL)

Western Conference Starters

Point Guard: Chris Paul

Once again, this was a tough call. Only this time, the contender was the ageless but ugly Steve Nash. Chances are I went with Paul because he’s not a member of the Phoenix Suns, who I hate more than mayonnaise. Since the two are both on mediocre teams, and Paul’s numbers are slightly better(especially on defense, where he touts an impressive 2.2 steals per game to Nash’s ridiculously unimpressive and not talked about enough 0.4 steals per game), I give the edge to CP3. Plus, I hate Nash and the Suns. But seriously, look who Paul plays with compared to Nash. On top of that, he has battled the injury bug this season, and they both have similar records.

Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant

Was there ever any doubt? Besides, Mr. 81’s special day is only 20 hours away. January 22nd. Get ready for National Kobe Day. Kobe’s played more minutes than I’d like at this point in the season and at this point in his career, but it’s only adding to his legacy considering the injuries he’s incurred while doing so.

Small Forward: Kevin Durant

Wow, this keeps getting tougher and tougher. Durant squeaks by Denver’s Carmelo Anthony because he has played more games and posted better numbers. Durant is averaging one more rebound than Anthony, and is averaging 29.2 ppg in just his third year in the league. That’s insane. I just watched NBA Gametime and they interviewed Jerry Stackhouse, who just returned from retirement, and when he was asked who the most impressive rookie or young player is, he cited Durant as a freakish athlete. He wasn’t lying. The kid’s arms are so long, he is the guy that should guard Kobe whenever OKC plays the Lakers. Whenever Durant is on Kobe, Kobe goes into one-on-one mode, and the length of Durant continually disrupts it. This is coming from a guy who worships Kobe, so just take my word for it, alright? Durant is amazing, and he deserves this.

Sorry 'Melo, but the fresh-faced Kevin Durant deserves to start in the 2009-2010 NBA All-Star game.

Power Forward: Dirk Nowitzki

Again, I’m tired of having to choose, but I have to go with Dirk. He’s worked his way back into my top 5 since he cut his hair. I couldn’t stand that ridiculous headband. The Big German has really turned a corner this year. For that, I put him over the resurging Tim Duncan. Dirk’s numbers are impressive, but what has stood out to me is his nastiness down low. He has developed a really vicious back-to-the-basket game that he didn’t have up until last season. This year, he’s dominating his defenders on the block. He’s use that new style to hit some big shots this season, including a few game-winners(boy does Milwaukee have a bad run of luck in that department). Plus, he’s the best player on the best team in the Southwest Division.

Center: Amar’e Stoudemire

I really hate this guy. I would much rather give this slot to Andrew Bynum or Al Jefferson, but I just can’t. Bynum hasn’t had as productive a season, and Jeff doesn’t boast enough wins. I am a stout believer in records not coming into play in All-Star voting unless there’s a tie statistically. Unfortunately, Jeff doesn’t boast numbers that would unseat Amar’e from his spot. By the way, I have a theory about STAT. I really think that his numbers have no impact on the outcome of the game. I know that sounds like an oxy-moron, but it isn’t. Amar’e’s numbers can be huge, and at the same time they can be small. Either way, it doesn’t really impact his team in the Win-Loss column. The reason for this is because of how porous of a defender he is. The guy can’t guard anybody in the post. He’s a useless center in a small forward body.

6th man: Carmelo Anthony

Not much to say here. The Melo Man has done it all when he’s been on the floor this year. He’s become an impossible cover, and one of the best pure scorers in the NBA. For my money, he’s a better scorer than LeBron any day of the week. LeBron is a bruiser, but Melo is a better all-around scorer. He has one of the purest jump shots, be it off the dribble or set, and his post-up game is impressive. Quicker forwards might be able to cover him on the perimeter, and bigger forwards might be able to force him off the box, but there isn’t a defender in the league that can do both. Not even LeBron.

Guards: Steve Nash(PHX), Brandon Roy(POR), Deron Williams(UTAH)

Forwards: Pau Gasol(LAL), Tim Duncan(SA)

Center: Zach Randolph(MEM)

I would love to hear your guys’ opinion, especially if it’s different than mine.
Till next time.

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13 Responses to “An Epic Mess of NBA All-Stars”

  1. Fred Says:

    Wallace is a great pick and so far he’s my pick for the DPOY. Durant over Carmelo is a hard decision but justifiable. Only thing I would swap for the starting lineup is Steve Nash over CP3 due to Nash being an old ass defying all odds and of course my bias.

    I know this may seem like blasphemy, but I currently have Boozer over Gasol JUST due to games played and because Boozer playing his mind off (Can somebody say contract year?). Also I believe Zach Randolph, although deserving, will get snubbed due to his bad “rep” in the NBA. So I can see Gasol taking Zach Randolph’s spot.

    Another thing, as much as it pains me to say this but I cannot keep KG out of the AllStar game, he has missed less games than Gasol and he has been back to his usual angry self while on the floor.

    To your watching basketball comment, I feel the exact same way. I no longer have the patience nor urge for regular season games. I used to watch shitty streams that were in Chinese to watch Laker home games but ever since winning the chip I can say I’m contempt here in Laker land. This may be a bad thing as this happened after the three peat where I lost touch with watching and playing Basketball from 2002-2005 (WTF was wrong with me?). Possibly the NFL is getting in my way this time of the year and hopefully I can get the urge back to watch some Laker games after the bowl!

  2. sam Says:

    Typo in the end of the first paragraph
    “I you asked me this year, I’d probably take you up on your offer, …”

    Anyway, I didn’t know you still hated the funs so much haha.
    I like durant and rondo starting. they both deserve it.

    as derserving as he is, I don’t think randolph will make it because I don’t think they’ll have him listed as a center. I wouldn’t be surprised to see kaman as that backup C, but at the same time I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t. he is a clipper after all

    also, I say david lee over bogut

  3. Steven Sandoval Says:

    I loved the incite you gave about LBJ haha. You had some great picks though. Exactly the same as I put it, but the only difference was Nash for Chris Paul. And as far as Durant goes, this is the exact reason why I watch college basketball as well as NBA, I remember Durant having a great short career at Texas. He was a man playing among boys. He just needs to hit the gym harder and maybe shoot down some protein shakes here and there haha. Anyway great blob man. Look forward to seeing more. Now, I have to get off this boat so I can walk on water. :D

    -SteveO

  4. Daniel Cool Beans Lee Says:

    Amare versus Dwight Howard? hoo boy…

  5. auburntigersfootball Says:

    honestly….I like Jamal Crawford much better as 6th man..once again…differences haha

  6. allstar Says:

    About Chris Bosh stats at 42.9%(three-point shooting) is not worth noting. He took about 10 shots in the beginning of the year and has since (thankfully) not taken one for some time. Chris Bosh has not delivered when it counts the most. He gets most of his points in the first half and is a terrible defender.

    We tend to look at stats but not the direct impact he has on the team. When Bosh scores a lot, the team has a terrible winning record. He stagnates the offense and is a liability on defense. He reminds you of Zach Randolph. Great stats but leading your team to no where.

  7. Cathie B Says:

    As always I have no idea who any of these people are. I would google everyone but that would take forever and a half.
    It was interesting because you are interested in it.
    I was eating a sandwich while reading and completely forgot about it as I was so intrigued. And that’s saying something!!
    (I knew you hated mayonnaise, ahaha)
    You are a wonderfully glorious writer, kudos to you :)
    And I would say more but this is a surprising short blog compared to what I’m used to, lol.

  8. Nba All Star Starters Says:

    [...] An Epic Mess Of NBA All-Stars « An Epic MessRondo is a pure point guard, and call me old-fashioned, but I think the All-Star starters should have a point and a shooting guard. With Johnson instead of Rondo, it would further… [...]

  9. Nba All Star Game 2010 Says:

    [...] An Epic Mess Of NBA All-Stars « An Epic MessSorry ‘Melo, but the fresh-faced Kevin Durant deserves to start in the 2009-2010 NBA All-Star game. Power Forward: Dirk Nowitzki. Again, I’m tired of having to choose, but I have… [...]

  10. tommy Says:

    really good anton. especially what you wrote about caramello. of course i have been watching this year but not enough to dispute what i would like to (garnett). but since you put robdo who i do agree with i can look past it. i dont think this is how its going to turn out, obviously cause of popularity (not to mention the fact that i just read the lineups haha), but this is basically the way it SHOULD play out. happy to have my boy nash starting though.

  11. Anthony Burrola Says:

    Glad to get the opinion of an insider. I do not get to see these guys as much as I do my own team, so it’s always great to get that kind of insight. I think that it’s obvious that his numbers don’t always translate to wins, but I look at the All-Star game as an opportunity to get in players that are having great years, regardless of their team’s record. I feel that should only come into play if there’s a tie statistically. I also feel like Bosh would benefit from a defensive-minded coach and team, because there isn’t one person on that roster I would trust to guard a team’s number 2 guy, let alone their number 1.

    Tommy-Carmelo is the man. Garnett is surrounded by a cone of silence regarding his knee injury. Scary for Boston fans, even though he’s expected to return tonight.

    Catherine-I hope that sandwich didn’t have mayo.

    Sina-You are absolutely delusional if you think Jamal Crawford is playing better than Gerald Wallace right now. Maybe, MAYBE give him the edge for 6th man OF THE YEAR, but for the All-Star game, if not for LeBron, Gerald would be starting.

    Stevo-Looks like you got your wish with Nash.

    Sam and Fred-I see you every day.

  12. NBA All-Star Starters Announced « An Epic Mess Says:

    [...] pick, due to lack of competition. I have no problem with the Steve Nash pick, even though I’m on record as saying that CP3 should be in that starting spot. The problem arises when BOTH of them win [...]

  13. Candice Russler Says:

    hi

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