Thursday, January 31, 2008

All-Star Love, All-Star Snubs


Blazers guard Brandon Roy was named a Western Conference All-Star reserve today, but were others more deserving?

I slept through TNT's All-Star Reserves announcement pre-game show earlier today, but I've awaken to see the list. And it goes a little something like thiiiiis:

Eastern Conference

G Chauncey Billups
G Richard Hamilton
G Joe Johnson
F Paul Pierce
F Caron Butler
F Chris Bosh
F Antawn Jamison

Western Conference

G Chris Paul
G Steve Nash
G Brandon Roy
F Dirk Nowitzki
F Carlos Boozer
F David West
C Amare Stoudemire

I have no problems with the East, really, not enough to write about, but I think some bones can be picked in the West. Obviously, there are some guys that are going to be snubbed every year. Too many deserving players, too few spots. Such is the NBA All-Star roster. And so apologies to the always underrated Shawn Marion (15.7 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.9 steals, 1.5 blocks, 52 percent from the field). The game will not be the same without you. And don't get discouraged Josh Howard ( 20.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, 48 percent shooting) - just keep getting better. It's not you, it's David West (19.6 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 48 percent): the Hornets deseved two All-Stars for the year they're having, and the coaches obliged. I don't completely agree with West's inclusion, but I definitely understand.

The real issue, at least for me, arises at the point Brandon Roy makes the squad over Deron Williams or Baron Davis. Their records (26-19 for Roy and Portland, 28-18 for Deron and Utah, 28-19 for Diddy and G-State) are similar, and Williams (19.1 points, 9.5 assists, 52 percent overall, 39 from 3) and Davis (22.3 points, 4.9 boards, 8.1 dimes, 2.5 steals, hasn't missed a game, an absolute career year, he's finally putting it all together) have had better individual years. Roy is an excellent young player, and he's the best player on the most surprising team in the league. But his statistics don't match the hype he receives, just yet - 19.3 points, 4.5 boards, 5.6 assists. Portland is like a deep, well-rounded, whole-greater-than-sum-of-parts, really good college-like team (in structure) with an excellent coach that plays hard every night. Roy is a very big piece of the puzzle in Portland, not the puzzle itself. Doubt anyone would argue against that. I mean, congratulations anyway, B-Roy, I respect your game and professional attitude as much as the next person. But I'm just saying.