Friday, January 30, 2009

All-Star Rosters Mess

Sometimes the fans are the ones who mess up the All-Star lineup, getting a player undeserving to be an All-Star starter by their popular votes. And sometimes the coaches mess up the lineup, choosing undeserving All-Star reserves.
Again, this year, the NBA All-Star lineup of East and West seems not that satisfying… again.
So the West has Yao Ming, Amare Stoudemire, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul. Nocomplains there. This is the West starters as they should be. But the East has Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Allen Iverson. What’s wrong with that lineup? I think AI does not deserve to make it (like his starting place last year at the West’s lineup). It should be Devin Harris instead as starter. But, of course, there are more AI fans than Harris fans.
Then there’s Shaquille O’neal and David West for the West bench. The format requires the coaches to fill the bench with a center, two forwards, two guards, and two wild cards. That’s why the bench is a mess sometimes since the slots are defined by positions. Why them? Why not Andrew Bynum who played well even if shadowed by the star powers of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol? Or if not Bynum, at least switch Pau Gasol to the backup center slot and give his slot as backup forward to some other deserving player. And what about Al Jefferson? Sure, the Timberwolves have no decent record, but Jefferson plays better. Jefferson is more deserving of that slot than Shaq and West.
Dirk Nowitzki and Pau Gasol both deserve their slots. Gasol have good averages and very good field goal percentage. Nowitzki… a satisfactory All-Star.
Tony Parker, Chauncey Billups, and Brandon Roy fill up the roster. But I think the coaches could have done better than that. It would be more interesting to see Paul Millsap. And it’s a pity Deron Williams, though better than Parker, had no exceptional season, so he had a slight chance only. Carmelo Anthony’s chances of an All-Star appearance disappeared when he got injured. Nene was close of being an All-Star, but not yet. And I think Steve Nash deserves a slot since he is the one who keeps a messed-up team like the Phoenix Suns to still work. I guess the coaches are not imaginative to make a more interesting lineup.
Now, let’s look at the East bench.
Yes, Danny Granger, Devin Harris and Jameer Nelson are all true All-Star players this season. The three are the best choices they made for the All-Star bench this season. But not Rashard Lewis… he’s only a player in an excellent team. Chris Bosh is good as backup center. There is no choice for the backup center position, and no complains even if Bosh is not technically a center but a forward who had played center for most of the time this season.
Paul Pierce also should not have been in the All-Star lineup this year. Sure, maybe he could be included for the sake of being an All-Star before, but Ray Allen was not included in the roster so it is better not to include Pierce also.
And why Joe Johnson again? Again, the coaches should have been more imaginative. Rajon Rondo is the one who keeps the Celtics’ Big Three playing well together – he deserves a slot! Antawn Jamison is an excellent player in a terrible team. Mo Williams deserves some credit for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ success this season. And Vince Carter is doing well again, but still a last choice among the others I mentioned before him.
(Sigh) The only way these deserving players I mentioned can be included in this year’s All-Star game is for those undeserving players chosen for the All-Star rosters to get injured. Morbid thoughts? But at least just.

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