NBA All-Star Game 2012: Ranking the Top 10 All-Star Snubs

Haddon Anderson@HaddonAndersonAnalyst IFebruary 23, 2012

NBA All-Star Game 2012: Ranking the Top 10 All-Star Snubs

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    All-Star snubs are an inevitable part of an All-Star game.

    This year, there are a handful of players whose play merits their presence in Orlando, but their talents have unfortunately been overlooked.

    Now is the fitting time to rank this year's snubs and consider who should truly be on their way to Orlando.

    Moreover, who should these snubs be there instead of this weekend?

    Here are the top snubs and analysis on their impressive seasons, and why they're deserving to show off their skills with the game's best.

10. Tyson Chandler

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    Tyson Chandler proved the depths to his value last season with the Dallas Mavericks. He anchored the middle in the Mavs' epic championship run.

    His size and defensive prowess earned him a hefty contract in the offseason with the New York Knicks, and so far, he's bringing the same intensity to the bright lights of New York City.

    He's averaging 11.6 points per game, 9.6 rebounds per game and 1.4 blocks per outing.

    He's also leading the league in field-goal percentage (over 70 percent) by a large degree. 

    The key to Chandler's value is ultimately his defense. The Knicks have lacked defensive intimidation for years. Chandler not only provides this presence, but also brings championship experience.

    Is Chandler's presence more warranted than Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert? That's definitely a question worth some consideration.

9. Ty Lawson

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    Ty Lawson governed the Denver Nuggets to a hot start, but they have recently struggled, and any hopes of Lawson making the All-Star team have been dashed.

    Lawson's numbers have been decent: 15.4 PPG, 6.1 APG and 1.4 SPG. His low turnover rate is respectable as well (only 2.3 an outing), especially for a third-year point guard.

    It's foolish to argue that Lawson deserves the All-Star nod over certain point guards out West (Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Tony Parker).

    But Lawson does, perhaps, deserve the nod over the aging Steve Nash.

    Lawson may be a snub this year, but expect him to receive his first All-Star invite in the next couple years. He's definitely a point guard on the rise.

8. John Wall

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    The Washington Wizards play like an undisciplined AAU team, but there's no denying the fact that they at least have something special in John Wall.

    Wall is a blur in the open floor and is able to create and finish as well as any point guard. 

    And Wall's contributions are steady across the board: 16.8 PPG, 7.6 assists per game, 5.1 RPG and 1.3 steals per game, and he even chips in one block per outing.

    The truth is that Wall will be scary once he's surrounded by a solid supporting cast. He's shown that he's more than just flashy, but a legitimately skilled and versatile point guard who can play with the league's elite.

    He's participating in the Rising Stars game this weekend, but he would legitimately fit in better in the All-Star game.

    Imagine him running the break with LeBron James and Dwight Howard. Game over.

7. Kyrie Irving

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    Kyrie Irving, like Wall, will participate in the Rising Stars Game, but this rookie's talents are already worthy enough to be displayed in the All-Star game.

    Irving's given Cleveland hope to move past the LeBron James era. As the number one pick, there were inevitably expectations for him, but he's incredibly surpassed those expectations.

    He's averaging 18.1 PPG (on 48 percent shooting, including 42 percent from three) and 5.1 APG. 

    Not only are his numbers impressive, but he's also made the Cavaliers respectable. They are currently only 1.5 games back from the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

    He's revived the Cleveland Cavaliers, and it's scary to think about the upside of this 19 year old. 

    Nothing against 2012 East All-Stars Andre Iguodala or Roy Hibbert, but Irving's value is much more deserving of an All-Star appearance.

6. Brandon Jennings

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    Brandon Jennings possesses very similar numbers to Irving, as he's averaging 18.4 points, 5.2 assists and 1.5 steals.

    Also like Irving, he's kept Milwaukee in the playoff hunt, despite losing teammate Andrew Bogut to injury.

    Jennings is a point guard for opposing teams to fear. His ability to catch fire is undisputed (he once scored 55 points in a game as a rookie), and his quick lefty trigger is dazzling to watch.

    He's even led the Bucks to two victories over the Miami Heat this season, which clearly amplifies his capabilities.

    He's not to the level of other East point guards (Rose, Deron Williams and Rajon Rondo), but isn't he more All-Star worthy than Iguodala, Hibbert or even Luol Deng?

5. Al Jefferson

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    The Utah Jazz got off to a surprisingly above-average start, but they've since lost eight of their last 10.

    Despite the recent struggles, big man Al Jefferson has continued to produce. He's currently averaging 19.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks.

    Jefferson's been an under-the-radar productive player for years now. He's typically been "a good player on a bad team." 

    This year, he's continued to put up lofty numbers and has kept the Jazz in the playoff hunt. He deserves to participate in his first All-Star game, and should potentially be there over Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol.

4. Kyle Lowry

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    The Houston Rockets enter the All-Star break at 20-14, and currently sit within a game of the Los Angeles Lakers and the reigning champion Dallas Mavericks.

    Not many anticipated the Rockets to be in the thick of things out West, but point guard Kyle Lowry has directed the ship for this club in a handful of ways.

    Lowry is unquestionably a valuable fantasy player, as his numbers across the board are astounding: 15.6 PPG, 7.6 APG, 5.3 RPG and 2.0 SPG, and he connects on close to two three-pointers an outing.

    But his value isn't limited to fantasy, as he's the spark plug for this Houston squad and his efforts deserve a reward.

    You can certainly make the argument that Lowry's been more valuable this season than Steve Nash.

    Lowry's absence from the West All-Star roster is most likely a result of him not being a marquee name, which is unfortunate because his high level of play is evident.

3. Rudy Gay

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    Rudy Gay has kept the Grizzlies in the middle of the playoff hunt, despite losing teammate Zach Randolph to injury. 

    Gay's scoring 18.9 PPG and grabbing 6.6 boards per outing. He's also a proven thief on defense, swiping 1.6 steals per game.

    His teammate Marc Gasol received an All-Star bid, but it's easy to question if Gay is more deserving.

    Gasol is a skilled presence in the paint, but the 6'8" Gay is the leader of this team. He scores and possesses such unique ability on defense with his length and quickness.

    Gay is a respected player, but he's yet to be an All-Star. This year, he's proved that he should be more than simply respected, but should truthfully be considered among the game's elite. 

2. Monta Ellis

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    Despite averaging 25.5, 24.1 and 22.3 PPG over the past few seasons, Monta Ellis has never been an All-Star.

    Yes, he plays for the below-average Golden State Warriors, but this combo guard has proven he can play with anyone.

    His scoring abilities are decisively clear, and he also distributes (5.8 APG) and snags steals on defense (1.5 SPG). 

    It's simply shameful that Ellis has never been invited to the All-Star game. He, like Lowry, is not a household name, and he annually gets pushed aside.

    He deserves to be present at this year's game over veteran Steve Nash. There's no question about that.

1. Josh Smith

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    Josh Smith has been a versatile weapon for the Atlanta Hawks for years.

    He's mainly been known for his emphatic dunks and blocked shots that land 20 rows up in the stands.

    But Smith does plenty more than make the highlight reels.

    He's currently pouring in 16 PPG and cleaning the glass with 9.5 RPG. And his defensive contributions are remarkable: 2.1 BPG and 1.6 SPG.

    The foolish thing about him getting snubbed is that his teammate Joe Johnson received an All-Star bid. Johnson's a proven scorer, but his numbers are down. Smith should've been selected above Johnson to represent the 19-14 Hawks.

    What's more, how does Roy Hibbert and Andre Iguodala sneak in ahead of Smith?

    Smith should be in Orlando for the All-Star game. It's as simple as that. His absence is downright inexplicable.