Predicting the All-NBA Teams
The season is halfway over, but it's never too early for some awards predictions. Today, I give to you my predictions for the All-NBA teams and why each player will be chosen.
Playing for a winning team seems to have a (usually) strong influence on who is selected, so if you are expecting to see someone like Jarrett Jack or Nick Young, you'll be disappointed.
First Team Guard: Chris Paul
Chris Paul's stats (as of March 2, 2012)
*Hides under desk from angry Bulls fans* I had a very hard time deciding between Paul and Derrick Rose. The deciding factor? Health. I think Rose has missed games enough that you could easily give Paul the edge. Paul has led the Clippers to the third-best record in the Western Conference, proving to the doubters that "Lob City" can win.
First Team Guard: Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant's stats (as of March 2, 2012):
Though the Lakers haven't played up to their usual standard this year, they still have a winning record, and Kobe is the main reason why. Despite having injured seemingly almost every part of his body (knee, finger, nose, concussion), Bryant has been a warrior, playing extensive minutes almost every night and producing at his usual high level.
First Team Forward: LeBron James
LeBron James' stats (as of March 2, 2012):
James has arguably been the best player in the league this year and is putting up phenomenal numbers for one of the best, if not the best, teams in the league.
First Team Forward: Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant's stats (as of March 2, 2012):
Oklahoma City is by far the best team in the West, and Durant has been the biggest reason why. One of the best pure scorers in the game and a great team player, Durant has also made a strong case for league MVP.
First Team Center: Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard's stats (as of March 2, 2012):
No matter where he finishes the season, Howard is still the best center in the league, hands down, and has this spot in the bag. Only a season-ending injury could put this selection in jeopardy.
Second Team Guard: Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose's stats (as of March 2, 2012):
Rose has missed a little bit of time with varying injuries, but Chicago has stayed in the hunt for the top spot in the East. Rose is what makes Chicago run and is one of the best players in the game, putting up consistent numbers every night. This spot is well earned.
Second Team Guard: Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade's stats (as of March 2, 2012):
Wade's numbers are down from his usual production, but the Heat are winning, and that's what's important.
Second Team Forward: Kevin Love
Kevin Love's stats (as of March 2, 2012):
Love (as of March 2nd) is fourth in the league in scoring and second in rebounding for an improved T-Wolves team looking to make the playoffs for the first time in seven years. Love is the new cornerstone of the franchise and has established himself as arguably the best power forward in the game today.
Second Team Forward: Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin's stats (as of March 2, 2012):
The other half of the dynamic Lob City tandem, Griffin is again putting up solid numbers for the surging Clippers. Griffin gets the edge over LaMarcus Aldridge based on team records.
Second Team Center: Andrew Bynum
Andrew Bynum's stats (as of March 2, 2012):
Bynum made the All-Star team for the first time in his career this season, and deservedly so. Bynum has been healthy and putting up some very good numbers, proving that when healthy, he can be a beast in the post.
Third Team Guard: Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook's stats (as of March 2, 2012):
OKC is the best team in the West, and Westbrook has been solid as the team's floor general. Westbrook is almost unstoppable driving to the basket, putting up solid numbers on a nightly basis.
Third Team Guard: Tony Parker
Tony Parker's stats (as of March 2, 2012):
Despite missing Manu Ginobili for a large portion of the season, San Antonio is right in the hunt for a top spot in the West, thanks in large part to Parker's play.
Third Team Forward: LaMarcus Aldridge
LaMarcus Aldridge's stats (as of March 2, 2012):
Aldridge was finally awarded with an All-Star selection after being snubbed last season. He has been the key to Portland's success despite the loss of Brandon Roy (retirement).
Third Team Forward: Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh's stats (as of March 2, 2012):
Bosh has been incredibly consistent this season, providing Miami with a strong post presence. Bosh may finally put himself into the conversation for best power forward in the league.
Third Team Center: Marc Gasol
Marc Gasol's stats (as of March 2, 2012):
Despite losing Zach Randolph for most of the season, Memphis has shown that it will be a force to be reckoned with come playoff time, thanks in no small part to Marc Gasol. Gasol has been averaging a double-double for the young Memphis squad, solidifying himself as a high-energy, quality center.