A LayupDrill.com Exclusive
As I reviewed the NBA All-Star reserves roster yesterday, and the “outrage” from some teams that followed, I realized a few obvious things.
First, you will never make everyone happy in this process. No matter if the fans vote, or the players chose their peers, someone will always feel left out.
It is that very process that gives people like me something to write about here, and readers like you a chance to voice your opinion as well.
With that being said, there were five NBA players that did not make the roster this year that could have a legit beef.
1. David Lee, New York Knicks
It’s hard to believe that the Knicks have not had an All-Star in nearly a decade. With the omission of the walking double-double from the 2009 East team, the streak will continue.
Lee, who averages 16 points and nearly 12 rebounds a game, has the second most double-doubles in the NBA this season, with only Dwight Howard ahead of him.
On a team that is in contention for the playoffs leading into the second half of the season, Lee has clearly been the brightest spot.
Many were expecting Lee to potentially get the reserve center nod if the coaches stayed true to traditional voting form of one reserve center, but instead they opted to add an additional guard, and only elect Raptors power forward Chris Bosh as the lone big man reserve.
2. Ray Allen, Boston Celtics
The Celtics’ most consistent player this season is clearly a victim of the Celtics’ success. It seemed to come down to one spot between Allen and Magic swingman Rashard Lewis, and Lewis got the nod this time.
Ray, who made the East team last year at the last minute when Caron Butler was injured and could not play, will certainly trade an All-Star nod for another ring any day of the week.
3. Al Jefferson, Minnesota Timberwolves
People often forget when the Celtics traded for Kevin Garnett, it was the young developing Jefferson who had to be part of the deal. Under Kevin McHale’s direction, Jefferson has evolved into one of the top five power forwards in the league.
If you don’t get a chance to watch Jefferson play, you are missing out. Unfortunately, this league is a popularity contest for the fans, so his chances of starting were slim.
In the West, it came down to three players and two forward spots. You can argue that Jefferson, Pau Gasol, and David West are all interchangeable regarding their stats this year, with Gasol and West getting the nod due to the better teams they are on.
4. Kevin Durant, OKC Thunder
Another star player who did not get the nod simply because of his supporting cast. I had Durant on my starting five at small forward for the West, based on his play the first half of the season, and the injury of Carmelo Anthony (see No. 5 on this list).
Durant is the face of the Thunder franchise, averaging nearly 25 points a game this season, and being a leader both on the court and in the locker room.
For a league that is all about marketing its stars, the young Durant would have done very well to be showcased on the biggest stage of them all aside the likes of Kobe, Shaq, and Duncan so he could showcase his talent.
5. Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets
If he wasn't injury, Carmelo would have started this game. Now, nearly two weeks before the game, he gets cleared to play, yet the coaches don’t even leave a reserve spot open for him. I am sure Melo will take it in stride, but there is no doubt Anthony is an All-Star this year, and for seasons to come.
Players like Steve Nash, Paul Millsap, Mo Williams, Rajon Rondo, and Vince Carter are all having solid seasons, but the league is getting deeper with talent in their respective conferences and positions, and they simply don’t have as strong an argument as those who made it in front of them.