James Harden (left) with Jeremy Lin
Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin has played well this season, but he shouldn't earn a spot in the 2013 NBA All-Star Game ahead of more deserving players such as Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder and teammate James Harden.
Jeremy Lin 3rd among WC guards in first returns of all-star voting. Scary.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) December 13, 2012
Chris Paul about 55,000 votes ahead of Jeremy Lin for the 2nd starting West All-Star guard spot behind Kobe.— Brian Mahoney (@briancmahoney) December 13, 2012
The All-Star Game is in Houston this season, where it was also played in 2006. While it's always nice to see home-team guys make the game, it shouldn't result in players who are having better seasons not being able to make it.
Let's compare Lin's stats to other Western Conference guards who deserve consideration for 2013 the All-Star Game:
|Player (Team) ||GP||PPG||APG||RPG||SPG|
|Jeremy Lin (Houston) ||22 ||11.0||6.1 ||4.1 ||1.8
|Tony Parker (San Antonio) ||23 ||9.2||7.5 ||3.3 ||0.9
|James Harden (Houston) ||21 ||24.8 ||5.4 ||4.4 ||1.9
|Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City) ||23 ||20.8 ||8.7 ||4.7 ||2.0
|Damian Lillard (Portland) ||22 ||18.9 ||6.4 ||3.4 ||1.1
|Ty Lawson (Denver)||24||14.8||7.0||2.6||1.9|
|Stephen Curry (Golden State)||24||19.7||6.5||4.1||1.7|
|OJ Mayo (Dallas)||24||20.4||3.5||4.0||0.9|
There are a few players who definitely deserve an All-Star spot more than Lin—guys like Parker, Westbrook, Curry, Harden and Mayo. These five guys are having better seasons, and all but Mayo and Harden play on teams currently in a playoff spot.
Westbrook's stats are much better than Lin's, and he's the starting point guard of the NBA's best team. The Thunder point guard should start in the All-Star game, but it's hard to imagine that he will get more votes than Chris Paul.
Who deserves to start at guard for the West with Kobe Bryant?
Two players who aren't likely to get more votes than Lin but deserve a spot more than him are Curry and Lillard. Curry is a major reason why the Warriors have been one of the surprise teams in the NBA this season with a 16-8 record. Lillard, meanwhile, is a top Rookie of the Year candidate, and he's played like a veteran through the first quarter of is first NBA season.
There are many players who should go to the All-Star game before Lin, who is certainly having a good season for Houston, but he isn't having a season worthy of ASG selection.
If he goes to the All-Star game and players such as Parker, Westbrook and Harden don't make it, then the NBA must seriously consider stopping fan voting from determining the starting lineups. Fan voting should determine the bench players.
This game is for the fans, but too often, fan voting prevents deserving players from starting, making the game or both. Players really do care about making the All-Star game, because it's nice to have their accomplishments recognized in front of a worldwide audience.
Lin has been impressive for the Rockets thus far, but he should not represent the Western Conference at the 2013 All-Star Game as a starting guard or as a reserve.