Predicting NBA All-Star Snubs

Maxwell Ogden@MaxwellOgdenCorrespondent IIIJanuary 16, 2013

Predicting NBA All-Star Snubs

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    The 2013 NBA All-Star Game will be no different from any other season. There will be deserving selections, questionable choices and snubbed alternatives.

    The question is, which NBA stars will be snubbed in 2012-13?

    Some players are producing at a high rate but fail to garner recognition on a national spectrum. Others play for a postseason outsider and will be passed over for that very reason.

    A select few even suffer from the "one player per non-title contender" syndrome.

    Regardless of why the coaches will pass over the following players, they will. Fortunately, this list will serve as a recognition for the deserving All-Stars.

    You're a B/R All-Star, fellas.

DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings

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    Position: Center

    Age: 22

    Experience: 3rd Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    21.59 PER, 17.6 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.4 SPG

    DeMarcus Cousins has 15 double-doubles, one triple-double and has made 20 consecutive free-throw attempts.

    That last note is just a fun fact.

    For the season, Cousins ranks fourth amongst all centers in scoring, seventh in rebounding, fifth in assists and first in steals. He also has the sixth-highest PER of any 5.

    If that doesn't scream All-Star, what does?

    With all of this being said, Cousins is a tough player to envision making the All-Star squad due to his long history of character issues. Even if he is as deserving a player as any.

    If it were a fair world, Cousins' recent push would be enough to secure a spot on the roster.

    DMC is averaging 21.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.8 blocks in January.

    Most recently, he put up 26 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, three blocks and two steals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    The numbers are there. The reputation and necessary level of team success are not.

Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies

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    Position: Center

    Age: 27

    Experience: 5th Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    18.95 PER, 13.3 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.9 BPG, 1.0 SPG

    Many consider Marc Gasol to be the anchor of the NBA's second-ranked scoring defense.

    Unfortunately, Zach Randolph is a high-profile player with production that buries Gasol as an afterthought.

    Gasol is a well-rounded defender from a statistical and performance standpoint. He's also an elite passer, ranking second amongst centers in terms of assists per game.

    At just 13.3 points and 7.6 rebounds, however, Gasol pales in comparison to the likes of Tim Duncan, Randolph and LaMarcus Aldridge.

    Gasol deserves to make it due to his defensive prowess and well-rounded production. Unfortunately, he will not make the cut.

    The respect is still there, though, and the opportunity for postseason success will be, too.

Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia 76ers

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    Position: Point Guard

    Age: 22

    Experience: 4th Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    18.50 PER, 18.7 PPG, 8.8 APG, 4.1 RPG, 1.3 SPG

    If there is anything holy in the world, Jrue Holiday will be named to the All-Star Game by the coaching staff.

    Unfortunately, reputation will take precedence here.

    Holiday currently ranks eighth amongst Eastern Conference guards in the voting process.

    Ahead of him are the likes of Raymond Felton and Monta Ellis. Other names include Ray Allen, Deron Williams, Kyrie Irving, Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo.

    Irving, Wade and Rondo are the only rational options to be ahead of Holiday. Even still, the Sixers lead guard has outproduced all listed with the possible exception of Rondo.

    Holiday ranks fourth in both point guard scoring and assists per game.

    The only other player in the NBA to average at least 18.0 points and 8.0 assists is Russell Westbrook.

    In other words, Holiday is an All-Star. At least, he should be.

    Kyrie Irving is too much of a fan favorite to be excluded from All-Star weekend. Deron Williams has the reputation of a perennial selection.

    Tragedy strikes again.

    What we cannot ignore is that Holiday's low vote total proves what we have always known. The fan vote is given far too much power and takes away from the integrity of the game.

    Holiday should be a starter in the East. Not a borderline reserve.

    His absence just so happens to be on the coaching staff.

Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks

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    Position: Center

    Age: 26

    Experience: 6th Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    18.10 PER, 15.4 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 3.3 APG, 0.9 BPG, 52.7% FG

    The Atlanta Hawks are 21-16 and just three-and-a-half games behind the Eastern Conference leading Miami Heat.

    Leading the way are the likes of Josh Smith, Al Horford, Lou Williams and a plethora of sharpshooters. Unfortunately, only one of those players will make the All-Star roster.

    That's just the way of the business.

    Chances are, the player who makes it will be Smith. He's never made it before, has as well-rounded a stat sheet as any and is a clear fan favorite.

    A tragic truth considering it is Al Horford that has been the most consistent performer on the roster.

    Horford is presently averaging 15.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. He also has 19 double-doubles.

    Even still, the way of the NBA is simple: one player per team that is not of a major market or at the top of the standings.

Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Position: Power Forward 

    Age: 23

    Experience: 4th Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    19.67 PER, 14.3 PPG, 8.4 RPG, 2.8 BPG, 56.7% FG

    In 2011-12, Serge Ibaka was nothing more than an over-glorified shot blocker.

    In 2012-13, Ibaka is an entirely different animal.

    Ibaka ranks second in blocks per game at 2.8. This comes as expected.

    The difference is Ibaka is also averaging 14.3 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. He's shooting 56.7 percent from the floor and has developed one of the better mid-range games of any 4.

    Unfortunately, there just isn't a conversation for him to make the All-Star squad.

    Tim Duncan, Zach Randolph, David Lee and LaMarcus Aldridge are stiff competition. They're also the leader of their respective postseason-contending team.

    Ibaka should be joining Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, but he won't. Not with this level of competition.

Andre Iguodala, Denver Nuggets

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 28

    Experience: 9th Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    14.54 PER, 13.8 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 4.5 APG, 1.4 SPG

    Denver Nuggets fans may not want to accept this, but none of their players appear poised to make the All-Star squad.

    If anyone does, it would be Andre Iguodala. If not, then the players are just a victim of unbelievable depth.

    Two All-Star reserve spots are locked up for James Harden and Russell Westbrook. That leaves either one or two guard spots for Iguodala, Stephen Curry, Tony Parker, Steve Nash, Damian Lillard and any other contender to compete for.

    Nash has a chance due to his reputation. Parker produces at a similar rate to the elite point guards at a significantly lower minute per game average.

    Even Jamal Crawford steps in as a key to the Clippers' success, while Lillard is the leading Rookie of the Year candidate.

    Due to the Spurs' success and his reputation, Parker will take one slot. This leaves Iggy to compete with Curry, Nash and company.

    Popularity steals this one, as Steph Curry makes his first All-Star appearance.

    Iguodala will be on the outside looking in, no matter how deserving he may be. A sad truth about the painful way of the NBA.

Al Jefferson, Utah Jazz

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    Position: Center

    Age: 28

    Experience: 9th Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    20.90 PER, 17.4 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.1 BPG, 0.9 SPG

    By the numbers, Al Jefferson should be a starter on the All-Star squad.

    Unfortunately, Jefferson continues to be overlooked on a year-by-year basis. A shame for one of the most productive players of our generation.

    The numbers don't lie.

    Jefferson is presently fifth amongst centers in scoring, eighth in rebounding, seventh in assists and ninth in PER.

    Only one other center ranks in the Top 10 in each of those categories: DeMarcus Cousins of the Sacramento Kings.

    If you're looking for balance, Jefferson has it.

    Unfortunately, he will be snubbed. A direct result of playing with a stacked frontcourt in an underrated basketball city.

David Lee, Golden State Warriors

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    Position: Power Forward

    Age: 27

    Experience: 7th Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    20.47 PER, 19.9 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 3.7 APG, 0.9 SPG

    David Lee has been the MVP of a Golden State Warriors squad that has reached an improbable mark of 23-13.

    Unfortunately, Lee takes a backseat to Stephen Curry in terms of fame and popularity.

    As we often see, middle of the pack postseason teams tend to send just one player.

    That is, unless they have a high-profile exception. Even if he should, Lee doesn't qualify.

    Lee is producing at a level that suggests he deserves to make the All-Star squad. With Tim Duncan, Zach Randolph, LaMarcus Aldridge and Marc Gasol as his top competition for an All-Star spot, however, there's a great chance he fails to make the cut.

    A sad truth about the NBA's selection process.

    Duncan is a lead MVP contender and a certainty to make the squad. Randolph has been the most productive player on a 24-12 Memphis Grizzlies team.

    In that case, it comes down to Lee, Gasol and Aldridge.

    As previously acknowledged, Gasol is going to be left off due to Randolph's production.

    Lee may be deserving, but one thing is clear: There is no chance that the stunning success of the Portland Trail Blazers does not lead to an All-Star selection.

    Aldridge gets his second career All-Star selection. Lee gets snubbed.


Brook Lopez, Brooklyn Nets

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    Position: Center

    Age: 24

    Experience: 5th Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    24.76 PER, 18.4 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.1 BPG

    On a star-studded roster that includes Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, the Brooklyn Nets' leading scorer is Brook Lopez.

    For more perspective, note that the Nets are 2-5 when Lopez is not in the rotation. Through all of the criticism, Lopez has been the team's MVP.

    Even if he continues to struggle as a rebounder.

    On the season, Lopez ranks first amongst all centers in scoring and Player Efficiency Rating. Lopez ranks seventh overall in blocks per game.

    Believe it or not, Lopez is actually fifth overall in PER. Again, that includes all NBA players—regardless of position.

    Lopez deserves to be a starter on the All-Star squad with the numbers he's posting. His value to the Nets is equally undeniable.

    Unfortunately, the overwhelming amount of deserving big men has left a handful of big centers out of luck. Lopez is one of them.

O.J. Mayo, Dallas Mavericks

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Age: 25

    Experience: 5th Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    16.81 PER, 18.3 PPG, 3.9 APG, 3.7 RPG, 1.3 SPG, 43.3% 3PT

    O.J. Mayo and the Dallas Mavericks appear to have played themselves out of sending any players to the All-Star Game.

    Dallas has lost 13 of 18 games. Mayo had a six-game stretch to end 2012 in which he averaged just 8.7 points per game.

    Since then, Mayo is averaging 18.0 points, 4.6 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals on 49.1 percent shooting from the floor. Back into the hunt for All-Star glory.

    Unfortunately, Mayo won't make his first career appearance.

    The Mavericks have won three in a row, but they remain seven games under .500. Unless they turn things around before the All-Star reserves are selected, Mayo will miss out.

    No matter how deserving he may be.

Greg Monroe, Detroit Pistons

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    Position: Center

    Age: 22

    Experience: 3rd Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    18.86 PER, 15.5 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 3.2 APG, 1.3 SPG

    Greg Monroe is one of the most popular young players amongst NBA die-hards.

    He's a skilled big man with the offensive numbers to prove his All-Star candidacy.

    15.5 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists will do that. His 1.3 steals don't hurt, either, but his 0.6 blocks certainly do.

    The statistics are not deceiving here, as Monroe is nothing to fear on defense. In fact, his rookie teammate, Andre Drummond, deserves more All-Star votes for that area of play.

    With that being said, Monroe is a true All-Star.

    Unfortunately, being the best player on a 14-24 team doesn't do much for your All-Star candidacy. Not when there are equal players on better teams.

    Monroe is a victim of his team's record.

Larry Sanders, Milwaukee Bucks

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    Position: Center

    Age: 24

    Experience: 3rd Season

    2012-13 Season Averages

    18.52 PER, 24.7 MPG, 7.9 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 3.2 BPG, 0.9 SPG

    Larry Sanders leads the league in blocks per game, 3.23, and blocks per 48 minutes, 6.27.

    There isn't a close second.

    Behind Sanders in blocks per game is Serge Ibaka at 2.81. JaVale McGee ranks second in blocks per 48 at 4.99.

    Ibaka is .42 behind. McGee trails by a full 1.28.

    Even still, Sanders won't make it to the All-Star Game. Even as his Milwaukee Bucks sit at 19-17 with a four-game lead for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

    Sanders does not play nearly enough minutes to earn a selection. Although he deserves recognition, he is at least one year away from reaching that plateau.

    A sad but honest truth.