Predicting Which Players Will Round Out 2013 NBA All-Star Rosters

Maxwell Ogden@MaxwellOgdenCorrespondent IIIJanuary 17, 2013

Predicting Which Players Will Round Out 2013 NBA All-Star Rosters

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    The starting lineups for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston have been set and announced. In turn, there is just one question on the minds of millions across the globe.

    Which players are going to round out the All-Star Game rosters?

    For those who missed out on the announcement, the usual suspects were named to the starting lineup. Superstars and fan favorites, to be exact.

    In fact, only Rajon Rondo is a first time starter.

     

    2013 NBA All-Star Game starters: EAST -- Wade, Rondo, LeBron, Melo, KG. WEST -- Kobe, CP3, Durant, Howard, Griffin twitter.com/BleacherReport…

    — Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 18, 2013

     

    So who will play the role of reserves?

    From the big-time scorers to the well-rounded performers, the league is bound to see veterans re-claim their spot as All-Stars. We're also destined to witness the arrival of young stars as they make their first appearances.

    So who is it going to be?

TNT Crew Picks

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    During TNT's NBA Tip-Off show, the NBA on TNT crew offered up their All-Star reserve selections.

    Do you agree? Disagree?

    Regardless of how you feel, the picks made by the TNT crew are certain to stir up some controversy. From omissions to surprising selections, all involved made surprising choices.

    Dear Charles Barkley,

    Where is the love for the San Antonio Spurs?

Backcourt: Paul George, Indiana Pacers

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    Position: Guard/Forward

    Experience: 3rd Season

    Career All-Star Selections: N/A

    2012-13 Season Averages

    16.97 PER, 16.9 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 3.7 APG, 1.7 SPG

     

    The Indiana Pacers are the Eastern Conference's third-ranked team.

    Considering Roy Hibbert, last year's selection, is performing below expectations, the door is opened for another Pacer to shine. That battle comes down to Paul George and David West.

    Due to the stronger level of competition in the frontcourt, George makes it in as a reserve shooting guard.

    For the season, George is averaging 16.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game. He's played both wing positions and is third amongst perimeter players in rebounds per game.

    LeBron James is the only other player in the NBA to average at least 16.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals simultaneously.

    In many eyes, George is the leader of the NBA's top-ranked defense. He also happens to be the team leader in scoring and steals per game.

    George makes what is likely to be the first of many All-Star Game appearances.

Backcourt: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Position: Point Guard

    Experience: 2nd Season

    Career All-Star Selections: N/A

    2012-13 Season Averages

    21.91 PER, 23.3 PPG, 5.6 APG, 3.6 RPG, 1.8 SPG

     

    The reigning Rookie of the Year is not only a fan favorite, but one of the most productive players in the NBA.

    Irving presently ranks 17th amongst all players in Player Efficiency Rating. He ranks fifth amongst point guards in said category.

    A major reason for Irving's high placement is his efficient scoring.

    Irving ranks sixth in the NBA at 23.3 points per game. He's doing so on a stellar slash line of .463/.405/.832.

    All-Star-caliber numbers.

    Irving rounds out his stat sheet with 5.6 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game.

    Ranking first amongst Eastern Conference point guards in Estimated Wins Added and Value Added seals the deal for this one.

Backcourt: Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia 76ers

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    Position: Point Guard

    Experience: 4th Season

    Career All-Star Selections: N/A

    2012-13 Season Averages

    19.11 PER, 19.0 PPG, 8.8 APG, 4.2 RPG, 1.4 SPG

     

    From an individual perspective, Jrue Holiday is playing as well or better than any other point guard in the NBA.

    As of Jan. 17, 2013, Holiday is the only player in the league to average at least 17.0 points and 8.5 assists per game. He presently sits at 19.0 points and 8.8 dimes.

    Tacking on 4.2 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 37.5 percent shooting from distance don't hurt, either.

    If that's not enough for you, Holiday ranks in the positional top 10 in scoring, assists, double-doubles and PER.

    Holiday has done enough to be an All-Star. The coaches will take note of such achievements and honor him with his first career selection.

    I suppose his request for a max contract was warranted, after all.

Frontcourt: Chris Bosh, Miami Heat

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    Position: Forward/Center

    Experience: 10th Season

    Career All-Star Selections: 7 (2006-2012)

    2012-13 Season Averages

    21.52 PER, 17.8 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.4 BPG

     

    Paul Pierce misses out because Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett were both voted in by the fans.

    This brings it to a battle between Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat and Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks.

    Bosh is presently posting a Player Efficiency Rating of 21.52. Chandler's PER is 21.51.

    Chandler is averaging 12.4 points, 10.9 rebounds and 1.0 block per game. Bosh is sitting at 17.8 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.

    Bosh is slated at 6.5 Estimated Wins Added. Chandler's number is 6.6.

    In other words, there is an even divide between the two respected big men. Unfortunately, one man will be on the outside looking in.

    Chandler is a defensive master. He's also the anchor of the league's 13th-ranked scoring defense.

    Both deserve respect, but that final factoid secures Bosh's seventh consecutive All-Star Game selection. Right or wrong.

Frontcourt: Brook Lopez, Brooklyn Nets

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    Position: Center

    Experience: 5th Season

    Career All-Star Selections: N/A

    2012-13 Season Averages

    25.66 PER, 18.6 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 2.1 BPG

     

    Brook Lopez leads all NBA centers in scoring, Player Efficiency Rating, Value Added and Estimated Wins Added.

    That's an All-Star, folks. Don't let your biases tell you that Lopez's rebounding woes outweigh every other contribution he puts forth.

    Statistically speaking, he's been the best center in the league.

    Contrary to popular belief, it hasn't been Deron Williams or Joe Johnson that has led the Brooklyn Nets to 23-16. If you don't believe that to be true, just check the numbers.

    The Nets are 21-11 when Lopez is in the rotation. They're 2-5 when he is not.

    Lopez should be starting for the Eastern Conference All-Stars. Due to the fact that he was not voted in, it is only right that he's an All-Star reserve.

    One way or another, Lopez's outstanding season must be rewarded with an All-Star Game appearance.

Frontcourt: Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls

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    Position: Center

    Experience: 6th Season

    Career All-Star Selections: N/A

    2012-13 Season Averages

    17.12 PER, 12.4 PPG, 10.7 RPG, 4.1 APG, 2.0 BPG, 1.3 SPG

     

    When Joakim Noah is on the floor, the Chicago Bulls are allowing an average of 90.8 points per 48 minutes.

    Now let's get started.

    Noah presently ranks eighth in both rebounds and blocks per game. He also leads all centers at 4.1 assists per contest.

    Ranking third amongst centers at 1.3 steals per game helps round out his all-around brilliance.

    In fact, Dwight Howard is the only other player in the NBA to average at least 10.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.0 steals simultaneously. Howard happens to be a starter on the Western Conference All-Star team.

    The difference is, Noah's team is elite on D.

    The Bulls presently rank third in the NBA in terms of scoring defense. They also rank fourth in opponent field-goal percentage.

    Whether offensively or defensively, almost every Chicago success story can be chalked up to one man: Joakim Noah.

    Noah is an All-Star. There shouldn't be a doubt about it. 

Frontcourt: Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks

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    Position: Forward

    Experience: 9th Season

    Career All-Star Selections: N/A

    2012-13 Season Averages

    17.49 PER, 16.5 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 3.7 APG, 2.3 BPG, 1.3 SPG

     

    Thus far in 2012-13, there are only two players averaging at least 16.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.0 steals.

    Dwight Howard and Josh Smith.

    Not only is Smith performing at a statistically phenomenal level, but he's leading the Atlanta Hawks to a stunning 22-16 record. Although some speculated that the Hawks would achieve this success, many wrote Atlanta off after the trade of Joe Johnson.

    They key to their hot start has been Smith.

    When Smith is on his game, the Hawks win. When he is not, they lose.

    Atlanta is 10-5 when Smith has a double-double. They're just 12-11 when he does not.

    Smith should have been an All-Star long ago. It's time he receives that distinction in 2013.

Injury Exemption: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

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    Position: Point Guard

    Experience: 4th Season

    Career All-Star Selections: N/A

    2012-13 Season Averages

    19.23 PER, 20.5 PPG, 6.6 APG, 4.2 RPG, 1.6 SPG, 46.1% 3PT

     

    Stephen Curry deserves to be an All-Star. Unfortunately, there is an high probability that he will be unable to realize that potential in 2013.

    Curry is "out indefinitely" with yet another ankle injury (via The Mercury News). 

    By the numbers, Curry is averaging 20.5 points, 6.6 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. He's also shooting a league-best 46.1 percent from beyond the arc.

    Unfortunately, injuries have struck. Again.

    This is quite the shame, as Curry joins James Harden, Russell Westbrook and LeBron James as the only players in the NBA to average at least 20.0 points, 5.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals.

    Surprisingly, that isn't the reason he's worthy of being an All-Star.

    Curry is the leader of a Golden State Warriors squad that is shocking the world by going 23-14. During their first game with Curry out of the lineup, Golden State lost to the Miami Heat by a score of 92-75.

    Head coach Mark Jackson had the following to say about the loss:

     

    Mark Jackson: "One thing we did was made a heck of a case for Steph Curry to be in the All-Star game."

    — Marcus Thompson (@gswscribe) January 17, 2013

     

    They certainly did.

    Look for the coaches to honor Curry with an All-Star nomination. Unfortunately, it appears as if the former Davidson star will be forced to decline that honor due to injury.

    Even still, we respect you, Mr. Curry. You've earned that.

Backcourt: James Harden, Houston Rockets

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    Position: Shooting Guard

    Experience: 4th Season

    Career All-Star Selections: N/A

    2012-13 Season Averages

    22.70 PER, 26.3 PPG, 5.3 APG, 4.4 RPG, 1.9 SPG

     

    As of Jan. 17, 2013, James Harden ranks fourth in the NBA in scoring. He and LeBron James are the only players in the NBA to average at least 25.0 points and 5.0 assists per game.

    Leading a surprising push by the Houston Rockets to 21-19 makes it inevitable that Harden reaches his first career All-Star Game.

    Harden has been magnificent this season, taking the Rockets onto his back and proving to be one of the top players in the league. In terms of all-around production, one could make an argument that Harden is a top-five player.

    Only four players are averaging 20.0 points, 5.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals simultaneously.

    Those players are LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry and, you guessed it, James Harden.

    The production is there and the postseason push is, too. The Bearded One is destined for the All-Star squad.

Backcourt: Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs

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    Position: Point Guard

    Experience: 12th Season

    Career All-Star Selections: 4 (2006, 2007, 2009, 2012)

    2012-13 Season Averages

    22.51 PER, 19.4 PPG, 7.2 APG, 2.9 RPG, 52.0% FG

     

    Not only is Tony Parker producing at an All-Star caliber level, but he's doing so while rarely playing come the fourth quarter.

    The San Antonio Spurs are 30-11 and have won 18 games by double-digits. The driving force behind almost every win has been Parker.

    19.4 points and 7.2 assists look all the more impressive in just 32.5 minutes per contest.

    For the season, Parker ranks 13th in overall Player Efficiency Rating. Parker ranks fourth amongst point guards and third amongst Western Conference lead guards.

    Parker also places ninth overall in both Value Added and Estimated Wins Added.

    Furthermore, Parker leads all point guards by shooting 52.0 percent from the floor. In fact, Parker leads all guards in that area.

    Another masterful season from the four-time All-Star.

Backcourt: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Position: Point Guard

    Experience: 5th Season

    Career All-Star Selections: 2 (2011 & 2012)

    2012-13 Season Averages

    23.94 PER, 22.4 PPG, 8.3 APG, 5.3 RPG, 2.0 SPG

     

    Remember when people told you Russell Westbrook isn't efficient? The numbers prove otherwise.

    For the season, Westbrook ranks eighth in the NBA in Player Efficiency Rating. He places sixth in both Estimated Wins Added and Value Added.

    And that's far from the end of it.

    As of Jan. 17, 2013, Westbrook is the only player in the league to average at least 20.0 points and 8.0 assists per game. His numbers sit at 22.4 points and 8.3 assists, to be specific.

    Westbrook also leads all point guards at 5.3 rebounds per contest.

    Furthermore, Westbrook is ranked fourth overall at 2.03 steals per game. Paired with a career-best 35.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc, the progression and dominance are simultaneously impressive.

    An All-Star appearance is all one can expect for the explosive lead guard.

Frontcourt: LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers

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    Position: Power Forward

    Experience: 7th Season

    Career All-Star Selections: 1 (2012)

    2012-13 Season Averages

    19.47 PER, 20.6 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.3 BPG, 0.9 SPG

     

    Led by rookie Damian Lillard and veteran LaMarcus Aldridge, the Portland Trail Blazers have shocked the world by ending up on the cusp of the postseason at 20-19.

    Due to this fact, at least one player is going to receive All-Star honors. Expect that individual to be Aldridge, as he makes his second consecutive appearance.

    And rightfully so.

    Aldridge is presently averaging 20.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.3 blocks and 0.9 steals per game. He places eighth in scoring overall and first amongst power forwards.

    Aldridge's positional rank of fourth in Estimated Wins Added further solidifies his All-Star resume.

    Aldridge is the leader of a team on the brink of the postseason. Paired with impressive statistics, L.A. has established himself as a perennial All-Star.

    This is just another notch in the belt.

Frontcourt: Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs

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    Position: Forward/Center

    Experience: 16th Season

    Career All-Star Selections: 13

    2012-13 Season Averages

    24.46 PER, 17.2 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 2.7 APG, 2.8 BPG, 0.8 SPG

     

    Tim Duncan leads all power forwards in Player Efficiency Rating at 24.46 and would rank second amongst centers. He's also posting numbers that no other player in the NBA can match.

    Literally, no one.

    Duncan is the only player in the league averaging at least 15.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 blocks per game. The only player in the NBA.

    At 36 years-of-age.

    For the exact numbers, Duncan is far above each of those listed. The active legend is averaging 17.2 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.8 blocks per contest.

    Best of all, he's doing so in just 30.1 minutes per game.

    It would be criminal to exclude Duncan from the All-Star Game. No coach in their right mind will.

Frontcourt: David Lee, Golden State Warriors

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    Position: Power Forward

    Experience: 8th Season

    Career All-Star Selections: 1 (2010)

    2012-13 Season Averages

    20.16 PER, 19.7 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 3.6 APG, 52.9% FG

     

    Thus far in 2012-13, David Lee ranks 10th amongst qualified players at 19.7 points per game.

    He sits at sixth overall in rebounding at 10.9 boards per game. Both of those numbers rank second amongst power forwards.

    Lee also ranks third by position in Estimated Wins Added and Value Added. Furthermore, he places fifth in Player Efficiency Rating by position at 20.16.

    The truth of the matter is, none of these numbers tell the true tale about David Lee.

    He deserves his second career All-Star Game appearance due to his role as a leader.

    Stephen Curry may garner the headlines, but Lee is an equally as important player on a 23-14 team. Some might even speculate that he's the Warriors' MVP.

    For those in need of one last number to prove that point, Lee is second in the NBA with 24 double-doubles. An All-Star appearance only seems right.

    Especially with Curry's recent injury.

Frontcourt: Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies

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    Position: Power Forward

    Experience: 12th Season

    Career All-Star Selections: 1 (2010)

    2012-13 Season Averages

    19.72 PER, 16.4 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 1.4 APG, 0.8 SPG

     

    Zach Randolph of the Memphis Grizzlies has been the most dominant big man in the NBA.

    Randolph is presently averaging 16.4 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. He's scored in double-digits in 33 out of 36 outings during the 2012-13 regular season.

    Perhaps most impressive of all, Randolph leads the NBA in double-doubles at 25.

    Randolph may not dominate in every advanced statistic, but he's the heart and soul of a 24-13 Memphis Grizzlies team. Every time out, Z-Bo overwhelms his opponents with physicality and his underrated fundamental technique.

    As a testament to his tenacity on the glass, Randolph ranks eighth in the NBA in tip shots made.

    No matter which way you look, Z-Bo is imposing his will with every game he plays. That's a major reason the Grizzlies are just four games behind the San Antonio Spurs for the division lead.

    There is no excuse if Randolph does not make the second All-Star appearance of his under-appreciated career.