Is the 2014 All-Star class a strong one?
The common assumption seems to be that it's a rather weak group of players, as the Western Conference had so many notable snubs, while the Easter Conference coaches must've struggled to find seven reserves who actually deserved a trip to New Orleans.
But is that true?
To answer the question, I'll be looking at each All-Star class in the last 25 years, including this one. Dating back to 1988-89, that's 25 total, since the 1999 game never was played due to the lockout that severely shortened the season.
It's important to approach this task in objective fashion, though.
History alters how we perceive players. While we can look at a roster and think about the careers of the players involved, it's much more difficult to remember the season in question. And we're looking at individual seasons, not the careers of the players who make up these All-Star rosters.
For that reason, I'm using the same methodology that was used while determining the best All-Star starting fives of all time, just expanded to include all 24 players in a class. Worth noting is the fact that I didn't analyze players who were injured, but rather I omitted them entirely and substituted in their replacements, just as coaches did when the games were played.
To find the lineup score, all you have to do is add up the win shares per 48 minutes of all players on the All-Star roster. Conferences don't matter, of course, and starters and reserves are weighted equally.
Win shares are by no means the perfect stat, but they're the best counting metric at our disposal, as they account for both offense and defense to some extent.
So, before you advance to the rankings themselves, where do you think 2014 will check in? Is it really as weak as advertised? Will it even earn a spot in the top 10?
Note: Data was drawn from Basketball-Reference.com and compiled on Feb. 11.