Sources say that the Knicks’ David Lee, one of the more deserving big men of an all-star spot in the Eastern Conference, will fall short of his bid.
With the All-Star game reserves to be revealed tonight on TNT, the hint of Lee’s snub leaves Knicks fans just a few hours to ponder which big men have been rewarded spots over Lee.
Here is my take on some all-star possibilities, and how David Lee matches up.
Although he was voted in by the fans, Dwight Howard is certainly deserving of a spot. Arguably the league’s best big man and the former No. 1 overall pick, Howard has carried his team despite injuries and subpar seasons from most of his notable support cast. It is because of Howard that the Magic have kept up in the pace in the East.
Now, on to the stats. Howard is averaging 17.4 points and 13.3 rebounds versus Lee’s 19.4 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. That being said, the Magic having more offensive weapons than the Knicks, may explain the small win in points by Lee, who also averages more assists and shoots a higher free throw percentage than Howard.
Howard, however, has a better field goal percentage and more double-doubles than Lee. The fact that Howard also averages more blocks and steals, proves that he is much better defensively, alluding to the fact that he is the better overall player
Once one of the league’s most elite players, Kevin Garnett (along with Allen Iverson) is the prime example of why fans should not be allowed to vote players into the all-star game. Should David Lee not be named an all-star tonight, Garnett will be robbing him of a spot more than anyone else.
Besides only playing in 31 games due to injury, almost all of Garnett’s stats are inferior to Lee’s. While a double-double can almost be guaranteed any given night from Lee, who averages just under 20 points, Garnett has not tabulated 20 points or 10 rebounds in a game since Dec. 18.
Sorry DLee, but popularity wins here.
Here is where it becomes tricky, because we can all do is wonder who will make up the rest of the team.
Whereas Lee is the Knicks’ first option on offense, Horford manages to score 13.6 points on a team that has Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford as higher options.
While it’s understandable why Horford does not average as many points, the difference between the two big men is nearly six points. Furthermore, Horford averages less than ten rebounds (9.6) and fewer steals (0.7) than Lee (1.0).
They shoot roughly the same percentage, with Horford just edging Lee out there. He also averages exactly one more blocked shot than Lee. Horford’s biggest advantage comes in the form of his team’s record. The Hawks are currently a top three team in the Eastern Conference.
Coaches have always seemed to favor players on winning teams, even if the stats are somewhat inferior. No one can really argue with that logic, but it’s certainly to blame here if Horford is selected over Lee.
This is an interesting matchup, as Bosh and Lee are both their team’s first options on offense, and the Raptors are five games ahead of the Knicks in the East.
Shooting percentage, rebounds, steals and blocks can all be considered a wash, as Bosh and Lee have almost identical statistics.
Bosh’s advantage is his offensive production, averaging nearly four more points than Lee. As the two players are both first options, Bosh is probably the most evenly matched with Lee is regards to comparing stats. Did I mention the Raptors have five more wins than the Knicks?
A very well deserving Bosh will most likely beat Lee out for the spot.
Wallace and Lee are not very similar players, but are both undersized men for their respective positions and have been vying for an all-star spot all season long.
Not always his team’s first option on offense, Wallace still averages 18.6 points, less than a point fewer than Lee. Rebounds are a draw with shot percentage easily going in Lee’s favor.
Wallace, however, is a defensive guru, cruising to statistical victories against Lee in steals and blocks. Wallace is a serious Defensive Player of the Year candidate, and that should be enough to give him a leg up over Lee.
I am also going to keep preaching wins here, as the Bobcats, although not by much, are currently ahead of the Knicks in the standings.
If all that isn’t enough, Wallace could be prove to be one of the All-Star game’s feel good stories, becoming the Bobcats’ first all-star in franchise history.
When it comes down to it, it may be hard to swallow, but David Lee just won’t be all-star this season. Although he certainly deserves a spot, marginally keeping the Knicks in the playoff hunt thus far, there are just simply other deserving players with more team wins to their names.
Kevin Garnett obviously makes the best case for robbing Lee of a spot, but he and Al Horford are both part of championship contending teams, and seeing as how that is the ultimate goal of every team, perhaps they deserve their spots.
KG and Allen Iverson (ironically enough, the choices of the fans) have both been banged up all season long, and a drop out of the all star game could provide Lee with a spot.
If not, better luck next year, David!