2011 NBA All-Star Game: With the Starters Announced, Who Got Snubbed?

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2011 NBA All-Star Game: With the Starters Announced, Who Got Snubbed?
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The 2011 NBA All-Star Game starters were announced Thursday night.

The Eastern Conference decisions, for once, seems completely correct.

The guards, Chicago's Derrick Rose and Miami's Dwyane Wade, as well as the forwards, Miami's LeBron James and New York's Amar'e Stoudemire, are all top seven in the league in points per game.

Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic is an absolute freak of nature and deservedly so was rewarded the starting center position. 

Rose is the only one of the bunch that has less than five All-Star selections. Heat teammates James and Wade have seven straight apiece, while Stoudemire got the nod for the sixth time, and Howard became a yes for the fifth time in his career.

In all honesty, I can't see any snubs on the East's list and I think that the voters were spot on in their selections.

That was the easy part, though.

When it comes to the West, controversy is scattered throughout the lineup.

The only surefire starters were Kevin Durant of the Thunder and Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Then it gets a little tricky.

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

When it comes to the point guard position, it probably came down to Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, New Orleans' Chris Paul, and Phoenix's Steve Nash.

Ultimately Paul got the nod, but Nash and (especially) Westbrook put up solid cases for themselves along the way.

Nash is averaging over 17 points and 11 assists per game, both team-leading statistics. He does so much for his team that the second option is a not-as-good-as-he-once-was Vince Carter.

Westbrook, on the other hand, has his case take a hit as soon as one realizes that Durant is the main option at all times, and that Westbrook's assists numbers as well as his production may be flawed, similar to that of Boston's Rajon Rondo.

I truly believe Paul deserved the selection, and like Nash, he does wonders for his team. The over-.500 Hornets would not nearly be where they are now if not for him.

Then come the forwards.

As previously mentioned, Durant was an easy choice, as he has averaged a whopping 28.6 points per in addition to an 89 percent clip at the free throw line.

The other forward position has caused the most controversy thus far.

Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets got the call, making it the fourth for the 26-year old from Brooklyn. Nevertheless, 'Melo has sucked up headlines all season, and it is not for his play on the court in 2011.

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He could care less about how things are going in Colorado, and his mindset has already shifted toward Eastern pastures.

I could think of three players who easily are more deserving than the 6'8", tattoo-covered product of Syracuse.

The first victim is Kevin Love.

What can I say about Love that I haven't already? The man is on a mission, and with 21.6 points per game and a league-leading 15.7 rebounds per game, how isn't he deserving? Throw in the fact that his defense has improved tremendously and you have yourself a stone-cold snub. I seriously don't understand (and don't play me with the record excuse) why K-Love was left out of the starting lineup when he is putting up such fabulous numbers. 

Next is Pau Gasol.

The Scottie to Kobe's Michael, Gasol has been solid all season long taking a back seat to Bryant. He is shooting over 52 percent while averaging 18 a game, and has proved that he is as hungry as ever for that third straight NBA championship.

Blake Griffin and Dirk Nowitzki also should be noted; Griffin for his high-flying dunks and his mind-boggling stats, not only for a rookie but also any forward; and Nowitzki for his once again tremendous leaderships over his boys in Dallas.

The biggest joke of the voting lies within the fact that Yao Ming, a guy who played the first five games of the season, got the starting bid at the center position.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Hopefully commissioner David Stern selects a deserving guy like Al Jefferson to replace him. I don't even care if Jefferson isn't a natural center; he'll do a better job than Yao would.

Even Gasol or Love would be a better center than Yao at this point, goodness gracious.

The bottom line is that the All-Star voting is flawed, and if guys like Yao and 'Melo can get in on the years they've not been having, it is just downright ridiculous.

The format needs to be changed.

Otherwise Yao and 'Melo will be in for unworthy years to come.

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