Gettin' No Love: 10 Players Who Should Be Playing in The 2011 NBA All Star Game
First things first, if the NBA would get rid of the ridiculous fan vote this problem wouldn't exist.
But since the NBA insists on letting the fans vote in the All Star starters, guys that have no business being there (Yao Ming being that guy this year), get voted in.
After the fans pick the starters, it is up to the coaches to fill in the reserves.
Here is a list of 10 guys the coaches completed neglected, leaving many (like me) wondering what exactly these coaches were thinking.
10. Eric Gordon
Eric Gordon has enjoyed quality success so far this year
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Eric Gordon is easily one of the biggest "break out" candidates for the 2010-2011 season.
Emerging as a legit number one scoring option for the Clippers, Gordon has scored in so many ways.
He is currently averaging 24.1 ppg, 4.5 apg, 1.2 spg, and a career best 47 percent from the field.
The 24.1 points per contest are eight best in the NBA, proving his worth.
While Gordon has been spectacular on offense, much of his credit has to be given to Blake Griffin. With Griffin exploding (literally) on to the scene this year, defenses concentrate a lot on the young rookie, leaving Gordon open to do his thing.
Whether it's draining three's, dunking on people, or finding open teammates on his way to the bucket, Gordon has done it all.
Gordon is only in his third year in the NBA, leaving so much promise and hope for his future.
Like virtually all his teammates on this summer's FIBA championships team, Gordon is enjoying exceptional success this year.
If you take a look at the roster, every single one of those guys are having great years this season.
Maybe Gordon doesn't deserve the All Star bid quite yet, but this kid will be on that team for years to come.
9. David West
David West has bounced back for the new look Hornets
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David West has been one of the most consistent and solid players in the NBA for years now. Unfortunately, he doesn't get anywhere near the credit he deserves.
West is currently playing the role of Robin to Chris Paul's Batman, which often leaves him in the shadow.
West, Paul, and the Hornets got off to a scorching hot start this year under new head coach Monty Williams.
The Hornets started off this year a league best 8-0, followed by an 11-1 start.
Much of this credit and wins needs to go towards David West.
The Hornets have focused on being a much more defensive oriented team this year, and West has been the poster child for it.
Taking on All-Star power forwards on a regular basis, West never gets a night off.
West is currently averaging just under 19 points, eight rebounds, and one block a game. Pair that with his solid decision making and post defense, this guy deserves an All-Star bid.
Expect West to take his All-Star snub as extra motivation, making the Hornets a dangerous team to play in the second half of the season.
8. Carlos Boozer
Carlos Boozer has added a new dimension to the Bulls this year
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Another underrated NBA player this year, Carlos Boozer is having a great season so far for the Bulls.
Like David West is to Chris Paul, Carlos Boozer is to Derrick Rose.
Since coming back from injury, Boozer is averaging 19.8 points and 10.2 rebounds in just 32-minutes per game.
This guy is a beast when it comes to producing when given minutes.
He gives an added dimension to Derrick Rose and the Bulls that they haven't had. His presence in the post, ability to hit the mid-range shots, and newly found defensive intensity are big assets to Chicago.
If Boozer wouldn't have missed the first 18 games of the season, he would without a doubt be on the All-Star team. But with that missed time, it's easy for people to say he doesn't deserve it quite yet.
Watch out for Boozer and the Bulls as they to continue to build chemistry, making them another extremely risky team to play in months to follow.
With Joakim Noah slated to come back in a few weeks from thumb surgery, these Bulls are for real.
Derrick Rose is taking the NBA by storm this year. That means that as the second half of the season progresses, guys like Boozer, Noah and Deng will need to step up since teams will be so concerned about stopping the young point guard from Memphis.
Without the preseason injury to Boozer, he would definitely be playing in Los Angeles during the All-Star break.
7. Danny Granger
Danny Granger has been the lone bright spot on the Pacers this season
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Danny Granger is just about the only player on the Pacers doing anything consistently this year.
Granger is now averaging 21.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg, and 2.8 apg. Those solid all around numbers don't do justice to his defensive work.
His points per game average ranks 18th in the NBA, an underrated stat of his considering he's the only legit scoring option on the Pacers.
Like mentioned on the Eric Gordon slide, Granger is having renewed energy on the defensive slide of the ball after playing for Team USA this summer.
Granger is averaging 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocks a game so far this year.
While there has been rumblings Granger could be traded this season, Larry Bird and the front office administration would be out of their minds to do so.
The recent firing of head coach Jim O'Brien was way overdue.
O'Brien was destroying all the momentum that youthful point guard Darren Collison had built last year in New Orleans.
With the new offense set to get installed under interim head coach Frank Vogel, look for guys like Collison, Roy Hibbert, and even rookies like Paul George to have way better seasons starting now.
The Pacers record may look rough at 19-27, but the team is only a few games behind Charlotte for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.
Expect Granger and the Pacers to have a solid second half, potentially making the playoffs and building on momentum for next year.
Granger would be on the "all underrated team" in the NBA.
6. Steve Nash
Steve Nash still orchestrates the offense like no others in the NBA
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When it was announced that Steve Nash wouldn't be included on this years All-Stars team, I immediately responded with "what?!?"
Steve Nash is so good at his art, he shouldn't even have to play to be elected into the All-Star game. Yea, seriously.
Nash is in his 15th year in the NBA, but if you have seen him play lately, you would have no idea.
Steve is putting up solid numbers in almost every category, like he has done every year in the NBA. Nash is averaging 16.8 points, 11.1 assists, and 3.7 rebounds a game.
The 11.1 assists per game are good enough for second in the NBA beyond Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics.
Nash is also showing he can still shoot the rock.
Nash has a field goal percentage of 52.6, which is second best in his distinguished career. In typical Nash style, he is also shooting over 90 percent from the charity stripe.
This type of consistency and prominence at the point guard position is All-Star worthy.
The real reason Nash isn't on the All-Star roster is because of his teams underachieving success.
The Suns currently sit at 23-24, placing them in 10th place in the West.
Don't be surprised if Nash and the Suns make a second half push for the playoffs, further cementing that Nash is still an All-Star in the NBA
5. Lamar Odom
Lamar Odom has been extremely solid all around in the first half of the season
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
The defending NBA champions have drawn plenty of criticism so far this season.
Being condemned for inconsistencies and being lazy on both sides of the ball, there is always something people can rip on the Lakers for.
One thing critics can't hate on the Lakers for, is Lamar Odom's play so far.
The power forward out of Rhode Island is putting up a poor mans Lebron James stat line consisting of 15.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2.9 assists a game.
The most impressive stat that Odom possesses so far this season has been his shooting percentages. Odom is putting up a career best 56 percent from the field, one of the tops in the NBA for big men. Adding to his shooting success, Odom is averaging another career high in three point percentage, at 38 percent.
The combination of the consistencies between Odom and Pau Gasol have been one of the few bright spots for the Lakers this year.
Since Odom is generally playing in Pau and Kobe's shadow, he is another player that would be on the "all underrated team" so far this year.
Another player who was on Team USA this past summer, Odom is played with refreshed energy in all the facets of his game.
Lamar Odom is an NBA All-Star, whether the fans or coaches agree with that or not.
4. Kevin Martin
Kevin Martin has been a quiet assassin so far this year
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Kevin Martin is a guy that really doesn't get any respect for his body of work.
Known as being a "fragile" player, Kevin Martin is proving the nay-sayers wrong this year.
His stat line might not be jaw dropping, but Martin is getting the job done. He currently averages 23.1 points, 2.3 assists, 2.9 rebounds, and .9 steals a game.
Martin ranks with the NBA elites in points per game, settling in at 11th. An interesting statistic with that is nine of the guys ahead of him are officially All-Stars.
But it's really about what he does for the Rockets more so than his numbers.
With Yao Ming going down for the season (go figure), and Aaron Brooks being out for multiple weeks with an ankle injury, Martin has picked up the slack.
Despite losing those two starters for extended periods of time, Martin still has the Rockets in the playoff hunt.
If the Rockets can have a guy step up at center, watch out for them to make a move for a playoff spot in the coming months.
Martin, in my opinion, is the most underrated player in the NBA and doesn't get nearly the credit he deserves.
3. Monta Ellis
Ellis has been a scoring machine in the first half of the season
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Just a few seasons after the "scooter" incident, Monta Ellis has grown into one heck of player.
The NBA hasn't seen a guy score like this on the offensive side of the ball since Allen Iverson in his prime.
Monta is putting up season averages of 25.1 ppg, 5.6 apg, 3.4 rpg, and 2.2 spg.
No surprise here, but Monta is averaging the highest points per game of anyone in the NBA that didn't make the All-Star team. His 25.1 points per game are sixth best in the NBA, a very defining number for Ellis.
Ellis is also enjoying career highs in several categories.
His assists and steals per game are both career highs for the sixth year product.
There is no mystery why Ellis is averaging so many points per game this year. His shooting numbers back it all up.
Ellis is putting up 36 percent from three point land, and nearly 46 percent from the field. For a guy that takes tons and tons of contested jumpers every game, 46 percent is about as good as it gets.
Ellis is also a work horse, currently playing over 40 minutes a game. This type of consistency and durability is hard to come by.
Monta Ellis will be an All-Star soon, you can bet on that.
2. LaMarcus Aldridge
Without Lamarcus Aldridge, who knows how bad the Blazers would be
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These last two guys on this list drive me crazy that they aren't All-Stars.
LaMarcus Aldridge has been so good and so underrated this year it's insane.
Aldridge is putting up a career high numbers across the board. 21.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, and 1.1 steals per game are all career highs for the fifth year forward.
None of those numbers even compare to the impact he has made overall for the Blazers.
When Greg Oden went down for the year, more pressure was put on Aldridge to perform in the front court.
Then when Brandon Roy went down with knee surgeries, even more weight was put on Aldridge to carry the squad.
LaMarcus has lived up to all the pressure and more so far. The Aldridge-led Blazers currently have a 26-23 record, putting them in eighth place in the powerful West.
Being realistic, if the Blazers didn't have Aldridge doing what he does on a nightly basis, they would be an easy five games under .500.
They have almost zero legit post players besides LaMarcus, causing him to play center at times and guard players he shouldn't be.
It's analysis's like that which portray LaMarcus's real worth. This guy deserves to be an All-Star no questions asked.
If you don't believe me, refer to Andre Miller's latest comments on how he feels about LaMarcus not being in the All-Star game.
1. Kevin Love
Kevin Love has dominated the NBA in a big way this year
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This one drives me absolutely crazy. Being a die hard NBA enthusiast, I have never lost more trust and been more mad at the NBA.
Kevin Love probably deserves to be an All-Star over 70 percent of the guys who made it. This guy is an absolute beast.
There is one tiny knock on his All-Star resume, and that's that he plays for a bad team. But still, he has done so much this year it's ludicrous not to have him in the All-Star game.
There are so many arguments and numbers that illustrate how amazing Love is I'm not quite sure where to start.
How about we begin with this.
Kevin Love currently leads in the NBA in double-doubles with 43. He has played in 48 games so far this year. Wow.
He is ahead of guys like Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard, and Pau Gasol for double doubles, all players who got All-Star nods. Another wow.
His consecutive streak of double-doubles in a row currently sits at 34, an outstanding feat no one in the NBA has come close to this year.
Further adding to Love's outstanding year, he has been an absolute vacuum on the glass.
He currently averages 15.5 rebounds a game! He is almost two whole rebounds per game ahead of the guy in second place, someone named Dwight Howard.
Fans would assume that averaging over 15 boards a game would take tons of minutes per game to do, but Love does it in an extremely efficient 36.7 minutes a night.
Not only does Kevin rebound, the kid can score too.
He is 16th in the NBA in points per game, at 21.4 per outing.
Already looking at these numbers, you might ask how can the number one rebounder and the 16th top scorer NOT make the All-Star game? The correct answer to that is the NBA screwed up big time.
Kevin Love got absolutely robbed and if commissioner David Stern doesn't pick him as Yao Ming's replacement, NBA fans will go nuts on him.
Never in recent history has a guy been more qualified to be in the All-Star game and been snubbed like this.
Sorry Kevin, you get no love.