The NBA has filled out its all-star team rosters in preparation for the most over-hyped all-star game in all of sports, and to the surprise of many, the fans did a better job choosing the starters than the coaches did choosing the reserves.
To many, this season is marking a transition in the NBA. The reigns of the Celtics, Lakers and Spurs are still quite strong but appear to be winding to an end, while the Magic, Thunder, Bulls and Heat are poised to sit atop the league. But, it seems as if this year's all-star selections do not reflect that notion at all.
Here are some players who clearly should have been able to hold the title of being an NBA all-star but were left out.
First, examine the following statistics:
Player A: 13.6 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 3.0 apg, 29.4 min.
Player B: 21.4 ppg, 15.5 rpg, 2.5 apg, 36.7 min.
Player A, Tim Duncan, is averaging career lows in points and minutes game, while Player B, Kevin Love, is leading the league in rebounding, while scoring 20-plus a contest. There is no denying the legendary status of Tim Duncan as an all-time great, but when cold, hard stats like so show such a discrepancy, it's time to move on from the "Big Fundamental;" Kevin Love should be an NBA all-star in 2011.
Raymond Felton of the New York Knicks has been leading a resurgence, along with Amar'e Stoudemire, of arguably the NBA's best team. But that is not all that puts Felton in the category of "All-Star" snub. He is posting over 17 points per game, 9 assists and 2 steals. All worthy statistics, especially considering Rajon Rondo, who is averaging just over 10 points and 12 assists per game (while playing with three other perennial all-stars).
Steve Nash leads a group of guards from the Western Conference that all have played well enough to presumably earn a spot on the all-star squad. Nash, along with Monta Ellis, has been a more than worthy candidate for an all-star bid. Nash leads the Western Conference in assists per game with 11, while having little talent around him on a nightly basis.
Ellis' case is all about scoring. Only Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant are scoring more per game than Ellis among players in the Western Conference. If that isn't enough, he is posting career highs in steals and assists.
Last, but not least, Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge is clearly deserving of all-star recognition. Besides putting up 40 points on Tim Duncan, Aldridge has been leading a depleted Blazers squad to three games over .500 and the current eighth seed in the Western Conference playoffs. He is also averaging 21 points and 9 boards per game.
Well, luckily for most of these guys, there is always next year.