Our picks for NBA All-Star Game starters
by USA TODAY Sports, USA TODAY
Each Friday, The NBA A-Z guys Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt will take on a topic or topics from around the league to discuss. This week, they take on a couple of questions: 1. Did the fans get it right? 2. Can LeBron James one day become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer?
OK, guys, the NBA All-Star game starters were announced on Thursday. Did the fans get it right? Why or why not?
Jeff: Fans invest time and money – not an insignificant investment – in attending and watching NBA games. They don’t get a say in much, so I have no problem with fans picking All-Star starters. They pick who they want to see in the game and not always who is having an All-Star season. That is fine. It’s then up to the coaches to put other deserving players in the game.
East backcourt: In general, no complaints. One can certainly argue that Philadelphia’s Jrue Holiday and Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving are having All-Star seasons. But Boston’s Rajon Rondo is averaging a double-double (13 points, 11.2 assists) and 1.8 steals and the Celtics are starting to win. They are above .500, something the Sixers and Cavaliers are not, and something must be said for All-Stars who help their team win.
Since the category is backcourt and not point guard and shooting guard, you wouldn’t be wrong if you wanted two point guards to start. However, Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade is having a fine season – 20.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game, and he is shootings 50.6% from the field. This season, he is the best two guard at this point in the season and is worth of another All-Star start.
East frontcourt: Miami’s LeBron James and New York’s Carmelo Anthony – not much to say here. Both are All-Stars and MVP candidates.
The fans wanted to see Boston’s Kevin Garnett in the All-Star, but he’s not an All-Star starter this season. By traditional and advanced statistics, several big men are having better seasons: Brooklyn’s Brook Lopez, New York’s Tyson Chandler, Miami’s Chris Bosh. Chicago’s Joakim Noah is right … [For more on NBA A-Z: Our picks for NBA All-Star Game starters, click here.]