John Wall's Top 5 plays of the week 1-20
The 2013 NBA All-Star rosters are now complete following the announcement of the reserves on Thursday. Let the debate begin.
Let's start in the Eastern Conference, where Kyrie Irving, Jrue Holiday, Paul George, Tyson Chandler and Joakim Noah will all be making their first career All-Star appearances, joining frontcourters Chris Bosh and Luol Deng.
Announced last week, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Garnett, Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo were voted in by the fans.
* The primary snubs, according to ProBasketballTalk.com's Kurt Helin, Brook Lopez, Paul Pierce and Brandon Jennings. Pierce is still cranking out offense at 35-year-old and arguably, on night-in, night-out basis has been the most valuable Celtic this season. It's also hard to justify three Celtics on the All-Star team this season. Lopez' omission is a bit tougher to take seeing as the Nets' center has been rather beastly on the offensive end (18.6 points, 52.1 FG percentage). The advanced stats guys surely must be throwing their calculators over this one seeing as Lopez as a 25.4 PER. Expand the snub list and Carlos Boozer also finds his way onto it, though I'm less concerned about the uber-streaky J.R. Smith not being added to the roster.
Western Conference - James Harden, Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook were selected as the backcourt reserves, Tim Duncan, LaMarcus Aldridge, David Lee and Zach Randolph the same up front. Kobe Bryant, who received the most overall votes, and Chris Paul will start at guard with Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and Dwight Howard manning the frontcourt roles.
*As for those not headed to All-Star game, Helin cites Stephen Curry (!!!), Jamal Crawford and Serge Ibaka. Helin's argument for Curry, logical - and posted below:
"Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors. He is the initiator, the guy driving the Golden State offense, he’s scoring 20.9 points a game, dishing out 6.6 assists per game and is shooting 45.1 percent from three while taking nearly seven shots from there a game (he is the best pure shooter in the league). He’s grown his game as defenses have adjusted to him, he can put the rock on the floor and create space. What’s more, he’s made himself a good pick-and-role defender. He’s led his team to a surprisingly good record and they are a playoff lock. I don’t think you can ask more of a guy."
The 62nd NBA All-Star Game will be played at the Toyota Center in Houston on Sunday, Feb. 17.
*Obviously no Wizard deserved any true consideration, though unless something goes horribly wrong, Bradley Beal should be a part of All-Star weekend in the Rising Stars Challenge game. Following his return from a foot injury, Nene proved incredibly valuable as the plus-minus numbers proved, plus it was not until this month that the Wizards won a game without the Brazilian big man on the court. As for John Wall, what's worth noting is the stiff competition he faces going forward; three point guards (Rondo, Irving, Holiday) made this roster, Jennings arguably could have and then you have the injured Derrick Rose. Jose Calderon, Jameer Nelson and Jeff Teague are also among the league leaders in assists.