Let's Keep Talkin' about the All-Stars - Western Conference

Yo, this is a little change of pace.  Knick News will pick up in about 2 weeks when the deadline is about to pass and I think we could all use a small breather from all the Knick chatter and such.  What better way to get something goin than to yap on about the All-Star selections?!  I done did the Eastern Conference this morning, but there is a Tumbeast of a monster across the Miss'ippi that we shall call the Western Conference.  The fans (and Asia) picked the starters and the all-star coaches chose the reserves.  How did they do?  Let's throw this cherry bomb in the toilet, teenagers.

Good God there are a lot of All-Star worthy players in the West.  Why do we even need the East?  Just keep the starters and have the reserves chosen from the West's garbage pile. Did anyone get lost in the shuffle? You bet your candy ass they did!

I pointed out in my Eastern Conference Post about how the All-Stars are selected and some thoughts about how I feel on that process.  No need to repeat that here, though it really applies more to the Western Conference selections.  But let's jump right into the analysis, shall we?

WEST Starters

G- Chris Paul|16.6ppg, 9.6ast, 4.0reb, 2.57stl, .487fg%, .453 3pt%, .904ft%

G- Kobe Bryant|25.4ppg, 5.1reb, 5.0ast, 1.26stl, .462fg%, .824ft%

F- Kevin Durant|29.3ppg, 6.8reb, 2.8ast, 1.14stl, .94blk, .472fg%, .350 3pt%, .884ft%

F- Carmelo Anthony|23.8ppg, 7.8reb, 3.0ast, .88stl, .434fg%, .815ft%

C- Yao Ming**|injured


Thoughts:  Ok, so China is obviously utilizing the shit out of the online voting.  I figure at the least, they could vote for Yi Yianlian since he is actually playing!  Obviously Yao is gonna be replaced.  I am actually fine with the rest of the starters though.  Some people argue against Carmelo Anthony, but it's not like dude is playing shitty ball.  Remember, the fans choose who they want to see, so at leas they didn't go for like Vince Carter or something.  Nonetheless, Kevin Love should be starting this game.  But I'll have a lot more to say on him in a minute.  You could even swap Chris Paul with Deron Williams and I would be ok with it.  Both have been stellar.  Oooooh, that's a good word. Kobe and Durant are pretty damn top of their class too.  If I had my way, starting center would be Pau Gasol too.  He's a PF, like Amar'e but he's been playing Center for much of the season in LA (like Amar'e). 

WEST Reserves

G- Deron Williams| 21.9ppg, 9.4ast, 3.7reb, 1.20 stl, .467 fg%, .366 3pt%, .855ft%

F- Dirk Nowitzki| 23.2ppg, 2.5ast, 6.9reb, .525fg%, .412 3pt%, .877ft%  

G- Manu Ginobili| 18.7ppg, 4.9ast, 3.9reb, 1.78stl, .431fg%, .365 3pt%, .875ft%

F- Pau Gasol| 18.4ppg, 10.5reb, 3.6ast, .1.88blk, .519fg%, .820ft%

G- Russell Westbrook| 22.4ppg, 8.5ast, 5.1reb,  1.90stl, .434fg% , .851ft%

F- Blake Griffin| 23.0ppg, 12.7reb, 3.6ast, .518fg%

C- Tim Duncan| 13.5ppg, 9.3reb, 3.0ast, 1.96blk, .481fg%,



Thoughts: Oh shit.  Here we go.  Let's say something about this first though.  The West is loaded with deserving PFs and PGs.  It's inevitable that some serious contenders would get snubbed since you can only pick 7 guys for the bench and even those have to be evenly distributed amongst guards and forwards and such.  Yet another reason for expanding rosters a bit because coaches don't even want their guys playing heavy minutes in the game. Let's start with the good choices though.  I don't think many will argue against Deron Williams or Manu Ginobili here.  if they do, they shouldn't.  Both guys are playing excellent ball and absolutely are all-stars.  Westbrook is on that same level too.  Durant gets the press, but Westbrook is just as dangerous and maybe even a bigger key to OK City's success.  Is he more worthy than say... Steve Nash?  This year, yes.  Nash has all-star numbers, but this is about who has better All-Star numbers. 

Ok, moving on.  The forwards are all-star worthy, but I don't think they are the guys who are having the best years.  I believe the All-Star game IS individual too.  People talk about Ray Felton shooting his way out of an All-star berth, but Dirk hasn't been very Dirk-like in January either.  His scoring dropped a couple points (down to 19.6 from 26 in December), as did his rebounding and FG%, FT% and 3PT%.  Enough to drop him from the All-Stars?  Apparently not, but if experts are gonna hold Ray Felton accountable for his down month, let's be consistent, especially in a conference overloaded with talent.  Kevin Love, Zach Randolph and LaMarcus Aldridge are all having career years. They deserve to be recognized more than Dirk who's numbers are slightly down from past years.  Kevin Love is straight killing it.  He should have been a no-brainer.

I suggest Pau to start for Yao and he deserves an All-Star spot.  Blake Griffin has been too good to ignore as well.  rookie, Gallo-Rookie, whatever, dude has been one of the best in the game so far.  But what the fuck is up with Tim Duncan?!  Don't get me wrong, I love the guy (professionally of course), but in this stacked conference there are far more deserving players and it shouldn't matter that Duncan or Dirk have been all-stars like 15 times each.  They passed on guys averaging 21/15, 20/13, 21/9 and that's just the other forwards.  Shit, Look at Monta Ellis and Kevin Martin and Tony Parker!  Are you kidding me?!  This is a BENCH spot too!  Get creative!!

With that, here are some highly snubtastic names to observe.

Kevin Love|21.4ppg, 15.5reb, 2.5ast, .472fg%, .439 3pt%, .870ft%

Tony Parker|17.3ppg, 3.2reb, 6.7ast, 1.33stl, .520fg%,

Luis Scola|19.3ppg, 8.5reb, 2.4ast, .503fg%

LaMarcus Aldridge|21.3ppg, 9.0reb, 1.12stl, 1,20blk, .487fg%

Tyson Chandler|10.2ppg, 9.3reb, 1.18blk, .662fg%

Steve Nash|16.8ppg, 11.1ast , .526fg%, .408 3pt%, .916ft%

Monta Ellis|25.1ppg, 3.4reb, 5.6ast, 2.23stl, .458fg%, .362 3pt%

Kevin Martin|23.1ppg, 2.3ast, 3.0reb, .444fg%, .405 3pt%, .883ft%

David West|18.9ppg, 7.4reb, 2.3 ast, .94stl, .94blk, .509fg%

Zach Randolph|20.0ppg, 13.2reb, .486fg%

Lamar Odom|15.5ppg, 9.5reb, 2.9ast, .564fg%, .383 3pt%

Tyreke Evans|17.8 ppg, 4.8reb, 5.5ast, 1.83ast

Mike Conley|13.4ppg, 6.8ast, 3.2reb, 1.66stl, .453fg%, .357 3pt%

Paul Millsap|16.9ppg, 7.8reb, 2.2ast, 1.43stl, .86blk, .528fg%

Michael Beasley|20.3ppg, 5.8reb, 2.1ast, .469fg%, .394 3pt%

There is just zero reason that Kevin Love should be excluded from the All-Star game.  Aldridge and Ellis too.  And Randolph.  Shit, I could make an excellent case for Tyreke Evans and Kevin Martin too!  People knock Monta Ellis for being a gunner, but dude is shooting better than most NBA guards and scoring in bunches!  What does he have to do to get some recognition?  He is also dishing assists like hes a PG (5.6 is solid).  And I don't know how a 20-10 season doesn't get you on the team.  Maybe his rep is still holding him back, but Zach Randolph is cleaning the glass in a major way. And Kevin Love?  Well, can I point out that while grabbing nearly 16boards a game (and 31 when playing the Knicks) AND shooting 3s at a 45% clip means that dude isn't just camping out under the rim.  He is doing an insane amount of work.  Nice job Kurt Rambis for keeping this kid on the bench and giving him only 25 minutes a game for the 1st month and a half.  No wonder your team is shit.  Hey Marcus Beasley is playing the way you'd expect from #2 pick too!  He deserves a spot, but I can't think of anyone to bump to bring him aboard.  But hey, at least there isn't 4 guys from one team here like in the East.

The Western All-Stars aren't bad.  Its extremely weak that they went with Dirk and Duncan instead of a number of worthy candidates.  I don't know who replaces Yao Ming, but I did hear a rumor that Steve Nash would be added.  My guess is Duncan or Gasol get elevated to start.  I think Deron Williams will not play either so maybe Monta Ellis gets added, or Kevin Love (if Nash replaces Yao).  What do you intelligently designed people think??

**UPDATE** David Stern has named Kevin Love as Yao Ming's replacement.  Greg Popovich will determine who starts in Yao's place (umm... I'll be shocked if it isn't Tim Duncan).  So bump up LaMarcus Aldridge as the biggest All-Star snub.  Que complaining.

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