Let the debate begin.
All-Star reserves were announced Thursday night, and the Thunder, for the first time in the franchise’s Oklahoma City-era history, fielded two All-Stars. After Kevin Durant was voted in as a starter, Russell Westbrook made the cut as a reserve.
Meanwhile, a few players were noticeably missing from the list. Some have legitimate beefs. Others, not so much. But where did the coaches execute and where did they error? We ask our panel in today’s question of the day?
Did the coaches get the All-Star reserves right?
There are only two iffy calls, but Tim Duncan and Ray Allen are worthy selections. Allen deserved to be chosen ahead of New York’s Raymond Felton. When the Knicks were on an early roll, Felton was a solid pick. The Knicks have since faded. Duncan is a good choice because he can start at center since the West doesn’t have one. More important, the Spurs deserved more than one player given their league-best 40-8 record. The Celtics had four players and the Heat three. Presumably commissioner David Stern will pick Kevin Love as Yao Ming’s replacement, which is unfortunate for Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge. Tough call for the commish.
Sure. Why not? This is a conference with 13 all-stars and 12 spots. So unless someone comes up gimpy between now and the next two weeks, someone is going to be left out. Will it be Kevin Love or LaMarcus Aldridge? Should it have been Russell Westbrook or Deron Williams or Blake Griffin, all named to the team Thursday? There is no right or wrong answer. Heck, Steve Nash didn’t make the team, which I think is bogus. The All-Star Game shouldn’t be for whoever’s had the hottest three months. It should be for all-stars, and Nash qualifies, in my book. So I cut the coaches some slack. You want someone else on, fine. Just say who has to come off.
I’m shocked that Kevin Love wasn’t one of the All-Star reserves. Everyone wants to point to his team’s poor record, but to me, that record is even more reason to put him on the team. For a guy to be leading the league in rebounding and averaging 21 points a game for a team that’s as bad as the Timberwolves are, that’s amazing to me. Just imagine the damage he’d be doing if opponents couldn’t just key on him. Someone has to replace an injured Yao Ming. It has to be Love.
Kevin Love’s day will come. He’s an All-Star for three months. Steve Nash has been an All-Star for a decade, including the last three months. That’s the only oversight I see, and David Stern can and should correct it when he picks Yao Ming’s replacement.
Not much you can argue with out East. But in the West, the coaches clearly gave winning the nod once again over all else. The lone exception was Blake Griffin, whose Clippers are 10 games below .500. But Griffin has been so dominant — while also stringing together some wins after a brutal start — that he became impossible to leave off. Every other West reserve is from a team with at least 29 wins. So give the coaches credit for consistency. That’s why, even though I don’t necessarily agree with it, I have no problem with them leaving off Kevin Love, the league’s leader in rebounding and double-doubles and the game’s biggest snub. Love is on the second-worst team in the league. His Wolves have just three more wins than the lowly Cavs. Now flashback two years. Kevin Durant was playing All-Star caliber ball, averaging 25 points in his second season. But Durant missed the cut for that year’s All-Star team because of the Thunder’s record — ironically enough a 11-35 mark, two fewer losses than Love’s Wolves this year. The coaches selected David West, who averaged a full six points less than Durant but was on a 27-14 Hornets team. Winning holds weight in the coaches’ eyes. And their consistency is admirable in mine.