Berry Tramel

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Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook ranked seventh

by Berry Tramel Modified: May 24, 2013 at 2:45 pm •  Published: May 24, 2013

There are many ways to rate NBA players. Statistically is one way. Voting is another. The all-NBA teams give us an excellent gauge of how NBA media judges players.

I thought Russell Westbrook had a chance to make first-team all-NBA. I didn’t really think he’d make it — I thought Kobe would edge him out — and I was right. But I thought Westbrook had a shot. And Westbrook ended up seventh overall in the voting. Here is the way the votes went:

1. LeBron James 595 points

2. Kevin Durant 555

3. Chris Paul 537

4. Kobe Bryant 521

5. Carmelo Anthony 397

6. Tim Duncan 392

7. Russell Westbrook 306

8. Marc Gasol 295

9. Tony Parker 273

10. James Harden 253

11. Dwight Howard 203

12. Dwyane Wade 145

13. Blake Griffin 132

13. Brook Lopez 132

15. David Lee 79

16. Paul George 73

17. Stephen Curry 72

18. LaMarcus Aldridge 62

19. Chris Bosh 59

20. Joakim Noah 56

21. Zach Randolph 45

22. Al Horford 31

23. Paul Pierce 24

24. Al Jefferson 20

25. Tyson Chandler 19

26. Roy Hibbert 9

27. Luol Deng 8

27. Kevin Garnett 8

27. Ty Lawson 8

30. Josh Smith 7

31. Deron Williams 6

32. Pau Gasol 4

32. Serge Ibaka 4

34. Omer Asik 3

34. Kenneth Faried 3

34. Raymond Felton 3

34. Kyrie Irving 3

38. Carlos Boozer 2

38. Mike Conley 2

38. David West 2

41. Rudy Gay 1

41. J.J. Hickson 1

41. Andre Iguodala 1

41. Dirk Nowitzki 1

41. Nikola Pekovic 1

41. Rajon Rondo 1

41. Nikola Vucevic 1

A few thoughts on the voting:

* The voting is skewed. Voters are asked to vote by position, even though positions are largely disappearing from the NBA. Every lineup has a point guard, some lineups have a center and then it’s a crapshoot. The notion of picking teams by position seems antiquated. That’s how Duncan made first team, sending Carmelo to second team.

It seems likely that Westbrook would have out-pointed Duncan, had voters not been asked to pick a center. But Westbrook still fell behind Anthony, so it’s reasonable to assume that Westbrook was the No. 6 player in the voting.

* That positional stuff is what dropped Harden to third team. Harden actually had almost twice as many votes as Griffin, but the forward voting was so spread out — no one knew who to vote for — that Griffin rose to second team with a low vote total.

* Going back to the last three all-NBA teams, here are the most decorated players: James, Durant, Kobe, Paul and Howard would be the first team, and Howard and CP3 barely edge out Westbrook. Westbrook would lead the second team, with Wade, Griffin, Parker and then your choice of Carmelo, Derrick Rose, Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki.

* Brook Lopez got seven first-place votes and finished with 132 points, but that was only fourth among centers — Duncan, Marc Gasol, Dwight — and thus was honorable mention.  So Lopez and Griffin had the same number of votes, yet one was second-team and the other honorable mention.

* Wow. Deron Williams and Pau Gasol have fallen far. Gasol was second-team all-NBA in 2011; Williams was second-team in 2010.

* Kevin Love and Andrew Bynum were second-team all-NBA last season and didn’t get a single vote this year, for injury reasons. Also without a vote was Rose, because he didn’t play, but pay attention to Rose. He was first-team in 2011, when he was NBA MVP, but didn’t make any of three teams last season, when he played just 39 games. Counting playoffs, Rose has played 40 of a possible 182 games the last two seasons.

* Someone voted for Raymond Felton. Someone voted for Rudy Gay. Someone voted for J.J. Hickson. I pray that it was all the same person and we don’t have three goofballs on the panel.

* Undervalued in the voting: Paul George, Steph Curry.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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