Who Deserves to Go to New Orleans for the 2016-17 NBA All Star Game?
Every year we have snubs. Every year we have players who honestly shouldn’t be there. The criteria to become an All Star becomes a debate. Do you reward winning? Is it statistics? Or perhaps both? Maybe it’s a popularity contest after all?
The NBA did a great job this year, allowing players and media to take part in the voting process to determine the starters selections. Fans will account for 50 percentage of the vote, which all current players and a panel of basketball media will each account for 25 percent. Over the years, we’ve had many players who honestly deserved a spot. Here’s hoping this voting process works.
Who SHOULD start for the 2016-2017 NBA All Star Game: East
Player A: 22.2 PPG 5 RPG 7.2 APG 1.6 STL 48%FG 44% 3P%
Player B: 24.6 PPG 4.2 RPG 6.0 APG 1.8 STL 46% FG 40% 3P%
Player A is Kyle Lowry. He has been MONEY this season, shooting lights out. Player B? Your former MVP Steph Curry. While Steph is still doing Steph things, I’m just trying to demonstrate what kind of season Lowry is having this season. Leading the Raptors to yet another impressive record at 28-13, he absolutely deserves to be the starter in New Orleans.
Boy has Isaiah Thomas come a LONG way. Here’s a reminder to players who put in the work can make dreams come true. Isaiah Thomas was a second-round pick (#60!) in 2011 by the Sacramento Kings. He has really come a long way and IT has been CRUSHING opponents this year, averaging a blistering 28.4 PPG for a 5’7 guy. Celtics are 26-15, and that’s good for 3rd in the East. Although there’s a chance he might not be named the starter, he is a lock to go to New Orleans as a reserve.
I could argue Kevin Love probably deserve a spot, but Jimmy G Buckets (The G stands for Gets) is a better player than he was last season. He’s averaging career highs across the board and the Bulls are still in the playoff hunt, trailing the 8th seeded Bucks by only a ½ game
King James, that is all. For the record, he’s still the best player in the NBA.
The Greek Freak has really raised some eyebrows this year. Antetokounmpo is leading his team in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. If that doesn’t get you into the All-Star game, I don’t know what will. Bucks are on pace to make the playoffs with a fun matchup against the Cavaliers.
Who SHOULD start for the 2016-2017 NBA All Star Game: West
Human Cyborg known as Russell Westbrook is having the monster season we all anticipated. If there’s ever a real definition of what MVP is, just look at what Westbrook does on the court for his team. His team basically NEEDS him to average a triple-double for them to compete in games. Needless to say, he’s a no brainer in New Orleans.
7 seconds or less. Give credit to Harden. He’s been asked to play a role which he literally has to do everything for his team to have a chance. I also give credit to the Rockets organization and Coach Mike D’Antoni (Coach of the Year runaway btw) for surrounding a squad catered to James Harden’s penetrating and kick out ability. They shoot 40 3-pointers per game! Despite the lack of defense, they are still running teams away and own a record of 32-12, good for 3rd in the West. I have Harden over Westbrook as my MVP right now, but only by a hair. Still, The Beard is pulling all the right strings in Houston. Just fun to watch.
No one talks about the Spurs, literally. They are completely forgotten for whatever reason, yet they are the only franchise to have 50+ wins seasons for ahem, 17 consecutive seasons. That is absolutely mind-boggling and they are on pace to do it again this season. Perhaps it’s the system, perhaps it’s the coach. It doesn’t seem to even matter when they are so consistently good. Kawhi is having yet another great season and he’s easily the best two-way player in the NBA.
KD Trey didn’t need much to get used to the Bay Area. He fit in like a glove and he has quickly become the best player on this stacked Golden State squad. He’s having yet another ultra-efficient season, shooting 53% from the field and 40% from deep. Jump shooting team? Who cares what Charles Barkley said? Warriors are 35-6 and still blowing out teams by an average of 12.6 points every night.
Big Spain has been having an incredible season, keeping the Memphis Grizzlies alive with all the injuries Memphis had all season. Gasol erased the injury concerns quickly as he’s averaging a career-high in points at 19.4. Media and the popular votes will most likely go to Anthony Davis or DeMarcus Cousins, but that doesn’t mean they deserve it. I love both AD and Boogie, but Big Spain gets the W’s for his team and that’s something I have respect for.
What do you think? Who do you think deserves a starting nod? Stay tuned for my next piece on All-Star reserves! Follow us at @otgbasketball for everything basketball. Find out who the starters are for the 2016-2017 NBA All-Star game tonight on TNT. #NBAVOTE
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*Photos courtesy of ESPN