Posted on: February 16, 2012 7:36 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2012 8:58 pm
By Matt Moore
The NBA annnounced Thursday night that it has added New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin to the "Rising Stars" competition which took the place of the Rookies-Sophomores game this year during NBA All-Star Weekend. Due to overwhelming fan support, and the fact that more peope know about Lin than about half of the rest of the competitors, Lin was added to the pool. Later Thursday, Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley selected their teams. Shaquille O'Neal selected Lin second, third overall during the process.
Miami Heat rookie point guard Norris Cole, another notable omission, was also added to the player pool.
It comes as no surprise as the NBA has tried every imaginable way to figure out how to include Lin this weekend. David Stern had said earlier Thursday that he would not allow Lin into the game as to not interfere with the current setup but popular sentiment won out.
Turns out even David Stern is powerless against Linsanity.
The draft for each team was held on NBATV with Blake Griffin going No. 1 to Shaq's team. Charles Barkley selected Kyrie Irving second overall. Shaq took Jeremy Lin in the third round. John Wall wasn't taken until the 11th pick. Here are how the two teams shake out:
Team Shaq: Blake Griffin, Jeremy Lin, Ricky Rubio, Markieff Morris, Greg Monroe, Landry Fields, Norris Cole, Kemba Walker, Brandon Knight and Tristan Thompson.
Team Chuck: Kyrie Irving, DeMarcus Cousins, Gordon Hayward, Paul George, Derrick Williams, MarShon Brooks, John Wall, Tiago Splittler, Evan Turner and Kawhi Leonard.
Posted on: February 9, 2012 6:17 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2012 7:40 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver, Matt Moore and Royce Young
1. The Western forwards are the toughest decision. What's your pick there and what's the second toughest decision?
Matt Moore: Pau Gasol's not worthy and doesn't have the historic success to validate a career achievement selection. Paul Millsap gets hosed because he doesn't have enough usage. It's Griffin, Love, and LaMarcus Aldridge. You simply can't exclude any of them. Second toughest I think is whether to include anyone from the Hawks or Sixers. Both teams use comprehensive, cohesive approach to both sides of the ball. Choosing one guy seems a disservice to the others.
Royce Young: I think you have to take both LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love. There's just no way around it. Pau Gasol and Paul Millsap are snubs, but that's just life. I'd say the second toughest decision is between Tony Parker, Steve Nash and James Harden. All three have terrific claims, but not all three can go.
Ben Golliver: I disagree with the premise of the question and agree with you guys. It's clearly Griffin, Love and Aldridge. Griffin is the most questionable of the three and he's already in by default. Millsap likely get hosed but there's a process to this All-Star thing and he's working his way up the chain; Nowitzki definitely doesn't deserve it and he did the right thing by saying as much. I don't think this one is all that tough. I would probably cheat and try to sneak Pau Gasol in as a center, or play semantics and call Aldridge a center to get Gasol in as a forward. The spillover effect at the West center is probably the toughest. Pau and Marc Gasol both have a case, Al Jefferson probably thinks he has a case and Tim Duncan looms as the sentimental guy. Something has to give.
2. Let's say the reserves all have to actually be reserves, non-starters. What's your list?
Young: In the East, can I just say the 76ers bench? Because that's pretty much it. For the West, Mo Williams, James Harden, Jamal Crawford, Jason Terry, Al Harrington, Derrick Favors and Yao Ming (just kidding).
Moore: West I'd go Mo Williams, James Harden, Nicolas Batum, Al Harrington, Derrick Favors, Ian Mahinmi, O.J. Mayo. East I'd go with J.J. Redick, C.J. Watson, Lou Williams, Thaddeus Young, Brandon Bass, Ersan Ilyasova, and Jodan Farmar.
Golliver: The Eastern Conference doesn't have a full team of All-Star worthy starters this year, let alone reserves. You might as well just send Andray Blatche if we are going to play that game. In terms of the West, maybe just an all-perimeter line-up of Mo Williams, James Harden, Andre Miller, Jason Terry, Jamal Crawford, and Jimmer Fredette, just because this was kind of a dumb question. Al Harrington and Nicolas Batum would be in too.
3. Who's getting hosed the most Thursday night?
Golliver: I'm worried it will be Kyrie Irving, due to the blind anti-rookie bias and the fact that Cleveland is just a touch out of the playoff picture in the East. His case statistically is stronger than any of the other snubs. Top-25 league-wide in PER as a teenager? That deserves a medal.
Moore: Marc Gasol. Arguably the best center in the West and his star power isn't enough to warrant a selection.
Young: I'm afraid it's going to be Kyle Lowry. He's playing on a decent Houston team and is really kind of having an MVP quality season, but it seems not many are noticing it. Plus, there are way too many good, bigger name point guards in the West.
4. Let's say Rondo sits out to get healthy. Who do you take between Kyrie Irving, Deron Williams, and Brandon Jennings?
Moore: Deron Williams and Kyrie Irving. Williams' numbers stack up and I won't punish Williams for getting traded to the Nets who can't put together a team if it was 2kSports, and Irving is already a premier point guard with elite production numbers. Jennings hasn't been efficient long enough.
Young: I go with Irving and Jennings. Deron Williams just doesn't get a pass for mailing in the first three weeks of the season. He's playing more like himself lately, but he wasn't good for a while. Jennings is a tad erratic, but has carried the Bucks near .500 while being without Andrew Bogut for a lot of the season. And Irving, well, he's just been fantastic, rookie or not.
Golliver: Jennings has a shockingly compelling case given the season he had last year but I think it's Irving and then Williams. D-Will has probably taken the biggest step back in overall appeal of any 2011 All-Star since Los Angeles.
5. Who's going to be the worst All-Star selected this year, starter or reserve? Think Gerald Wallace's performance in 2010.
Young: Joe Johnson. I'm always so bored when Joe Johnson gets picked, but it's inevitable.
Golliver: Roy Hibbert, assuming he gets selected or added at a later date. He will only be remembered if he gets Mozgov'd or Perkins'd. After writing this I'm now actively hoping he winds up snubbed.
Moore: Andre Iguodala makes everyone better. That's like, the opposite of what the All-Star game is about. Iggy's a worthy selection but not a great fit. Too selfless.
Posted on: February 3, 2011 7:16 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 7:42 pm
NBA All-Star reserves announced, All-Star rosters complete. Blake Griffin selected to NBA All-Star game as a rookie. Four Celtics make the team, East represented primarily by Boston and Miami.
Posted by Matt Moore and Royce Young
The NBA All-Star Game reserves were announced live this evening, and we'll break them all down for you.
Guard: Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Joe Johnson
Forward: Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh,
Center: Al Horford
The Eastern Conference All-Star team is made up of only six teams. The Bulls have one, the Celtics four, the Heat three, the Magic one, the Knicks one and the Hawks two.
Rondo has had a fantastic first half of the season, putting up near historic assist numbers. He's had a couple 20-assist nights and as the creator and distributor of one of the NBA's most efficient offenses, it's a well-deserved nod. He's had three triple-doubles and 19 double-doubles. In five seasons, this is two All-Star selections for Rondo. At 35, Allen is one of the oldest All-Stars. But he's certainly deserving. He's shooting over 45 percent from 3 and as one of the most deadly late game scorers in the NBA, he's feared in almost every situation. This is Allen's 10th selection.
Nobody came on stronger over the last month than Johnson. In January Johnson averaged 26.0 points per game on 50 percent shooting from the field. He started slow because of an elbow issue but now that he's healthy, he's back to one of the best isolation scorers and knock down shooters in the league. Five straight All-Star Games for Johnson.
Quietly, Garnett is having an MVP caliber season. Because of his leadership and defense, Garnett has positioned his team as the team to beat in the East. He's always a threat for a double-double and this season has re-asserted his dominance on the interior. This makes 14 straight All-Star appearances for Garnett. Pierce makes it four Celtics on the roster and really, it's hard to say he didn't deserve it. Really, it just came down to which Celtic do you scrub? And it's just too hard to say it should've been Pierce. He's scoring at a ridiculously efficient rate this season and this is his ninth selection.
Bosh is appearing in his sixth All-Star Game. He's taken a lot of flak over his role and perceived toughness in Miami, but his importance can't be denied. Without him, the Heat just aren't the same offensive team. It's easy to forget what a good power forward he really is and he's still one of the very best. A second consecutive appearance for Horford. He's had 24 double-doubles and is quietly one of the premier big men in the league. He's top five in field goal percentage and rebounds and is maybe the most important player for the Hawks.
Guard: Russell Westbrook, Manu Ginobili, Deron Williams
Forward: Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki, Blake Griffin
Center: Pau Gasol
Blake Griffin certainly makes an impression, doesn't he? Selected over LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love (we'll get to them in a bit). A rookie selected to the All-Star game itself. Pretty incredible. From there, Deron Williams will likely raise a few eyebrows considering he hasn't had a season up to his standards, but it's not like he's struggled. It's clear that both coaches appreciate the tremendous crop of point guards we have playing in this league currently. Westbrook making it will surely ease the fears of Thunder fans, and Duncan and Nowitzki were no-brainers based off both team success and individual legacy, even if our own Ken Berger felt Duncan wasn't up to snuff.
Manu is a surprise selection, but as he's been mentioned in some's MVP conversations, perhaps he shouldn't be. Ginobili has managed to absolutely demolish teams down the stretch, and his play has been arguably the biggest reason for the Spurs having the best record in basketball.
For the West, the fans got their man (Griffin), the coaches got their legacies (Duncan, Nowitzki), and L.A. is well represented, even without Lamar Odom sneaking in. Now we get to start figuring out who Blake Griffin is going to dunk on.
Your complete All-Star Rosters (starters in bold):
Eastern Conference:Guard : Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Joe Johnson
Forward: LeBron James, Amar'e Stoudemire, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Chris Bosh
Center: Dwight Howard, Al Horford
Western Conference:Guard: Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant , Russell Westbrook, Manu Ginobili, Deron Williams
Forward: Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony , Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki, Blake Griffin
Center: Yao Ming (injured), Pau Gasol