My all-star "ballot" - The Reserves

Last week, I cast my "ideal world" ballot for the NBA all-star game starters. Now that the Pistons have won a game, I'm in the mood to talk about basketball again. Below are my "ideal world" choices for the all-star reserves. Introductory language, apologies to Kevin Love. All that noise. Why are you still reading this introduction? Get to the meat and post your thoughts in the comments.

Eastern Conference Reserves

F – Josh Smith

Here’s why people continue to overlook defense. Here’s a guy puts up defensive stats like crazy, and does so with a relatively low foul rate. He also plays with a marginal all-star center. Yet, Atlanta is an average defensive team. I bring this up, not because his scoring and rebounding wouldn’t get him in anyway, but because if his defensive statistics truly reflect his contribution, he is a top 5-6 player in the league.

Perhaps it reflects a new paradigm in how we perceive defense. It’s no secret that three point shooting percentages are down across the NBA. Perhaps an increased focus on perimeter defense has altered the equation in terms of how we ought to value athletic big men, who generally cannot impact the most valuable shot in the game, the one worth three points.

Josh Smith is forcing me to think meta. What a jerk.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2009 - Josh Smith 38 32.7 5.8 11.5 50.9 0.0 0.1 0.0 3.0 5.0 60.2 2.3 5.7 8.0 3.8 2.1 1.4 2.1 2.9 14.7

F – Kevin Garnett

I don’t think there is any new paradigm in which Kevin Garnett is not an all-star. His numbers are continuing to slide a little bit from his MVP season, but he is still one of the best big men on both sides of the basketball.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2009 - Kevin Garnett 29 30.7 6.2 11.3 54.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.6 3.1 84.3 1.3 6.3 7.6 2.5 1.6 1.0 0.9 2.4 15.0


C – Brook Lopez

Seriously? After all these years of watching the Jamaal Magloires and Brad Millers of the world don an all-star jersey, we’re going to deny a 20-10 guy because his team sucks? Like it’s his fault his team doesn’t have any money and has to play Trenton Hassel 28 minutes per game? You could argue, I think, that Lopez’s rebounding is a function of his being the only rebounder on a terrible rebounding team. If your argument starts there, I’ll listen. If it starts with "The Nets Suck", I’m bored.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2009 - Brook Lopez 38 36.5 6.7 13.9 48.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 5.1 6.1 84.1 3.3 6.3 9.6 2.2 2.5 0.8 2.0 3.2 18.6


G – Joe Johnson

Joe Johnson is the quintessential four time all star. In his prime, his output has generally the median for the last man in/out in any given season. He will play at his prime for eight seasons or so total. Every other year, that is good enough. This is one of those years.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2009 - Joe Johnson 38 37.3 8.3 18.2 45.5 1.8 4.8 37.5 2.9 3.5 82.7 1.2 3.8 5.0 4.8 2.2 1.1 0.1 1.9 21.3


G – Danny Granger

You see why I saved this for the jump. Nobody deserves this slot. Granger made me pay last year for snubbing him, and it’s not unreasonable to expect a second-half resurgence. That sets him apart from the blob of blah at the guard position.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2009 - Danny Granger 21 36.7 7.8 19.0 41.0 3.1 8.7 36.3 5.8 7.1 81.3 0.8 5.2 6.0 2.5 2.8 1.6 1.0 3.5 24.5


F – Paul Pierce

I don’t think the knee injury changes anything. If he can play, he should play. Like Garnett, Pierce has deteriorated somewhat with age, and his all-star years are dwindling down. But he is still one of the top offensive performers, and brings solid defense to match. That’s more than good enough for a spot on this squad.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2009 - Paul Pierce 32 35.7 5.7 12.1 47.0 1.9 4.1 47.0 5.1 5.9 85.3 0.5 4.3 4.8 3.7 2.3 1.3 0.4 2.5 18.4


C – David Lee

Lee has more or less played himself onto my squad the last couple of weeks. I still think his rebounding would suffer on a better squad, but the advancement in his offensive game puts him in an elite class of big men.
Western Conference


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2009 - David Lee 38 36.3 7.9 14.0 56.7 0.0 0.1 0.0 3.1 4.0 77.1 2.3 8.6 10.9 3.0 2.4 1.1 0.3 3.0 19.0


Western Conference

F – Pau Gasol

Once overlooked because he played for the Grizzlies, Gasol is now overlooked because he plays with Kobe Bryant. Make no mistake, the Lakers are not even close to championship caliber without Gasol. People don’t think of him as a rebounder, because he has never cracked the magical 10 rpg before, but this year he is showing what he can do, ranking 6th among forwards in rebounding rate in spite of playing alongside Andrew Bynum.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2009 - Pau Gasol 22 36.1 6.3 11.3 55.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 4.3 5.0 84.7 3.5 8.0 11.5 3.4 2.2 0.4 1.7 1.8 16.8


F – Kevin Durant

This may be his last year as an all-star reserve. In addition to pushing his offensive output into all-star territory, he has vastly improved on defense.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2009 - Kevin Durant 38 39.9 9.8 20.2 48.3 1.3 4.1 32.9 8.1 9.3 86.9 1.1 5.8 6.9 3.0 3.9 1.4 0.9 2.5 28.9


C – Carl Landry

He nearly matches Amare Stoudemire's output in eight fewer minutes. He's sort of this year's Manu Ginobili, a guy who performs at a near superstar level from the bench. If the all-star game is about putting the best players on the court, there is no question that Landry belongs in it.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2009 - Carl Landry 37 26.8 6.2 10.8 56.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 4.3 5.0 86.0 2.4 3.2 5.6 0.7 1.7 0.6 0.9 2.8 16.6


G- Steve Nash

Just call him the renaissance man. Nash is having the best season of his career at the age of 35, which is unheard of for a two-time MVP. He is on pace for career highs in points per 40 minutes, assists per 40 minutes, free throw shooting and field goal percentage. As a Nash skeptic, I have been duly humbled.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2009 - Steve Nash 39 33.5 7.2 13.2 54.5 1.7 3.8 43.6 3.2 3.3 94.6 0.5 2.5 3.0 11.2 3.9 0.4 0.2 1.2 19.2


G – Chauncey Billups

In a crowded field of contenders for these final few spots, Chauncey wins on every intangible. His team is winning, he plays great defense, he has had a positive impact on his teammates. He also gets to the free throw line,doesn’t turn the ball over, and does pretty much everything you want your point guard to do.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2009 - Chauncey Billups 31 32.0 4.8 11.7 41.2 2.0 5.0 40.0 6.2 6.9 89.8 0.4 2.2 2.5 5.7 2.3 1.3 0.2 2.2 17.9


G – Brandon Roy

He’s starting to pick it up after a slow start. That said, I can’t say that I’m impressed that he is leveling off at this point, posting precisely the same numbers this year while averaging two more minutes per game. Well, to be fair, he is turning the ball over more.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2009 - Brandon Roy 38 39.1 8.3 17.4 48.0 1.4 4.0 34.9 5.4 6.8 78.8 1.1 3.6 4.7 5.1 2.3 1.0 0.1 2.4 23.5


F – Zach Randolph

Can’t say I saw this coming. That said, Zach Randolph’s reputation doesn’t quite account for his talent, and there is no denying his role in making the Grizzlies the surprise team of the year. He is staying away from the three point line, hitting the boards, and showing up for every game. We know he has all-star talent. It’s time to make him an all-star.


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2009 - Zach Randolph 37 37.1 8.2 16.3 50.2 0.1 0.4 21.4 4.0 4.9 82.8 4.6 6.8 11.4 1.9 2.2 0.8 0.5 2.7 20.4


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