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Drunk and Surly: All-star snubs edition

This is the time of year when people who have opinions about basketball have opinions about who should play in the all-star game. Because I'm Drunk and Surly, and you can to, I thought it would be fun to turn it around and make the case against those who should NOT appear in the all-star game. Take it to the snubs!


Who's in: Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol (Injury Replacement), Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, Manu Ginobili, Steve Nash, Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams, Dirk Nowitzki.

Last one in: Westbrook

C - Tim Duncan

His case: Tim Duncan is, by any objective measure, one of the two best Centers in the Western Conference.

Drunk and Surly response:

Fair enough, but Tim Duncan, who has been selected to countless imaginary all-star starting lineups by more cheating sportswriters than anyone, ought to understand why we have to slide Blake Griffin in here. Griffin is having the better year, and Duncan is playing far fewer minutes. Also, does anyone really think Duncan wants to be there? At a certain point, doesn't fun factor in somewhere?

C - Nene Hilario

His case: Objectively, he might be THE best Center in the Western Conference.

Drunk and Surly response:

The more interesting question here is whether Nene might deserving than Duncan. On the offensive end, he has been nothing short of spectacular in his efficiency (contrast this with teammate Carmelo Anthony, who is nothing short of spectacular at having the name Carmelo Anthony). But isn't Tyson Chandler just doing what Nene is doing, but more efficiently, and with better defense?

C - Tyson Chandler

His case: Isn't he just doing what Nene is doing, but more efficiently, and with better defense?

Drunk and Surly response:

No. First of all, he isn't as involved in the offense. If Nene were to get the ball more, he could be the star of the Nuggets team. Also, of the trio of slighted Centers, he plays the fewest minutes at 28 mpg.

Also, history matters a bit, I think. Nobody is outraged that Kevin Durant was picked by the fans, because common sense indicates his relatively benign numbers are the product of a poor start. Tim Duncan has rather obviously established an all-star track record, and Nene has played close to this level before.

Chandler's Offensive Rating is 14 points higher than his career high, meaning either that this is a total fluke, his new teammates are facilitating his efficient play, or something in between. If he's doing this next year, let's talk.

G - Monta Ellis

His case: He is scoring 26 ppg.

Drunk and Surly response:

Literally everything else. Let's give credit where credit is due. He is a slightly above average shooter who uses a lot of possessions and plays a ton of minutes. That's worth something on a team as poorly stocked as the Warriors. But he cannot play defense, would barely average 20 ppg (like Stephen Curry does) if he didn't take ill-advised long-twos, and doesn't rebound or pass.

F - LaMarcus Aldridge

His case: With Brandon Roy out, he is single-handedly carrying the Portland Trailblazers to the playoffs.

Drunk and Surly response:

Yeah, beating out such luminaries as the Memphis Grizzlies in the process. Aldridge is doing what he's always done, but in more minutes. Because he has eclipsed the 20 ppg barrier, suddenly he is in the all-star discussion. Andre Miller, Nicolas Batum and Marcus Camby might take umbrage with the assertion that Aldridge alone is driving his team's (modest) success. Let's face it, that GM the Blazers fired knew a thing or two about assembling a basketball team.

Zach Randolph and Kevin Martin

His case: They're just as effective as Blake Griffin according to your precious little metrics.

Drunk and Surly reponse

Yeah, and who do you want to see in the all-star game?

It breaks down like this. Kobe, Chris Paul and Durant are deserving starters. Pau Gasol is a no-brainer to replace Yao Ming. The fans pissed away a slot on Carmelo. Kevin Love's exclusion would be ridiculous. Outside of that, there are 14-16 players who could make a reasonable case for one of the final seven slots.

So you are left picking based on intangibles and other silliness. Nash is having arguably the best season of his career. Ginobili's team is 40-7. The Mavs collapsed without Dirk, so he's in. Blake Griffin is fun to watch, and since he's a Clipper, this may be his only shot at an all-star game before he falls into a crevasse, so he's in. Etc... Etc...


Who's in: Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, A'ma'r'e Stoudemire, Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Al Horford, Devin Harris, Rajon Rondo, Carlos Boozer, Chris Bosh

Last one in: Harris

G - Raymond Felton

His case: He's having a career year for a surprising Knicks team.

Drunk and Surly response:

He's 8th in Player Efficiency Rating... Among Eastern Conference point guards. The Knicks are surprising everyone (well, not me, but most other people) by playing .500 basketball, after making a huge splash by signing the A'm'ar'e.

The nine assists per game are nice, but he's having a lousy shooting career year. 33% from three in D'Antoni's system? Come on.

G - Ray Allen

His Case: He's having a career year from behind the arc, and that's saying something. Also, the rules require you to pick at least two guard.

Drunk and Surly response:

Fair enough. He's in.

His case: Really?

Drunk and Surly: Yeah, that's all I needed. Later Devin Harris.

Devin Harris: What?

Drunk and Surly: Look, you sucked last year, you don't play defense, and your team isn't very good. Also, you're not that great of a scorer. It's either include you, and have my kids look up this All-Star game on their SPOOLZ 3000* and wonder what happened, or honor a legacy guy who might leave this season with another ring.

Devin Harris: But...

Drunk and Surly: Come on man, do you want to be a BJ Armstrong or a Mike Bibby?

Devin Harris: You're right. You're right.

C - Joakim Noah

His Case: He'd be a shoo-in if he hadn't been injured.

Drunk and Surly: He is injured. Carlos Boozer isn't. The competition for big man slots is substantially tougher, even with both wild cards going to bigs.

C- Andrew Bogut

His Case: An underrated defender, he's actually leading the league in blocks while posting a career high in rebounds.

Drunk and Surly: He has randomly decided to stop being effective on the offensive end. Also, Center is the only position in the East's roster that might be stocked entirely with legitimate all-stars. Let's not blow this.

G - Rodney Stuckey

His case: I thought this was a Pistons blog.

Drunk and Surly response:

Devin Harris: I'll handle this. Rodney. Look at it this way. Would you rather be Mike Bibby or Scottie Pippen?

Drunk and Surly: BJ Armstrong

Devin Harris: Right.

Rodney Stuckey: Why am I involved in this conversation?

* - Future technology