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Thursday, February 10, 2005

NBA All-Star Musings

7 players will play for the first time on the All-Star game in Denver. Teammates Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison of the Wizards, Argentinian Ginobili, Super Sonic Rashard Lewis, Man-beast Amare Stoudamire, "The Flash" Dwyane Wade, and of course, The Baron, LeBron. All are deserving. But many, like Steve Francis, Jason Kidd, and Chauncey Billups, are as deserving but didn't make it. But fret not, at least for the Westside players with All-Star aspirations: there is hope, because Kobe might not play. Tim Duncan might not either. But I'll assume only Kobe won't, for the sake of simplicity :)

So, with a lineup of Tim Duncan(F/C), Kevin Garnett(F), Tracy McGrady(F/G), Yao Ming(C), Ray Allen(SG), Manu Ginobili(G/F), Rashard Lewis(SF), Shawn Marion(F), Steve Nash(PG), Dirk Nowitzki(F), and Amare Stoudemire(F/C), who do you add to replace Bryant?

If one were to ask me, I'd use a few criteria:
1) Must have contributed significantly to his team(considering injuries): both in intangibles and in empirical terms;
2) Must be a star or a fan favorite, or at least have the potential to be one;
3) Must be a logical choice to help out the West team; and
4) Being on a winning team is a bonus.

Using that, we look at the first criteria to come up with a short list: crunch the numbers. Thankfully, Fantasysports@Yahoo! does that with "Sort Players Via Rank", using their contributions in Pts, Reb, Ast, FG%, FT%, 3pointers made, etc etc. I won't bother to explain, but if you signed up for a league you know what I mean :) Injuries play a factor here, since the ranking considers totals, not average on a per game basis, so tough luck to Kirilenko, Webber, and Baron Davis, who have been impressive when they were healthy, but didn't play enough games to balance it out.

Anyway, the short list goes like this:

a) Q-Rich (F/G), Phoenix. Mainly here because of his 3-point shooting, since 3-pointers made is equally valued in Fantasy Sports as, say, points or steals. So I guess we'll see him in the 3-point shootout. Besides, Phoenix already has 3 players in the All-Star team. One more and the Kings fans will boycott the NBA. Speaking of which:

b) Brad Miller (C), Kings. The whole Kings team was snubbed in the All-Star proceedings, but their fans are praying for a no-show by Bryant so that they have a chance to sneak one player in. And Miller is their best chance, at least numerically. His season numbers may not scream at you, but he's making a late-mid-season push. On his last 5 games, he averaged 21-10-4-2-1.2, considerable numbers indeed. He's been to the midseason festivities already, but he's challenging for a roster spot on a lineup that, sans Bryant, is stocked with big men. Besides, the All-Star game is for the fans, and have you seen anyone who is a die-hard Brad Miller fan? He's the third option in his own team, given that everyone's healthy.

c) Mike Bibby (PG), Kings. Another King that has a shot at being an All-Star. I like his chances better than Miller's because 1) He's a PG - Nash will need a backup in the game; and 2) He doesn't have an All-Star appearance on his resume yet - hey, there already are 7 newbies on the rosters, why not one more? Both Miller and Bibby have slightly improved on their point production since last season, but Bibby impoved in the other aspects of the game as well: passing, steals, even rebounding, partially filling the void Doug Christie left. Also, he already has a following in the NBA due to his clutch shooting, so its about time the NBA gave him his due.

I guess I've made my choice, but let's continue the list for formalities' sake.

d) Damon Stoudamire (G), Blazers. He's been playing great as of late, but the main things against him are: he plays for a losing team, and his Fantasy ranking is buoyed by 3-points made. I expected him at the 3-point shootout, but he got beaten out by Ray Allen, Radmanovic (both from Seattle), and Joe Johnson(Phoenix).

e) Peja Stojakovic (SF), Kings. The 3rd possible candidate for the Kings 1) has regressed from his 24ppg self to a 20ppg producer on a franchise that has an injured key player in 81 of 82 games played; 2) hasn't asserted himself on offense, enough for Petrie to trade for even more offense. Not a very good year to make a case for the man formerly known as Predrag.

f) Elton Brand (PF), Clippers. He plays for a winning team, but rarely puts in clutch performances to help out when everything is on the line. Why do you think Rick Brunson has been attempting all the game-winners all season? In any case, the West lineup is overloaded with forwards, so I guess it's good luck next time Elton.

So if Kobe doesn't suit up, I'd bet on Bibby making the cut. :) But of course, one never knows what the Commish is thinking, he may go with the most famous of the snubbed: Carmelo Anthony. Drug issues aside, he did get the most fan votes of those not selected. Who knows? Maybe the oft-injured will replace the injured as well. Basta, let's just enjoy the weekend! :)

1 Comments:

Sana si Q-Rich para apat ang Suns sa All-Star game. Parang season ko sa NBA Live :)

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