Friday, January 31, 2014

2014 NBA All-Star breakdown: Who got snubbed?

All-Star selections came in last night, spoiled by the likes of Adrian Wojnarowski, Marc Spears, and Marc Stein in advance of TNT's pre-game show.  Twitter was raging about all the various snubs, and I'm here to see how valid they all are.

Players are sorted by Win Shares, a metric which effectively weights statistical production with team record - the two points we by and large use to define "All-Stars".

Unless otherwise noted, all players played a minimum of 1000 minutes prior to 1/30/14.


7.3 Kyle Lowry (20.4 PER)
4.7 George Hill (14.0 PER)
4.5 John Wall (19.8 PER) - RESERVE
3.8 Kyrie Irving (20.2 PER) - STARTER
3.0 Kemba Walker (17.9 PER)
2.8 Mario Chalmers (15.0 PER)
2.6 Brandon Jennings (16.6 PER)
2.1 Jeff Teague (16.1 PER)
2.4 Jameer Nelson (14.6 PER)
1.9 Shaun Livingston (13.6 PER)
1.7 Ramon Sessions (15.2 PER)
1.5 Kirk Hinrich (9.7 PER)
1.4 Michael Carter-Williams (17.2 PER)
1.3 Norris Cole (10.8 PER)
1.2 Jarrett Jack (11.9 PER)
1.0 Brandon Knight (16.1 PER)
-0.2 Derrick Rose (10.0 PER) - 311 mins
-0.5 Rajon Rondo (4.8 PER) - 146 mins

Kyle Lowry leads ALL Guards in Win Shares (not just eastern guards).  It is an absolute travesty that he isn't going to the All-Star game.

Aside: Kudos to Bulls fans for NOT voting in Derrick Rose as Lakers fans did with Kobe.

5.2 Lance Stephenson (15.9 PER)
4.4 DeMar DeRozan (17.9 PER) - RESERVE
3.6 Kyle Korver (13.9 PER)
3.3 Dwyane Wade (21.3 PER) - STARTER
2.8 Jimmy Butler (13.3 PER)
2.6 Joe Johnson (14.9 PER) - RESERVE
2.1 Gerald Henderson (13.7 PER)
2.1 Ray Allen (12.4 PER)
1.5 Bradley Beal (14.4 PER)
1.5 James Anderson (11.5 PER)
1.5 Alan Anderson (10.9 PER)
1.5 Iman Shumpert (10.4 PER)
1.4 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (9.4 PER)
1.2 Avery Bradley (12.6 PER)
0.6 Victor Oladipo (13.2 PER)
0.3 Dion Waiters (12.2 PER)
-0.1 O.J. Mayo (11.0 PER)

Not only was Joe Johnson selected over Kyle Lowry, he was selected over Lance Stephenson as well.
Joe Johnson
7.0 PPG from Dec 27 to Jan 4 (5 games)
24.5 PPG from Jan 6 to Jan 20 (6 games)
9.0 PPG Jan 21 to Jan 27 (4 games)

Ladies and gentlemen, your two week all-star.

I'm not as high on Stephenson as some are (the entire TNT panel picked Stephenson to make it), but he's a clear snub compared to Johnson.

Coaches likely decided only one Raptor should make the All-Star team, and they gave DeRozan the nod. While DeRozan is averaging 22 points and trails only Dwyane Wade and James Harden in PER at the SG position, his spot still should have gone to Lowry.

Ultimately, NONE of these guys should be in the All-Star conversation, which is a testament to how weak the Eastern Conference is.  There are FOUR snubbed guards out west who deserve to be All-Stars but simply play in the wrong conference.

9.0 LeBron James (28.7 PER) - STARTER
7.5 Paul George (22.0 PER) - STARTER
3.9 Trevor Ariza (15.9 PER)
3.8 Arron Afflalo (17.6 PER)
3.4 Mike Dunleavy (13.6 PER)
3.4 DeMarre Carroll (13.1 PER)
3.3 Martell Webster (12.8 PER)
3.0 Luol Deng (16.7 PER)
2.3 Jeff Green (13.6 PER)
2.3 Terrence Ross (11.9 PER)
2.0 Kyle Singler (11.6 PER)
1.7 Paul Pierce (14.8 PER)
1.6 Khris Middleton (12.5 PER)
1.4 Josh Smith (14.7 PER)
1.4 Evan Turner (14.1 PER)
1.0 Gerald Wallace (9.6 PER)
0.8 J.R. Smith (11.2 PER)

Nothing to argue about here.  Some were pushing for Arron Afflalo to make it, but there's no real reason to take him ahead of DeRozan.

6.0 Carmelo Anthony (24.9 PER) - STARTER
4.3 Paul Millsap (20.3 PER) - RESERVE
4.2 David West (16.6 PER)
3.9 Amir Johnson (15.3 PER)
3.3 Josh McRoberts (13.4 PER)
3.1 Greg Monroe (17.5 PER)
3.1 Brandon Bass (15.1 PER)
3.0 Taj Gibson (15.2 PER)
2.8 Kris Humphries (19.1 PER) - 785 mins
2.8 Thaddeus Young (17.5 PER)
2.6 John Henson (20.1 PER)
2.6 Tristan Thompson (13.6 PER)
2.3 Nene (16.4 PER)
2.1 Carlos Boozer (15.3 PER)
0.8 Kevin Garnett (12.6 PER) - 836 mins

Paul Millsap has been the best natural PF in the conference and it hasn't been particularly close.

5.3 Joakim Noah (19.1 PER) - RESERVE
5.2 Andre Drummond (21.4 PER)
4.9 Chris Bosh (20.5 PER) - RESERVE
4.5 Roy Hibbert (16.5 PER) - RESERVE
4.0 Anderson Varejao (17.5 PER)
3.7 Marcin Gortat (15.9 PER)
3.6 Al Jefferson (21.5 PER)
3.1 Spencer Hawes (16.8 PER)
3.1 Jonas Valanciunas (14.7 PER)
3.0 Al Horford (22.2 PER) - 958 mins
2.4 Brook Lopez (25.8 PER) - 533 mins
2.4 Jared Sullinger (16.5 PER)
2.2 Andray Blatche (20.1 PER) - 877 mins
2.1 Nikola Vucevic (18.3 PER) - 922 mins
1.5 Andrea Bargnani (14.6 PER)
1.2 Glen Davis (13.7 PER)

Horford and Lopez would have been easy All-Stars if not for their season-ending injuries.

I would be really interested to see where the Pacers would be if they had Andre Drummond instead of Roy Hibbert.

Andre Drummond 45 1464 21.4 .579 16.5 27.7 2.0 2.1 4.5 11.4 16.3 5.2 .171
Roy Hibbert 44 1329 16.5 .521 11.6 17.1 7.3 0.8 6.3 14.2 19.9 4.5 .164
Even with his poor FT shooting, Drummond blows Hibbert away in scoring efficiency, as he is the vastly better finisher around the rim thanks to his athleticism.  He grades extremely well in Pick and Rolls, Cuts, Offensive Rebounds, and Transition opportunities.

There is simply no arguing who the better rebounder is, as Drummond leads the league in both ORB% and Total Rebound percentage. The Pacers lead the league in DRB% in large part because Lance Stephenson is grabbing as many defensive boards as Hibbert.

Hibbert may be the stronger defensive player (the leading candidate for Defensive Player of the Year), but Drummond is no slouch himself, and he would turn the Pacers into a deadly offensive team (they are only 19th, partly due to Hibbert's inefficiencies).


Rashidi's East All-Stars
PG: Kyle Lowry, John Wall, Kyrie Irving
SG: Dwyane Wade, Lance Stephenson
SF: LeBron James, Paul George
PF: Carmelo Anthony, Paul Millsap
C: Joakim Noah, Andre Drummond, Chris Bosh

I waffled a bit between Lance Stephenson and Roy Hibbert for the final spot.  Earlier in the week/day/hour I was not in favor of him making the team, but have since decided that Lance's rebounding has just been too vital to the Pacers' success.  He has also been the Pacers' top playmaker, one of the few SG in the league that averages more assists than his starting PG (Wade and Harden are the other two).

The gap between Drummond and Hibbert's numbers were simply too hard for me to ignore, and it's easier to leave Hibbert off the team if Lance is going in his place.  I understand I'm going against the grain and am okay with people calling me crazy or wrong, but I absolutely feel the Pacers would still be atop the east and that the Pistons would be even worse if Drummond and Hibbert switched places.

Even though Stephenson and Drummond both missed the All-Star team this year, I fully expect both to make it next year barring a sudden influx of talent to the eastern conference.



7.0 Chris Paul (27.4 PER) - RESERVE
6.8 Stephen Curry (22.8 PER) - STARTER
5.8 Goran Dragic (21.8 PER)
5.5 Damian Lillard (18.8 PER) - RESERVE
5.4 Mike Conley (21.2 PER)
5.0 Isaiah Thomas (21.3 PER)
4.8 Ty Lawson (20.1 PER)
4.4 Tony Parker (20.1 PER) - RESERVE
3.8 Jose Calderon (15.4 PER)
3.4 Darren Collison (17.2 PER)
3.3 Ricky Rubio (15.2 PER)
3.0 Reggie Jackson (16.0 PER)
2.7 Jordan Crawford (15.8 PER)
2.6 Eric Bledsoe (19.9 PER) - 803 minutes
2.6 Jeremy Lin (14.8 PER)
2.4 Russell Westbrook (21.5 PER) - 822 minutes
1.7 Jrue Holiday (17.3 PER)
1.2 Mo Williams (11.9 PER)
0.8 Trey Burke (14.1 PER)

There are EIGHT point guards who would be All-Stars in the east - and that's not including the injured Westbrook or Bledsoe.  If you're wondering why there's such a vast record discrepancy between the two conferences, you can start here.

Goran Dragic was absolutely snubbed, as the coaches gave Tony Parker a lifetime achievement and obligatory Spurs selection (If Parker and Lillard were rewarded for being on winning teams, I'm still trying to figure out what Kyle Lowry and Lance Stephenson did wrong.)

The Suns were widely expected to the worst team in the west, yet Dragic has carried them to a 28-18 record.  That's a better record than the beloved Warriors who have FOUR all-stars in their starting lineup, mind you.  Dragic has the 3rd best production of any guard in the conference.  The numbers are there AND the team is a winner; you'd think that would matter to the coaches but between Dragic and Lowry/Lance, it's clear that's all lip service.

Goran Dragic 43 1483 22.0 .600 .398 5.5 29.8 2.0 0.4 14.4 24.6 6.1 .196
Damian Lillard 46 1654 18.8 .571 .317 5.3 24.1 1.0 0.7 11.4 24.4 5.5 .160
Tony Parker 42 1317 20.1 .571 .294 4.3 32.4 0.9 0.3 13.4 26.6 4.4 .159

All hope is not lost for Dragic - if Chris Paul isn't medically cleared to play, Dragic is the leading candidate to replace him.

Conley, Thomas, and Lawson were all right there in the conversation along with Lillard, and were just as deserving as Tony Parker who has regressed this season.  Parker was more or less the "safe" pick rather than the right one (FWIW I would have at least been in favor of Tim Duncan making the trip instead of Parker).  The Spurs are still a great team but that speaks more to their impressive depth and the impeccable coaching of Gregg Popovich than it does the individual talent/ability of their star players.

5.7 James Harden (21.1 PER) - RESERVE
5.4 Wesley Matthews (17.3 PER)
4.1 Kevin Martin (17.0 PER)
3.9 Klay Thompson (13.7 PER)
3.5 Manu Ginobili (19.3 PER) - 997 minutes
3.3 Jamal Crawford (16.9 PER)
3.2 Gerald Green (15.4 PER)
3.0 Marco Belinelli (15.0 PER)
3.0 Jeremy Lamb (14.9 PER)
2.8 Monta Ellis (17.3 PER)
2.7 J.J. Redick (17.9 PER) - 815 minutes
2.7 Jodie Meeks (13.9 PER)
2.5 Randy Foye (13.4 PER)
2.3 Gordon Hayward (17.2 PER)
2.2 Thabo Sefolosha (10.3 PER)
2.0 Eric Gordon (15.6 PER)
1.7 Alec Burks (15.0 PER)
0.1 Ben McLemore (7.6 PER)
-0.3 Kobe Bryant (11.3 PER) - STARTER - 177 minutes

It goes without saying that Kobe's selection by the fans is one of the worst voting gaffes of all-time.  Fortunately, Kobe is unlikely to be medically cleared, allowing for someone deserving to make the trip.

Wesley Matthews had every bit as good a season as Lance Stephenson or DeMar DeRozan but had absolutely no All-Star hype.  Welcome to the Western Conference.

12.0 Kevin Durant (31.1 PER) - STARTER
5.1 Chandler Parsons (16.8 PER)
4.4 Nicolas Batum (15.9 PER)
4.0 Kawhi Leonard (17.6 PER)
3.4 Andre Iguodala (14.4 PER)
3.2 P.J. Tucker (13.2 PER)
2.6 Corey Brewer (11.0 PER)
2.5 Rudy Gay (18.1 PER)
2.5 Marcus Morris (15.4 PER)
2.5 Wilson Chandler (14.1 PER)
2.4 Shawn Marion (14.4 PER)
2.0 Vince Carter (15.3 PER)
2.0 Jared Dudley (9.2 PER)
1.9 Al-Farouq Aminu (14.2 PER)
1.8 Harrison Barnes (9.8 PER)
1.6 Nick Young (14.7 PER)
1.5 Richard Jefferson (12.0 PER)
1.2 Wesley Johnson (10.9 PER)
0.8 Tayshaun Prince (8.1 PER)

Durant is the only All-Star caliber SF in the west, and fortunately was the only one taken.  The SFs behind Durant are in no way, shape, or form comparable to the PFs who got snubbed.

8.6 Kevin Love (26.8 PER) - STARTER
7.1 Blake Griffin (22.9 PER) - STARTER
5.9 Anthony Davis (26.8 PER)
5.9 Dirk Nowitzki (23.8 PER) - RESERVE
5.9 LaMarcus Aldridge (23.3 PER) - RESERVE
5.6 David Lee (19.3 PER)
5.1 Serge Ibaka (19.1 PER)
4.0 Terrence Jones (18.5 PER)
3.8 Channing Frye (15.5 PER)
3.5 Markieff Morris (19.1 PER)
3.1 Kenneth Faried (18.4 PER)
3.0 Boris Diaw (15.2 PER)
2.9 Jordan Hill (19.2 PER) - 916 minutes
2.8 Zach Randolph (17.7 PER)
2.4 Ryan Anderson (19.0 PER) - 795 minutes
1.6 Jason Thompson (11.7 PER)

Last year Anthony Davis got snubbed by Damian Lillard for Rookie of the Year (would have earned it had it not been for his early injury), and now the same has happened this year for the All-Star game.  Fortunately, Davis is by and large the leading candidate to replace Kobe Bryant as an injury reserve, especially since the game is being played in New Orleans.

Love, Griffin, Dirk, and Aldridge are superstars, and there's no sense crying about any making it over Davis.  David Lee and Serge Ibaka would have been All-Stars in the east, but the west is just crazy deep.

6.2 DeAndre Jordan (17.2 PER)
5.5 Nikola Pekovic (20.7 PER)
5.4 Dwight Howard (21.1 PER) - RESERVE
4.6 Robin Lopez (16.8 PER)
4.5 DeMarcus Cousins (26.5 PER)
4.3 Andrew Bogut (17.2 PER)
4.2 Tim Duncan (21.5 PER)
2.9 Timofey Mozgov (18.9 PER) - 899 minutes
2.9 Derrick Favors (18.1 PER)
2.6 J.J. Hickson (16.1 PER)
2.6 Miles Plumlee (15.2 PER)
2.3 Pau Gasol (18.9 PER)
1.8 Marc Gasol (17.8 PER) - 675 minutes
1.1 Enes Kanter (15.0 PER)

Dwight Howard over Tim Duncan was ultimately the right call, even though one could argue Duncan is still the best center in the NBA.  Duncan simply doesn't play enough regular season minutes, as Popovich (rightly) deems the playoffs more important than whether his stars qualify for a meaningless exhibition.

Cousins would be clearly be an All-Star in the eastern conference, but there are just so many high level players on winning teams to reward that you can't really justify him making it.  As with Drummond out east, he's the future of his respective conference.

Nikola Pekovic would likewise be an All-Star out east, and is held back by the sheer depth of the conference.  The Timberwolves are a game over .500 yet they are only 10th in the west (and a half-game out of 11th).

DeAndre Jordan might be the most underrated player in the NBA right now.  Along with Blake Griffin (who gets little respect from fans and experts around the league) the front court duo have been rock steady and are the reason the Clippers haven't missed a beat despite injuries to Chris Paul and J.J. Redick.

Rashidi's West All-Stars
PG: Chris Paul*, Stephen Curry, Goran Dragic
SG: James Harden
SF: Kevin Durant
PF: Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis, LaMarcus Aldridge, Dirk Nowitzki
C: Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan

*If Paul is unable to play, replace him with Mike Conley.



Suppose the All-Star game abolished conferences and instead used the draft pool system used for the Rising Stars Challenge.  The top 24 players would be as follows.

PG: Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Goran Dragic, Mike Conley, Damian Lillard, Kyle Lowry
SG: James Harden, Dwyane Wade
SF: Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George
PF: Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis, LaMarcus Aldridge, Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Bosh
C: Tim Duncan, Dwight Howard, DeMarcus Cousins, Nikola Pekovic, Andre Drummond, Joakim Noah

That's 16 players from the West, and only 8 from the East.

Here's hoping an eastern team can steal away Kevin Love in free agency at the same time Duncan and Dirk retire.  We might have something resembling conference parity then.

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