Saturday, January 28, 2017

2017 NBA All-Star Snubs

Examining the 2017 NBA All-Star selections using Win Shares and Player Efficiency Rating reveals who the biggest snubs in the league were.  WS weights a player's production with his team's success and is one of the best tools we have for determining season accolades.  Players not getting enough minutes (due to injury or role) are typically filtered out.

Players are ranked by Win Shares (minimum 3.0) and sorted by position.

8.0 Kyle Lowry (23.7 PER) - RESERVE
7.1 Isaiah Thomas (27.2 PER) - RESERVE
5.6 DeMar DeRozan (25.0 PER) - STARTER
5.2 John Wall (23.5 PER) - RESERVE
5.2 Kemba Walker (22.0 PER) - RESERVE
5.0 Kyrie Irving (22.0 PER) - STARTER
4.5 Jeff Teague (19.8 PER)
4.3 Bradley Beal (19.1 PER)
3.3 Tyler Johnson (16.3 PER)
3.2 Goran Dragic (18.4 PER)
3.2 Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (14.9 PER)
3.0 Nicolas Batum (15.5 PER)

Kyle Lowry has lead all East guards in WS at voting time in three of the last four seasons, yet he was not named a starter by the fans, coaches, and media, who instead favored the flashier Kyrie Irving.  .While Irving is certainly a viable candidate in the East, out West we're going to find a number of similar players who don't get to play with LeBron James and the glory that comes with that.

Still, there isn't anything to gripe about here from a talent perspective.  Six guards made the All-Star team in the east, and there were no candidates out of left field..

8.4 Jimmy Butler (25.4 PER) - STARTER
7.4 Giannis Antetetokonmpo (27.4 PER) - STARTER
6.9 LeBron James (25.8 PER) - STARTER
5.9 Otto Porter (18.0 PER)
5.2 Dwight Howard (22.1 PER)
4.9 Kevin Love (22.0 PER) - RESERVE
4.7 Myles Turner (20.3 PER)
4.4 Marcin Gortat (15.3 PER)
4.3 Hassan Whiteside (21.0 PER)
4.2 Jabari Parker (19.5 PER)
4.0 Jonas Valanciunas (18.8 PER)
4.0 Paul Millsap (18.2 PER) - RESERVE
3.9 Tristan Thompson (14.5 PER)
3.8 Carmelo Anthony (19.2 PER)
3.8 Tobias Harris (16.5 PER)
3.7 Andre Drummond (20.7 PER)
3.7 Cody Zeller (17.4 PER)
3.7 Jae Crowder (15.9 PER)
3.5 Al Horford (19.0 PER)
3.4 Paul George (19.4 PER) - RESERVE
3.4 Serge Ibaka (17.7 PER)
3.3 Jon Leuer (16.5 PER)
3.2 Kristaps Porzingis (17.6 PER)
3.2 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (13.3 PER)

The fans, coaches, and media nailed the East front-court starters with relative ease (finally knocking Carmelo Anthony off the team).

On the other hand, among the reserves we have two names that really stand out as questionable selections: Paul Millsap and Paul George.

Millsap is having a down year across the board and Dwight Howard has clearly been the best player on the Hawks this season.  Howard leads all East centers in both WS and PER.

George has had a mediocre season (by his standards) on a Pacers team that has under-performed.  Myles Turner is the Pacers breakout star, but sees his teammate get the nod primarily due to name recognition than actual performance.  While I wouldn't advocate Otto Porter for the All-Star game, that is honestly who George's contributions have fallen more in line with than that of an actual star.

GUARD: Kyle Lowry, Isaiah Thomas, DeMar Derozan, John Wall, Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving
FRONT: Jimmy Butler, Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Kevin Love, Myles Turner

9.5 James Harden (27.7 PER) - STARTER
6.9 Russell Westbrook (29.6 PER) - RESERVE
6.9 Stephen Curry (23.2 PER) - STARTER
6.7 Chris Paul (27.4 PER)
4.9 Damian Lillard (22.9 PER)
4.5 Eric Bledsoe (21.6 PER)
4.4 C.J. McCollum (20.8 PER)
4.2 Mike Conley (21.1 PER)
4.0 Lou Williams (23.0 PER)
3.4 Klay Thompson (15.6 PER) - RESERVE
3.2 George Hill (20.7 PER)
3.2 Zach LaVine (15.1 PER)
3.2 Patrick Beverley (14.1 PER)
3.1 Patty Mills (16.8 PER)

The fans, coaches, and media nailed Harden, Westbrook, and Curry as the top three guards in the conference.

Chris Paul was certainly worthy of being named to his 10th All-Star game but thumb surgery right before voting knocked him out of consideration.  In a perfect world, he would have been voted in and then an injury replacement would have to be named by Commissioner Adam Silver.

Klay Thompson's production and contribution to his team simply do not merit All-Star consideration.  He is the 4th best player on his team by a considerable margin and Blazers fans can (and will) look to Klay's egregious selection as the reason for Lillard's snub.  This is the second season in a row that Damian Lillard has been snubbed in favor of Klay.

Only four guards made the West All-Stars this season, the absolute minimum possible (the East had six selections), and Paul/Lillard make it if the teams were balanced.  The coaches opted to take the maximum number of front-court players, and we'll find an even bigger snub than Lillard there.

9.4 Kevin Durant (27.9 PER) - STARTER
8.1 Kawhi Leonard (28.3 PER) - STARTER
8.1 Rudy Gobert (22.0 PER)
6.8 DeAndre Jordan (21.1 PER) - RESERVE
6.2 Anthony Davis (27.9 PER) - STARTER
6.2 Gordon Hayward (22.2 PER) - RESERVE
5.7 Karl-Anthony Towns (23.2 PER)
5.7 Draymond Green (17.6 PER) - RESERVE
5.4 Marc Gasol (21.5 PER) - RESERVE
5.3 Nikola Jokic (26.3 PER)
5.2 DeMarcus Cousins (26.7 PER) - RESERVE
4.9 LaMarcus Aldridge (20.1 PER)
4.4 Enes Kanter (24.6 PER)
4.2 Steven Adams (17.6 PER)
4.1 Trevor Ariza (13.4 PER)
3.9 Danilo Gallinari (15.9 PER)
3.8 Mason Plumlee (19.0 PER)
3.6 Ryan Anderson (14.0 PER)
3.6 Pau Gasol (19.0 PER)
3.5 Dwight Powell (19.0 PER)
3.5 Gorgui Dieng (14.8 PER)
3.5 JaMychal Green (12.7 PER)
3.4 Marreese Speights (20.5 PER)
3.4 Tyson Chandler (17.2 PER)
3.2 Kenneth Faried (20.2 PER)
3.2 Joe Ingles (13.4 PER)
3.1 David Lee (18.4 PER)
3.0 Harrison Barnes (17.8 PER)

In the frontcourt the fans, media, and coaches likewise nailed Durant, Leonard, and Anthony Davis as starters.  While Davis is only 5th in WS he is tied for 2nd in PER.

Rudy Gobert is easily the biggest snub we have seen in at least the last five years.  He anchors the NBA's 2nd best defense while leading the league in True Shooting percentage (.680), Blocks per game (2.6), and Defensive Win Shares (3.7).  His numbers are reminiscent of recent Hall of Fame inductee Dikembe Mutombo.

Rudy Gobert (2017): 12.8 PPG, 12.6 RPG, 2.6 BPG, 66.0 FG%
Mutombo (1995-2002): 11.7 PPG, 12.2 RPG, 3.3 BPG, 52.4 FG%

In fact, Gobert has been BETTER than Mutombo (who was named an All-Star every year over that stretch).  The coaches decided to give credit to Gordan Hayward (who has had an All-Star caliber year himself), but if you ask me there isn't any question who is more responsible for Utah's success this season.

DeAndre Jordan finally gets his first All-Star berth after being snubbed the last four years.  Jordan was Top 3 in frontcourt WS each of the last three years (slipping to 4th with the emergence of Gobert).  Jordan has never gotten the respect he's deserved, as Blake Griffin has often gotten a lot of credit for the Clippers success.  This season Griffin has been hurt, and the Clippers are no worse for wear - though it is disappointing that many will pin his selection on Chris Paul getting hurt.  Even if that weren't the case Jordan still has a better case than Marc Gasol.

Karl-Anthony Towns has many All-Star games in his future, but the competition is stiff.  One can't fault the coaches for taking Draymond Green or Marc Gasol over him, even though most would admit Towns is the better talent.

Nikola Jokic likely would have made the All-Star team had he not come off the bench for the first month of the season.  He is averaging 24-11-5 in the month of January, compared to 9-6-3 in November.  While not a house-hold name yet, DeMarcus Cousins should be on notice.  He's no longer the only stat-stuffing center on a bad team.

GUARD: James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, Chris Paul (Injured), Damian Lillard
FRONT: Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Rudy Gobert, DeAndre Jordan, Anthony Davis, Gordon Hayward, DeMarcus Cousins, Draymond Green (Injury Replacement)


Pole said...

For the pressure of the new contract, for what he makes this year and for the record of his team i take Conley over Lillard

Rashidi said...

The main reason Conley doesn't get consideration is the time he missed (12 games) due to injury (of note: Grizz were 8-4 without him).