Kay's Comments: I don't have any qualms with the starters in the West. The fans did a solid job with their selections; though I'm disappointed that T-Mac got snubbed. Hah! I would have liked to see the look on David Stern's face if McGrady was voted in. On a side note, I'm a bit puzzled by why Amare Stoudemire was listed as a Center though. He's started 0 games as Center this season for the Phoenix Suns. The Eastern Conference is a different story though. There is one played in particular who sticks out like a tack: Iverson. He's only played in 16 games this season (3 with Memphis before he was exiled). And not only that, he's putting up career low numbers across the board, including scoring 12 points below his career average. I understand that the fans can vote for whoever they want, but I wish they vote based on merit rather than popularity. To a significantly lesser extend, I also don't like the inclusion of KG in the starting group. He's missed 11 games this season, and I think that a requirement to make the all-star squad is having played in at least 80% of the total games. That's the same reason why I personally think Pau Gasol and Danny Granger don't deserve to be picked for the all-star game either. But that's just my humble opinion.
Zee's Comments: If T-Mac played in the ASG, the Rockets front office would have a ton of explaining to do, as to why their "star" player is catching lob passes in Dallas but can't catch them in the Toyota Center in Houston. That said, the West looks really solid this year as opposed to years past. I honestly think the East should be able to pick up the snubs from the west as I don't think they stand a chance this year. Only problem I might have had with this western squad is how all these players are going to get the ball, then I see Steve Nash and CP3 and wonder if the all time ASG assist record is going to be broken. And now the Eastern squad. I understand people being miffed at A.I. making the starting roster (or the roster altogether) but what people don't understand is two very important things: 1) Iverson was SNUBBED on several occasions before the league had to come to grips with his "image". 2) The smart money is probably on the fact that Ive won't be playing much longer, so why not attempt to end his career on a high note? He's already playing in Philly so let's just let everything come full circle. I agree with Kay about Pau and Danny Granger not being on the team, especially when there are capable replacements that could be snubbed as a result of this.
Kay's Comments: What I like about this batch of players is that we have good representation from all of the top teams, and we have 5 1st time all-stars. That just shows that the East is full of young and promising players. Bosh being picked is a no-brainer. He's having a MVP-calibur season. Joe Johnson is the best player on a surprising ATL team, who have been every bit as good as ORL and BOS so far in this regular season. Lee and Lopez are putting up huge numbers on bad teams; and I'm not one to penalize them for that. Both are very close to joining the elusive 20-10 club. Rondo has really elevated his game this year, and is proving to be just as value as the Big 3 to Boston's success. He's a triple double waiting to happen and is really the engine that drives the Boston team. So we gave him the nod over Pierce for an all-star spot. Rose is the Chicago Bulls. They will only go as far as Rose takes them. He's a top flight PG in only his second year. And Gerald Wallace is one of the most underrated stars in the league. He's putting up ridiculous numbers this year: over 18 points, 11 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 1 block. And he's challenging for the rebound title. Crazy. He's a big reason for Charlotte's success. Who thought that they would be the #5 seed in the East?
Zee's Comments: Two of the above guys are on my fantasy hoops team so I have to show them love first (pause). Brook Lopez and Rajon Rondo hands down are worthy of being in the ASG. Let's start with Rondo. Not only is he having to constantly play with a banged up Celtics squad, he has managed to cement himself as a cornerstone of the Celtics future plans, ensuring he will be around to piss off Doc Rivers for years to come. The man is a triple double waiting to happen on any given night, and the only players you hear that phrase associated with are on a very short list: One plays the forward spot in Cleveland and the other is the point guard for the Mavericks, figure it out. And now Brook Lopez. Brook is a beast, plain and simple. Where would the Nets be without his services this year? 2 wins? 1 win? If the nets were smart they would try to get some talent around this guy ASAP, maybe they could clear up cap space and then..... I agree wholeheartedly with Kay about the influx of youth in the Eastern Conference. David Lee will be here for years to come, same for Derrick Rose but not necessarily for Gerald Wallace. Don't get me wrong, I love the guy, but he didn't get the nickname "Crash" for nothing. That said, his numbers this year, coupled with him being able to stay healthy, and Charlotte's push for a playoff spot make him more than deserving this year. Somewhere Michael Jordan is patting himself on the back, he's still a terrible GM though.
Kay's Comments: Iguodala has put up impressive numbers the past few years, but seems to always fall short of an all-star bid. He and Lebron James are the only players averaging over 18 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists per game. And he's near the top in the league in steals. Pierce continues to put up impressive numbers on a stacked Boston team. But as I mentioned above, I like Rondo just a bit more. If KG has to sit out of the all-star game due to injury, Pierce would be the guy I call up to replace him. Josh Smith has made some nice strides in his game this season. He's improve on his shot selection and decision-making. But his play has dropped off in recent weeks after a red-hot November. He would be a fun guy to invite to the all-star game because of his crazy athleticism. One player that barely missed the list was Stephen Jackson. He's done a nice job turning around the Charlotte Bobcats team.
Zee's Comments: Three great alternates. Iggy based on entertainment value alone should be in the ASG. Between him and J-Smoove, I expect several NBA Jam-esque high flying dunks (if they actually make the team). Paul Pierce is the man on that Boston team regardless of what anyone may tell you. Rondo get him the ball then gets out of the way. I look at his knee injuries this season and if he hadn't sat out those games, maybe he could've been a shoo-in to make the team.
Kay's Comments: We have a nice mix of old and new with this Western squad. Dirk and Durant are the no-brainers in this group of players. Both are putting up huge numbers and contributing to their respective team's success. There's no way that Durant gets snubbed again this year. The Thunder have been one of the surprising teams in the league and KD is a major reason for that. The other surprise team in the West has been Memphis. Who knew that they would be in contention for a playoff spot? Gay deserves the all-star recognition for being their top player. It's funny but at one point, Zee and I were considering 2 Memphis players for the all-star squad. But when Duncan was voted as starting PF, we had to pick Kaman over Randolph so that there would be a backup Center on this squad. Kaman, though, is having a monster season for the Clippers. He's close to joining the 20-10 club, and has been the most consistent and impressive player on the Clippers team. Who saw that coming? CP3 and Roy continue their streak of all-star game selections. Both of these young studs are going to be fixtures in the all-star game for many years to come. They are the best players on their respective team. And for the last spot, we went with Kidd over Deron Williams or Billups for sentimental reasons. The all-star game is being played in Dallas after all. And you can't discount the contributions that Kidd makes on that team.
Zee's Comments: So here are the reserves for the West a.k.a. Team Overkill. Good god this team is stacked. I feel for the Eastern squad more and more every time I see this roster. This team right here is one reason why the West stays so competitive each and ever year. Look at these selections, FIVE out of the seven don't play on the same team, and arguably six of the players on this reserve team haven't even played their best basketball yet. The league is going to be STACKED for years to come.
Kay's Comments: Deron Williams seems to always get overlooked by Chris Paul. And with so many quality PG in the West (including Nash, Kidd, Billups), Deron will continue to have problems making the all-star game. He's definitely putting up nice numbers, but always seem to fall a bit short. His teammate, Boozer, also deserves some all-star consideration. Monta Ellis is putting up ridiculous numbers for a very bad Warriors team. If the selections were based purely on stats, he would definitely get a look. And wow, I can't believe that I'm saying this but Zach Randolph might be one of the biggest snubs of this season. He's playing outstanding for Memphis and is a double-double machine. Only he and Bosh average more than 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. I'm not a fan of voting rookies to the all-star game, but we had to consider Tyreke Evans for one of these alternate spots. He's probably having the best rookie season since Lebron James. But he'll get his chance soon enough.
Zee's Comments: All these guys are deserving, but they aren't going. These are what I like to call playing in the shadows kind of guys. They put of great stats, but because the league is log jammed with so many great players in their position, they won't have a chance until someone retires (Jason Kidd > Deron Williams), switches conferences (Zach Randolph) or unless they play for a better team (Monta Ellis). I expect to see Tyreke on an ASG roster sooner than later simply because he's a guy who could possibly get in playing at the G or F position for the West. Also because I think he will pull the King's out of mediocrity sooner than later, which I don't think Monta will be able to do in Golden State.