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LCB Review: 2009 NBA All-Star rosters

February 9, 2009

About two weeks ago the NBA all-star starters, as voted on by the fans, were announced. Late last week after the coaches made their selections, the reserves were announced. Both all-star teams are loaded with big names and big talent, but did the right guys get in? Who got snubbed and who owes the fans a debt of gratitude?

Eastern All-Stars

Western All-Stars

- Allen Iverson (Detroit)

- Kobe Bryant (L.A. Lakers)

- Dwyane Wade (Miami)

- Chris Paul (New Orleans)

- LeBron James (Cleveland)

-Tim Duncan (San Antonio)

- Kevin Garnett (Boston)

- Amare Stoudemire (Phoenix)

- Dwight Howard (Orlando)

- Yao Ming (Houston)

Joe Johnson (Atlanta)

Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas)

# Jameer Nelson (Orlando)

Shaquille O'Neal (Phoenix)

Ray Allen (Boston)

Brandon Roy (Portland)

Danny Granger (Indiana)

Chauncey Billups (Denver)

Paul Pierce (Boston)

Pau Gasol (L.A. Lakers)

Chris Bosh (Toronto)

David West (New Orleans)

Devin Harris (New Jersey)

Tony Parker (San Antonio)

Rashard Lewis (Orlando)


-denotes starter

# denotes injury, will not play

Teach:

I don't really understand the All-Star game. I don't think fans should vote. Also, they should stop categorizing the selections by position. They should just take the best players from each conference. I think it would be awesome to see five big men playing five guards.

Anyway, there's no way AI should be on the team, much less starting. I would swap Danny Granger for AI in the starting lineup, even if they do play different positions. I think Granger is the only reason the Pacers have 20 wins, and AI is one of the reasons that the Pistons might find a way to miss the playoffs. The only thing that made AI relevant was his scoring, and he's not doing that this year. They've jumped the shark. Watching the Pistons now is like watching Scrubs on ABC.

I would then take AI off the team entirely, and give his bench spot to Mo Williams. The Cavs deserve to have two guys on the All-Star team. Mo averaged 18ppg with the Bucks last year, and he's putting up 17 ppg this year. He's a good player in his own right, not just because he's playing with Lebron.

The last change I would make to the East roster is that I would swap Rashard Lewis for his teammate Hedo Turkoglu. Lewis averages 18 ppg and about 6 rpg. The Turk puts up 17 ppg, 5 rpg, and 5 apg. He's a better all-around player, and it's his versatility that might allow this team to survive the Jameer Nelson injury, which is sign from Hera to Dwight "Hercules" Howard that he really is cursed to play in the Lebron James era.

The first change I would make to the West roster would be to kick Shaq off the team, mainly because he doesn't play every night. I like the strategy, but it's annoying. Having Shaq in the All-Star game is like having Mariano Rivera start an All-Star game in baseball.

Tim Duncan should be the starting center, not the starting power forward. He jumps center, and he plays center, unless one wants to argue that Matt Bonner is the Spurs center. Duncan played power forward for most of his career, but he's been a center since last year. Moving Duncan to center would mean that Yao Ming goes to the bench.

I would also swap Dirk Nowitzki and Amare Stoudamire. Dirk's an MVP. Amare's a guy who isn't even the first guy on his own team to get double-teamed. Dirk's averaging 5 more points a game, and his team has a better record. If the playoffs started today, the Suns wouldn't even be in the playoffs. Their franchise is run by Michael Scott. All they do is have meetings.

Al Jefferson should have David West's spot. David West is a solid player, but let's face it. If he wasn't dating everyone's best friend Chris Paul, we wouldn't be calling him up to hang out.

After doing this, I realize that the NBA really should do a Big Men vs. Little Men All-Star game.

Imagine Duncan, Nowitzki, Dwight Howard, Yao, and Shaq lining up against Paul, Kobe, Tony Parker, Roy, and Wade. The first guy off the bench for the Big Men would be KG, and I don't know who Lebron would play for. He's his own category.

Langston:

For the most part I think the coaches and fans combined to make pretty great line-ups for both squads. However a couple names jump out at me for the wrong reasons, I don't know if it is due to a lack of imagination or just a love for someone's play in the past but some of these players don't deserve the chance to call themselves an all-star this year. The first thing that boggles my mind is how a team like the Suns who are in danger of missing the playoffs have two all-stars, and neither of them are Steve Nash. Amare deserves a spot in the lineup, yet fans are complaining about his numbers but he stills put up 21 ppg and grabs about 8 rebounds a game. That is not a down year that is the Shaq-effect. Shaq took away the pick and roll game that made the Suns so tough to play, he takes up space in the paint that was typically Stoudemire's roaming area, and he takes possessions away from Amare as they have to keep the fat man happy. So I would take off Shaq and follow Teach's path by starting Dirk over Amare. Granted Shaq is having a decent season, but he sits once every 3 or 4 games. All-stars show up every night, Shaq doesn't, therefore Shaq is no all-star. Plus Amare is better than Shaq in almost every statistical category, and that includes games played. Shaq would be replaced in the line-up by none other than Al Jefferson, who is having the best statistical year out of any center (23 ppg and 11 boards) in the west. His numbers may be inflated due to the lack of talent around him, but he has showcased his skill and toughness all season long. After replacing Shaq with Jefferson, I would then insert Jefferson into the starting line-up and put Yao on the bench.

The next player I would take off would be David West, I totally agree with Teach's point of view on the subject. Overall he is a decent player, but without Chris Paul I don't think any of us would remember him after what he did at Xavier. I would replace West with Kevin Durant, who is scoring his tail off for a terrible team in a new city. He is scoring 25, a little under 7 boards, 3 assists, and a steal per game. Though his great scoring hasn't helped the Thunder win more games (their record is a dismal 13-38), can you imagine how bad they would be without him?

Now I will move on to the east, where the line-up problems start with Allen Iverson. He is having a down year in almost every category and instead of making the Pistons better; he has helped turn them into a .500 team. I would replace A.I. in the starting line-up with Devin Harris, who is one of (if not) the only reason(s) the Nets are in the playoff hunt. I would then replace A.I. on the roster with Mike Bibby, who has helped turn a young and dangerous team into a contending team. They surprised everyone last year in the playoffs pushing the Celtics to the brink of elimination. Now they sit as a fourth seed, giving them a real chance to make some head-way in the playoffs. And a lot of that can be attributed to the addition of Bibby.

Teach was right about Rashard Lewis, but he shouldn't be replaced by Hedo. I think the spot would be better filled by David Lee, who is scoring just two less than Lewis a game but grabs 5 more rebounds. He also is helping lead the Knicks back to relevancy. Without his heady play and hustle, what would the Knicks be? Most likely they would be in the same boat as the other cellar dwellars, playing for the services of Blake Griffin and (at best) headed towards a twenty win season. In summation, the only players I think have no reason to be near the festivities in Phoenix are Shaq and Iverson. I understand why the other players mentioned were either over-looked or rewarded.

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