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Opinion: All Star Squad Selection 2016

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With the All Star break fast approaching, the NBA recently released the all star team reserves for the NBA All Star Game on the 14th of February. Prior to the all star team reserves being selected, the starters for both the West and the East teams were selected with little to no surprise from NBA fans on the players that were chosen. The reserve squads’ selections, as they always do, received a lot of criticism from NBA fans including myself. So here are a few of my personal snubs and surprises from both the West and the East lineups

Surprises

Lamarcus Aldridge

Since joining the Spurs, Aldridge’s numbers have taken a dip as a result of Aldridge adjusting to the Spur’s offensive and defensive style of play. He has been contributing quite largely to the league’s #2 team however with Tim Duncan’s production plummeting mostly because of his age and not being able to put up consistent minutes in preparation for the playoffs, but I still think Karl Anthony Towns is playing better basketball than he is this year.

McDonald, Jeff. “Spurs Amped for First Day of Aldridge Era.” Express News. Express News, n.d. Web. <http://www.expressnews.com/sports/spurs/article/Spurs-amped-for-first-day-of-Aldridge-era-6593842.php>.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe, as most people know, is on his last year of basketball and is not playing at anywhere near the level of basketball he was playing prior to his injury a few years ago. It is probably safe to say that Kobe was picked as a starter this year because of his popularity in the NBA world and NBA fans wanting to see him play one last All Star game after he announced his retirement earlier this year. It is nice that we are going to see him one last time, but there are many other shooting guard in the Western conference who are more deserving of a spot on the team. C.J McCollum I think would’ve been the most deserving shooting guard for a position in the All-Star squad as he is producing more offense than Bryant is at a much more efficient rate. McCollum is also contending for the Most Improved Player Award as most analysts have him on their short list for the award.

Bleacherreport. “Kobe Bryant.” Bleacherreport. Bleacherreport, n.d. Web. <http://bleacherreport.com/kobe-bryant>.

Snubs

Karl Anthony Towns

Not too many rookies make the All Star squad. As a matter of fact, rookies who usually make it to the teams turn out to be NBA superstars and faces of their franchise’s (Tim Duncan, Blake Griffin, Yao Ming). At halfway through the season, Karl Towns has done a good job of showing his superstar potential. He is nearly averaging a double-double in points and rebounds, and is showcasing a knack for swatting shots(1.8 blocks per game) and versatility on offense. I do not think he should have made the squad only because of his potential, but also because he’ splaying better than Lamarcus Aldridge, a reserve on the West All Star squad, on both ends of the floor.

Kentucky. “2015 Kentucky Sportsman of the Year Finalist: Karl-Anthony Towns.” Kentucky. Kentucky, n.d. Web. <http://www.kentucky.com/sports/college/kentucky-sports/uk-basketball-men/article55217880.html>.

Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard has been playing great basketball this year and is probably the most surprising omission from the East All Star Team this year. Apart from his field goal percentage (42.1%), Lillard has been an offensive juggernaut for the Trailblazers. He is currently scoring 24.2 points per game and dishing out 7 assists per game.  Along with C.J McCollum, Lillard is keeping the Trailblazers in contention for a spot in the playoffs. He should probably work on solidifying his fan base to make sure he does not get snubbed next year.

Basket 4 Us. “Damian Lillard Toma Como Ejemplo a Stephen Curry.” Basket 4 Us. Basket 4 Us, n.d. Web. <http://www.basket4us.com/nba/damian-lillard-toma-como-ejemplo-a-stephen-curry-173187>.

Dirk Nowitzki

Nowitzki will be turning 38 in June and it does not look like his age is keeping him from averaging all star caliber numbers. He’s currently averaging 17.5 points per game, grabbing nearly 7 rebounds per game and posting a near 20 player efficiency rating. Definitely not starter numbers, or numbers anything close to those he averaged in his prime,  but he deserves a spot mostly for his contribution to his Mavericks squad. With Chandler Parson’s offensive production dipping, and the Mavericks losing Rajon Rondo and Tyson Chandler, Nowitzki has become a larger piece in the Maverick’s championship puzzle.

Bleacherreport. “Dirk Nowitzki.” Bleacherreport. Bleacherreport, n.d. Web. <http://bleacherreport.com/dirk-nowitzki>.

Feel free to share your opinions on the All Star Team selections in the comments section.

 

 

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