Sunday, January 27, 2013

There's no Defense for this All Star Pick

By: Brian Sanchez

San Rafael, Calif.—Look, the Golden State Warriors are having a bounce back season to be incredibly proud of. David Lee has broken the Warriors long string of being without an All-Star since 1997 when Latrell Spreewell represented the Dubs in Cleveland.
     Now, normally, a team that is double digit wins over .500 which has beat the L.A. Clippers three out of four times as well as beating the Heat, Thunder, Pacers, Nets, Hawks, and Nuggets; would get two All-Stars if they had two deserving players. There is no doubt the Warriors do, with Stephen Curry and David Lee. Alas, the Warriors only get one All-Star. This is a clear sign that the rest of the league acknowledges the Warriors are having a good season by giving them one All-Star, but letting them know they have not arrived as one of the leagues notable teams by not allowing them two.
     First I'll take a look at who should have made the team between Steph and D. Lee. I understand that David Lee is having a very, very good year (offensively). He's within fractions of averaging 20 ppg. and 10 rpg. and has 27 double-doubles this year.  Curry on the other hand is averaging 21 ppg. 6.5 apg. and 4 rpg. 6.5 assists per game may seem low, but for a point guard that scores at the high clip Curry does, it is more than sufficient. Curry is the leading scorer of all players left off of the All-Star team.
     The reason Lee made it over Curry is because the NBA is obsessed with offensive stats and don't really look at anything else. If David Lee is not the worst interior defender in the league, then he must be tied for the worst. He is soft inside, often late on rotations, and allows average to poor offensive players to have big scoring days on him, which in my eyes cancels out his own offense. But who cares about that, right? How many points does he score? That's all that matters. And yes, Curry scores more than him, but Lee does it down low where there isn't always a lot of scoring in the league. What really did it for Lee was his number of double-doubles. That is what impresses people. Just the term alone gets people in a tizzy.
     I would have picked Steph as the teams All-Star, because he is without a doubt the most important player on his team. Steph is sporting some of the most impressive numbers shooting wise: 45% on three's, 43% from the field, and 90% from the charity stripe. Curry handles the ball a lot throughout a game, especially compared to David Lee. However, Curry has only five more turnovers than him, with 117 compared to Lee's 112. While I don't think stats do a good job of showing how good a player is defensively, Steph has twice as many steals and just as many blocks as David Lee. Let that sink in. An All-Star power forward who plays almost 38 minutes a game only has eight blocks. Did I mention he didn't play very good interior defense?
     With all of that said, I think both Lee and Curry should have been on the All-Star team because of how well their team is preforming. This is why I think Lee over Curry isn't the biggest problem with the selection process. My problems come with Lamarcus Aldridge, and James Harden.
     I'll start with Aldridge. He isn't even averaging a double-double, and he's shooting under 50% from the field. There is no way he belongs over Steph Curry. The Trail Blazers are one game over .500 and they are that good because of Lillard more than Aldridge.
     Same story with James Harden. Harden is having an All-Star type year according to his numbers, but is he more deserving than Curry? Harden is averaging 26 ppg. 4.5 rpg. and 5.5 apg. Very impressive numbers. He is also a black hole on offense who isn't a floor general like Curry. This is basically a toss up in my eyes. And Curry should win that toss because of the record he has lead his team to. The Warriors sit at 26-17 while the Rockets are only two games over .500 at 24-22.
     At the end of the day I think Stephen Curry will be on this years All-Star team. Chris Paul looks like a candidate to pull out due to injury, as does Dwight Howard. Tim Duncan and the Spurs are always prone to pulling himself from extra competition to rest at his advanced age.  Curry will probably be going to All-Star weekend with or without being on the team because he should be in the three-point competition. At this point in time, I would put my money on Curry being an All-Star.  

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