Before we get to who should be in lets take a look at who did get in:
Eastern Conference Western Conference
*Carmelo Anthony *Kevin Durant
*LeBron James *Chris Paul
*Derrick Rose *Kobe Bryant
*Dwyane Wade *Blake Griffin
*Dwight Howard *Andrew Bynum
Chris Bosh LaMarcus Aldridge
Luol Deng Marc Gasol
Roy Hibbert Kevin Love
Andre Iguodala Steve Nash
Joe Johnson Dirk Nowitzki
Paul Pierce Tony Parker
Deron Williams Russell Westbrook
For the most part you could argue that all of these players are deserving of being in but some make you wonder how they got it. Tony Parker for instance, is a great player, but I would not say that his stats or his play really scream ALL-STAR to me this year. I would also have to say the same for Dirk. I know he is part of the defending champs and I'm sure the NBA would hate to not have a member of that team make it but I'm not overly impressed with Dirk's play this year, again still a great player and makes big shots but not sure it was All-Star worthy for me this year.
I think the East is a little harder to "Knit-Pick" because taking a player out of the current line-ups and replacing them with someone else, lets face it, at this level is all about being "Knit-Picky". While I love Carmelo and he is a tremendous player who plays for the big name team.... Have you seen the Knicks this year? They are Horrible! I truly expected more out of that team. While the argument to keep in in will be "Well, he puts that team on his back and has very little help!" I argue that this is what he wanted and he flat out has not produced the results. Finally, Roy Hibbert. I hate to rain on a guys parade when he gets selected to his first All-Star game and he is deserving, however, there is someone else who is even more deserving that Mr. Hibbert.
Lets start out WEST:
Marcin Gortat (PHO) - The man is averaging a Double Double with 15 points and 10 rebounds per game. In addition these are all career highs Gortat! This points are up 5 from last year and rebounds are up by 2. He also chips in with an assist, steal, 2 blocks per game and an efficiency rating of +20 . The guy played second fiddle to Dwight Howard for years and this year he has really shined on his own and an effort like this should be rewarded.
James Harden (OKC)- The leading candidate for the 6th man of the year award in my opinion. The only reason he is not starting is because rules limit the amount of players you can have on the floor to five. The energy that Harden brings of the bench is one thing but the production he brings has got to be envied by almost all teams from around the league. His numbers are up across the board and he is averaging almost 17 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists and a +17 efficiency rating.... did I mention that this is off the bench? I know we tend to ignore rookies and bench players for this game but if anyone deserved to be a part of this game it would be Harden.
Now to the EAST:
Ryan Anderson (ORL)- The guy who leads the league in 3's Made and Taken, which you might think is a bad thing if he had taken 250 and only made 74, but he has made those 74 while only taking 172 shots from beyond the arc! That is a remarkable 43%! In a league where making 1 out of 3 from beyond the arc is considered good, Anderson has become the King of the Arc. Which wouldn't mean much by itself but he also pulls down about 8 boards per game to go along with his almost 17 point average and +17 efficiency rating. Anderson is having a career year and with the game in Orlando this year it would've been nice to see that rewarded.
Greg Monroe (DET) -I believe this could be one of the biggest snubs of this years game. Monroe does so much for his team... which lets face facts isn't the greatest. He averages a Double Double with 16 points per to go with 10 boards. That doesn't even mention his almost 3 assists, 2 steals and a 1 block per game. His almost +22 efficiency rating really tells you what he means to his team. When you consider that Dwight Howard (+27) and Kevin Love (+28) are two of the most elite centers in the game, it really says a lot about Monroe's game and more importantly his omission from this years All-Star game.
Brandon Jennings, David Lee, Kyrie Irving, Danillo Gallinari, Kyle Lowry, Ricky Rubio, Pau Gasol and Danny Granger
Let the debate begin!
Keep checking us out for our second half BOLD predictions to go along with our conference finals and NBA Finals match ups and winners.