Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Biggest All Star Snubs

I've seen some lists floating around, but my list is the best. The All Star Game is all about entertainment and who the fans want to see, so this isn't that big of a deal really in the grand scheme of things, but it's infuriating regardless when you see good but not great players show up to the event all cocky-like.

Ok, so here's the list:

1. Ryan Anderson.

This is probably the biggest snub, in my mind, on the entire list. The biggest reason comes down to the East being depleted of talent at the forward position. With injuries aplenty, Anderson being off the All Star roster suggests he is being overlooked entirely as a player -- as if he didn't exist.

He is the only reason the Magic have a winning record right now. Outside of Dwight and Redick, no one else appears to have a pulse on the Magic. He is an incredible 3 point shooter, and a massively improved rebounder. And he plays exceptional defense. What's not to like?

Oh, that's right. Orlando is DWIGHT HOWARD'S team. No one else can share the glory there. Game over, man.

Ryan Anderson is having one of the best seasons of any player, much less Dwight Howard, and should have been rewarded for it. He is a top 5 player THIS YEAR (not every year).

2. James Harden.

It's generally not practical to make all star nods towards guys who come off the bench most of the time. The problem with this is that Harden is the second best player on (arguably) the best team or second best team in the NBA. Yes, he is better than Westbrook.

Outside of Kobe, name a shooting guard with his talent, efficiency and numbers to back it up in the West. Yup, no one. Westbrook's spot should have been surrendered here to Harden.

3. Pau Gasol.

I get that the Lakers already have two all stars. But there is ZERO reason Pau Gasol is left off this list and Dirk Nowitzki remains. I get that Dirk is coming off a monster season, but he's played hurt most of the year. Gasol has continued to feast with monster stats and playing well on a playoff team.

4. Tyson Chandler.

This one also confuses me. Really -- Roy Hibbert -- over Tyson Chandler? I understand the league give the Pacers an All Star, but there is no way Chandler should be left off this list. He is by far the second best center in the East. Additionally, he may end up with the best shooting efficiency of ALL TIME for a season, playing on a playoff bound team. He is the best player on his team to boot. Leaving him off the roster -- and Carmelo Anthony on -- suggests a league that only cares about one thing: scoring, and scoring with low efficiency and poor decision making.

5. Danny Granger.

Danny Granger is the best player on the Pacers, a very good playoff team in the East. He is a previous All Star. So what gives?

Oh, Joe Johnson (scratch that, RONDO) deserve the nod over him. Oh, and Carmelo Anthony (thanks, fans).

Suggestion? Kick out Carmelo. Add Granger in his spot.

Honorable mentions:

Kevin Garnett (old, but still deserving), Marcin Gortat, Kyle Lowry, Lou Williams

Friday, December 16, 2011


I'm going to go out on a limb and say that these rankings aren't definitive, but they'll try to paint an image of how I see and foresee the league's teams performing long-term.

The Teams

1. Dallas Mavericks - The reigning champions, even though they lost Tyson Chandler and JJ Barea, will be tough to beat with the additions of Vince Carter and Lamar Odom. Lamar Odom IS REALLY GOOD.

2. Miami Heat - This team is an enigma -- talent-wise, they should be the best, but I'm not convinced guys like LeBron are mentally tough enough to win consistently against a team like Dallas. LeBron's playoff performance last year against the Mavs was almost suspiciously bad (for him; he's still better than almost everyone when he plays like crap). Add Shane Battier and this team gives LeBron some help on wing defense that should push them back into the finals.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder - Maybe THE most talented team in the league. And they're put together very well, to boot -- they have offense all over (Durant, Westbrook and Harden) and a very strong defensive core (Collison, Ibaka, Perkins and Sefolosha). What makes them weaker than Dallas and Miami is that their elite players are far less battle ready than the likes of Dirk, Jason Kidd, Dwyane Wade and LeBron. Who on the Thunder has even been to the finals? Perkins and Mohammed? Not quite ready yet.

4. Chicago Bulls - They'll never go anywhere when they're relying on Derrick Rose to create 99 percent of their offense. Luol Deng is a great spot up shooter and a scorer off screens. Boozer is great as a roll man or a pick-and-pop shooter. Rip is similar to Deng. But when the shotclock is winding down, who can create a decent shot attempt? Rose. So they stack on him. They need to find a low-post threat ASAP.

5. Boston Celtics - People are starting to sleep on these guys like they have been with the Spurs -- they're still good y'all. Maybe in a shortened season, they get their asses winded and stuff, but I really see this team as, at worst, staying the same (Bass replaces Davis, Green replaces their terrible bench, Wilcox == Jermaine O'Neal). And that team is a really god damn good team.

6. Memphis Grizzlies - These guys are good. Just see last year's playoffs and how far they pushed the Thunder. Getting Gay back is great, but losing Battier is going to hurt.

7. LA Clippers
8. Denver Nuggets
9. San Antonio Spurs
10. LA Lakers
11. Portland Trailblazers
12. Orlando Magic
13. Philadelphia 76ers
14. Atlanta Hawks
15. New York Knicks
16. Indiana Pacers
17. Brooklyn Nets
18. Milwaukee Bucks
19. Houston Rockets
20. Utah Jazz
21. Minnesota Timberwolves
22. Golden State Warriors
23. Phoenix Suns
24. Washington Wizards
25. Sacramento Kings
26. New Orleans Hornets
27. Detroit Pistons
28. Toronto Raptors
29. Charlotte Bobcats
30. Cleveland Cavaliers

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Notice: Corey Brewer is still irrelevant

But here are some other players to look out for:

Josh McRoberts:

If it's true he's signing with the Lakers, consider him a perennial 6th man of the year candidate. Signing with the Lakers guarantees you'll be overvalued relative to your peers -- see just about everyone that has ever played for them who wasn't an all-star.

I'm still confused as to what people see in Shannon Brown or Trevor Ariza.

Amir Johnson:

I think he's going to be traded. The Raptors are king at trading away future all-stars -- Air Canada and T-Mac alone can vouch for this. Johnson will be dumped before the deadline for cap space or some washed up retread, I can almost guarantee it.

Let's hope he doesn't end back up on the Pistons, because he could have a nice career otherwise.

Jared Dudley:

With Grant Hill on the verge of death, Vince Carter leaving for the Mavericks and Mickael Pietrus being trash, Dudley has a lot of opportunity on the Suns roster to shine. It would not shock me at all if the Suns somehow snuck into the playoffs after last year's irrelevance -- excellent ball play out of Gortat, Dudley and Markieff Morris could heighten them.