Friday, January 26, 2007

Eastern Conference All-Star Picks

You can find the picks for the West in the next post down.

Starters (as voted):

G Gilbert Arenas
G Dwyane Wade
C Shaquille O'Neal
F LeBron James
F Chris Bosh

The big stories here are Arenas passing Vince Carter for a spot and Chris Bosh vaulting past Jermaine O'Neal to reach his first All-Star game. Of course, this just makes some of the choices for reserves tougher, because Arenas and Bosh were automatic. Carter and O'Neal? Still compelling, but they aren't no-brainers. Shaq making it is obviously a joke, but whatever. It wouldn't be an All-Star game without Shaq doing a pregame dance and trying to play point guard at some point.

Here are my picks for the reserves:

G Jason Kidd. I'm not a huge J-Kidd fan, but he has been at his best lately. 15 and 9 is impressive enough, but he's also hauling in 8.3 boards per game. As a point guard! That is Oscar, Magic, Fat Lever territory.
G Chauncey Billups. Vince has better numbers, but Billups is my choice as the second guard in the East. He is still draining big shots and keeping the Pistons in the thick of things despite so many of his teammates sucking (Rip Hamilton excepted).
C Dwight Howard. I'm afraid that no matter how well Emeka Okafor plays, he will never be as good as the man taken ahead of him in the 2004 NBA Draft. Okafor is blocking more shots, but Howard has him in pretty much every other category. Plus, his team is winning.
F Caron Butler. The Wizards are winning and it is in large part due to the play of Butler. He is the only player in the NBA averaging 20 points, 8 boards, and 2 steals a game. Plus, he has terrific shooting percentages and dishes our four assists per.
F Jermaine O'Neal. His huge block totals and double-double averages fend off a bad FG% and the fact that the Pacers suck.
G Joe Johnson. Johnson has cooled off and his assists are down, but the injury to Redd and my inability to put two Nets guards on the team gets him in the door.
C Emeka Okafor. It comes down to Emeka and Vince, and for me, Okafor is the most worthy. But it's a close call.

Apologies to: Redd and Carter.

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