Friday, January 26, 2007

Western Conference All-Star Picks

Now that the results of the fan voting have been announced and the starters are set, I can make my All-Star picks.

Here are the starters:

G Tracy McGrady
G Kobe Bryant
C Yao Ming
F Kevin Garnett
F Tim Duncan

Obviously, Steve Nash should be a starting guard and Dirk should be starting over Duncan, but this is largely a solid group. Even Yao is okay despite his missed games. He was playing great.

Here would be my backups, with a quick note about each player:

G Steve Nash. Duh. It has taken a long time, but I now convinced that he's the best basketball player on earth.
G Allen Iverson. I know that he's only been in the West for a short period of time and that his inclusion will result in a deserving player like Deron Williams staying home, but those are the breaks.
C Amare Stoudemire. Okur has been underrated and Camby is having a really good year defensively, but Amare's impact on the Suns can't be measured by his 19 and 9. He's looked awesome lately.
F Dirk Nowitzki. He just keeps getting better and better. Before we know it, he's going to rank among the best forwards of all time.
F Shawn Marion. It is hard to put three guys from same team on the All-Star squad, but there is simply no way to leave Marion off the list. I still have my doubts about his ability to come through in the playoffs, but this isn't the playoffs.
F Carlos Boozer. The Jazz have been terrific and while Deron Williams looks like the leader of the team, Boozer has been the go-to guy. 22 and 12 gives him the nod over Josh Howard.
F Carmelo Anthony. The brawl and missed games may keep him out and if Howard makes it, I am fine with that, but Melo is going for 31.6 a night. Hard to ignore that.

Special apologies to:

Deron Williams. Ray Allen has great numbers, but Williams would be my next choice at guard.
Josh Howard. Zach Randolph and Elton Brand are tough leaves, but it is really hard to leave Howard off the squad.
Marcus Camby. Can't have three centers or three Nuggets, so Camby gets the boot.

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