Thursday, January 31, 2008

No Baron

The All-Star reserves have been announced and for the most part, they turned out like I had expected. I thought Gerald Wallace and Jose Calderon should have made it for the East, but Rip and Jamison are fine. In the West, the first six reserves (Brandon Roy!) turned out just as I had hoped, but David West nabbed the last spot, edging out the likes of Baron Davis, Deron Williams, Tyson Chandler, Marcus Camby, Manu Ginobili, Shawn Marion, and a host of other Western Conference stars.

Davis is the snub that shocks me. Because no matter what criteria one uses for determining worthy All-Stars, Baron deserves a spot. Seriously, run down the angles:

- One of the best 12 players in the conference: check. Davis is 14th in the NBA in scoring at 22.3 per game. He's 7th in the NBA in assists at 8.1. He's the only guy in basketball averaging 22 points and 8 dimes. He's the only guy averaging over 2 steals (second in the league) and 2 threes per game. His turnovers are down, his shooting is up across the board, and he's second among all point guards in rebounding (4.8 per). His stats, combined with his fourth quarter heroics, put him in the top 10 in the NBA right now, easily.

- Team success: check. The Warriors are currently in the playoff picture in the brutal Western Conference, yet they have no representative. In fact, of the 10 teams in the West fighting for the playoffs, Golden State is the only squad that doesn't have an All-Star.

- Past performance: check. Nobody shined brighter than Davis last year in the playoffs. He was larger than life and carried an 8 seed to a shocking first round win over Dallas. His play in the first half is certainly not a fluke.

- Ability to entertain: check. Not many people consider this factor, but just in case, Davis is one of the most entertaining players in the league and a natural for an All-Star setting.

- Showcase games: check. He ended New Orleans' 9-game winning streak last night, single-handedly beat the Spurs a few weeks back, shredded the Lakers a few months before that, and has probably had more huge fourth quarters than anyone in the league not named LeBron James.

Add it all up and this guy was a no-brainer. Of course, someone from the West will wind up nursing an injury and bow out, so Davis will probably get a spot on the roster before it is all said and done. But for now, this is a bit of a travesty.

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