Apparently, the Western Conference coaches chose this year’s All-Star reserves based upon last year’s accomplishments.
The 14 All-Star reserves were announced tonight on TNT, and there were a couple of surprises.
None was bigger than the selection of Nowitzki, who is averaging the lowest numbers since his sophomore season. His points per game (17.6) are down 5.4 from last season, his field-goal percentage has dropped from.517 to .461, and whose 3-point percentage has nosedived from .393 to .211. He even acknowledged recently that he was not having an All-Star caliber season.
“That’s a joke,” Charles Barley said on TNT’s telecast before inacurately opining that the league’s general managers don’t know what they’re doing. Barkley was quickly corrected and was told the coaches, not the GMs, make the picks.
“Should not have made they All-Star team. Him and Steve Nash, pure and simple,” Barkley said later in the program.
Monta Ellis, sixth in the NBA in scoring at 22.6 points per game, and Paul Millsap, averaging 16.5 points and 9.7 rebounds for the Utah Jazz, also were noteworthy for their absences. Same for Rudy Gay of Memphis and Kyle Lowry of the Houston Rockets, whose 7.9 assists per game are the sixth-most in the league. All are having better seasons than Nowitzki.
And that is merely the West, where no-brainers LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love are the backup power forwards, Marc Gasol is the backup center and Tony Parker, Russell Westbrook and Steve Nash are the guards.
The snub-meter in the East is even more off-the-charts.
Here’s a list of names: Anderson Varejao, Ray Allen, Brandon Jennings, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, Kyrie Irving, Josh Smith, Danny Granger.
None made the All-Star team.
Varejao is fourth in the league in rebounding, the energetic heart and soul of a Cleveland Cavaliers team that is in playoff contention less than a year after losing an NBA-record 26 consecutive games.
Allen is shooting .526 from 3-point range while taking almost 5 of them per game, putting him on pace to threaten the NBA record of .536 set by Kyle Korver when he was with Utah in 2009-10.
Allen’s teammate, two-time All-Star Rajon Rondo, didn’t make the cut either — perhaps a product of him sitting out one-third of the Celtics’ games. (Although Deng has missed seven for the Bulls).
“I would have liked to see my man Rondo in there. He’s the best point guard in the game,” Shaquille O’Neal said on TNT.
But Brandon Jennings is another matter, having carried the Milwaukee Bucks offensively while raising his scoring average from 16.2 to 18.9 while at the same time increasing his shooting percentage from .390 last season (and .371 in his rookie season) to .426.
“Just gonna work even harder now,” Jennings tweeted.
All those backcourt players lost out to Joe Johnson of the Hawks and Deron Williams of the Nets, who join Chris Bosh, Luol Deng, Roy Hibbert, Andre Iguodala and Paul Pierce as the East’s reserves.