All Star Reserves Picks
Backcourt: Kyrie Irving and Jrue Holiday.
Both of these young point guards play for teams who have not particularly met expectations but there is no denying that these players are two of the best in the conference.
For Irving he’s been basically a one man show dazzling fans with his brilliant handles and spectacular shooting. He’s averaging 23.7 points and 5.7 assists both career highs for a short but very impressive two year career. I’m not Kyrie’s biggest fan but there is no denying that this kid is something special and certainly worth a spot in a game featuring the worlds best players. For Holiday this is also a career year for the 22 year old point guard. Holiday not being the flashiest player in the league has really put up an impressive campaign worthy of being in the Most Improved Player discussion as well as the all star discussion.
Frontcourt: Joakim Noah, Tyson Chandler and Paul Pierce.
For many casual fans defense doesn’t factor into whether or not a player is an all star. They see the flashy fast break dunks and forget about the guys who do everything that necessary to win. Joakim Noah and Tyson Chandler are both perfect examples of those types of players. For Noah being the anchor of one of the leagues stingiest defenses is reason enough to help his cause for an all star bid. Chandler is the same although while the Knicks defense is not as good as it was last season there is no denying he is still one of the best interior defenders in the game.
Unlike Noah and Chandler, Paul Pierce’s case for an All Star bid is a little less rock solid. His play as of late has been very spotty and there have been long stretches of time where he has shown his age. Despite all of that Pierce is still the Celtics best scorer and capable of having flashback games anytime he wants. The Celtics may not deserve to have three All Stars but Paul Pierce is very deserving of an All Star selection.
Wild Card: Chris Bosh and Paul George
Chris Bosh, the often forgotten part Big 3 in Miami has for long stretches been Miami 2nd best player and one it’s most efficient players.For years he’s been criticized for his lack of aggression and lack of willingness to venture off into the post but since his full time to center Chris Bosh has flourished shooting a career high 54% from the field. It would be an injustice to leave Chris Bosh off of the All Star team.
Paul George has been one of the league more pleasant surprises this season. When it was announced that Danny Granger would be sidelined many people questioned who would step up in his absence and Paul George has been very impressive this season. Now you could credit Indiana’s defense which is #1 in just about every defensive metric there is, you can’t deny George has played at an all star level this year.
With the West Starters announced(Paul,Bryant,Durant,Griffin and Howard) here are my west reserve picks.
Backcourt: Russell Westbrook and James Harden
Two of the league’s most exciting guards and former teammates in the league are no doubt going to be sharing a basketball court come mid-Febuary.
Nicknamed the Honey Badger(not Tyran Mathieu) for his lack of sh**’s given Russell Westbrook while sometimes out of control is no doubt one of the best guards in the League. His combination of freakish athleticism and unhumanlike speed make him one of the league’s more unique and special players. Many criticize Westbrook for his lack of control of the offense and the amount of shots he puts up but nonetheless I can’t think of a point guard in the west not named Chris Paul more deserving of an All Star spot.
This year the “Beard” officially landed in Houston and established himself as one of the league’s best scorers. He’s transformed Houston into one of the league’s best offenses. In years past James Harden was more known for his facial hair than he was for his actual abilities but now that he’s the #1 option on a team more and more people are noticing that there’s more to Harden than just a crazy Beard.
Frontcourt: Tim Duncan, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka
Tim Duncan is living proof that age is nothing but a number and at age 36 The Big Fundamental has shown us what a true living legend looks like. This year has no doubt been one of his finest of his career when you take into account that he’s been playing for 15 seasons. He along with the other two frontcourt players are among the West best interior defenders.
Marc Gasol is one of the more underrated Centers in the league but he just happens to be one of the best the league has to offer. While he doesn’t put up Dwight Howard-like numbers and he doesn’t make it onto the SportsCenter Top 10 every night his impact on the court for the Grizzlies is one that can’t be understand. The tough and rugged Spaniard is one of the league’s finest passing big men and with his solid interior passing also comes one of the best interior defenders in the league.
When James Harden was shipped off to Houston many thought OKC would fall off due to the fact that they lost one of the most dynamic bench players in the game but thanks to Serge Ibaka’s improved offensive game they’ve stayed on top of the west. Ibaka, a player more know for his emphatic shot blocking has transformed his game to the point where he’s very comfortable being a mid-range jump shooter. I can’t think of a team in the league more deserving of having 3 players represented in the All Star game.
Wild Card: Tony Parker and Zach Randolph
Once again Tony Parker continues to amaze us. This season it’s more of the same, Parker along with teammate Tim Duncan being the major reasons for the success San Antonio has had over the years continues to play the same brand of basketball hes played his entire career with a more consistent jumper sprinkled in.
Zach Randolph, or Z-Bo, is one of the league’s best power forwards. A fierce competitor, Zach Randolph this year has definitely been of the leagues best players. He and Marc Gasol combine to form one of the toughest front court’s the league has to offer and his play is a huge reason Memphis is playing the way they are right now.