Through one-quarter of the season, Orlando Magic swingman Arron Afflalo has posted some All-Star-caliber numbers: he's averaging 21.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and four assists per game on 59.1 percent True Shooting and figures to be in the proverbial discussion for All-Star consideration.
Tom Haberstroh of ESPN Insider got that conversation started Wednesday in his PER Diem column outlining potential All-Star candidates in the East. When it comes to who should start in the backcourt alongside Washington Wizards point guard John Wall, Haberstroh has Afflalo in a close race with Miami Heat two-guard Dwyane Wade:
Put it this way: Wade and Afflalo have nearly identical PERs but Afflalo has sustained that level for 300 more minutes than Wade. That's no small thing [....] Wade will almost certainly start, but if this was based on merit, Afflalo could be going to New Orleans as a starter.
Wade, for his part, is averaging 18.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.4 assists on 57.2 percent True Shooting. He has appeared in each of the NBA's last nine All-Star Games.
Fans vote for the five All-Star starters from each conference, with coaches selecting the reserves. While the coaches tend to favor representatives from winning teams--which Orlando, at 7-15, is not--Afflalo has played so well he might be impossible to overlook.
The NBA will announce All-Star starters on a special broadcast of TNT NBA Tip-Off on Thursday, January 23rd at 7 PM Eastern. It will announce All-Star reserves at a later date.
What do you think: is Arron Afflalo an All-Star? Should he start? Please vote in the poll embedded in this post and talk the subject over in the comments.