I'd like to avoid talking about All-Star snubs today, but I can't. It's inevitable that people would be unhappy with some of the selections. erivera7 already argued on this site that Orlando's Jameer Nelson and Rashard Lewis are deserving of their roster spots, and I'll let his argument stand. Suffice it to say, though, that I got pretty huffy last year when Hedo Turkoglu didn't make the team, so I understand where Boston fans arguing for Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen and, to a much lesser extent, Cleveland fans arguing for Mo Williams are coming from.
Please make the jump to read today's news bullets.
Williams called his exclusion from the team "a tragedy." Seriously. But Matt Watson of FanHouse puts that claim to rest with this succinct appraisal that also summarizes my view of Williams' legitimacy:
There are deserving players who don't make the team every year. His numbers are similar to Nelson's across the board -- except not quite as good. If his best argument is "but Orlando got three and we only got one!", he has no argument at all.
Watson also correctly notes that the biggest change in Cleveland's offense this year is that Cavaliers assistant Jim Kuester overhauled it. If the Cavs manage to beat the Clippers tonight, Mike Brown and his staff will coach the Eastern All-Stars and get the recognition they deserve in Phoenix.
Meanwhile, CelticsBlog has a new poll up, asking its readers to name who they believe the least deserving All-Star is. The answer choices are "Jameer Nelson," "Rashard Lewis," and "Other."
Kevin Sawyer of Detroit Bad Boys is fairly happy with the reserve picks, writing, "this is as close as the coaches have gotten to getting it entirely right." However, he's not on-board with Lewis' inclusion on the team:
The real snub is Vince Carter, who has quietly put together one of the best seasons of his career. I would take him over Lewis in a heartbeat.
If it makes anyone feel any better--and it probably won't, but I'll say it anyway--Lewis is probably the least deserving player on the Eastern team. I'd argue that he and Paul Pierce should be replaced by Carter and Allen. But I don't think Lewis' selection is some sort of great travesty; this is not Jamaal Magloire we're talking about here.
In non-snub news, Basketball Fiend believes the success of this year's Magic team, among other teams, is a sign that the NBA's two-star era is ending:
Though it blows my mind to think this way, years from now we may be looking at the Rashard Lewis signing and the drafting of Jameer Nelson as the catalysts for an Orlando championship. Moves that were once considered monumental reaches now appear enlightened. In fact, this band of cast-offs and tweeners assembled by Magic GM Otis Smith has the potential to set the precedent for the way teams are constructed for the next 5-10 years.
How incredible is that?!
Matt Moore has a thorough, accurate scouting report on Dwight Howard, based on observations gleaned from last night's game.
- Jon Nichols of Basketball-Statistics.com has an in-depth look at different types of point guards. He classifies Jameer Nelson as a "Pure Facilitator," along with Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Baron Davis, Tony Parker, and Chauncey Billups.
The Orlando Sentinel has a cool Flash tour of Orlando Magic All-Star history.
Finally, M. Haubs of The Painted Area imagines what might have happened if Marc Iavaroni, the recently fired coach of the Memphis Grizzlies, had not been so quick to accept the Memphis job in 2007, and instead had waited to hear the Magic's offer. You'll remember that the Magic made him a top target in their coaching search, possibly rating him higher than Stan Van Gundy.
Have a good weekend, everyone.