Following the 2013 NBA All-Star reserve selections, ESPN analysts Jon Barry, Hubie Brown, Flip Saunders, and Basketball Hall of Famer Chris Mullin shared insights about the biggest surprise selections and the most deserving players who missed the cut.
On surprise selections
I would consider LaMarcus Aldridge the biggest surprise based on the fact that his team is 21-21 and fighting for the eighth spot in the West for the playoffs. But if you look at his stats and expectations for his team prior to the season, he is more than deserving. LaMarcus is ninth in the league in scoring at 20.7 and he averages 8.8 rebounds per game. Early season predictions had the Blazers in a rebuilding mode, yet they are fighting for a playoff spot because of Aldridge’s play and leadership.
You can get a little lost in the shuffle if you are on the West Coast because of the time zones but I am happy that David Lee made it mainly because every year we have three to five players who average 20 points and 10 plus rebounds. This is the first year since I’ve been in the league that we don’t have anyone but he’s the closest. He’s at 19 points with 10.8 rebounds and his rebounds are very good. So he’s the closest and I didn’t want him to get overlooked. A lot of people are overlooking Golden State. They are in a solid battle and it’s difficult. Lee and Curry have been the two guys instrumental to them being so good.
On Stephen Curry’s omission
The biggest omission was Stephen Curry. I thought he should have been named to West All-Stars. He has been the key player in the Warriors 26-15 record. He has played great and has had to do so without Andrew Bogut and Brandon Rush – two key players out with injuries. Curry is the main reason for the Warriors’ first-half success and he’s the NBA’s best shooter.
Curry is averaging 20.9 points and 6.6 assists. He made the second most threes in the league and his team has already surpassed last season’s win total. He deserves an All-Star bid.
Individually, Curry is eighth in the league in scoring at 20.9, shooting over 45% from the three point line and is second in the league in three-point shots made. He is also shooting over 89% from the free throw line. When you look at the success of his Golden State team, they already have 26 wins, which is three more than they had all of last year and they sit in the fifth spot in the West. All-Star players lead their teams and Stephen Curry is doing this at a high level.
On other surprises
Barry on no All-Star selections for the Nets
To have the third best record in the East, the Nets should be represented in Houston. Brook Lopez has been the best center in the conference. Williams’ and Johnson’s numbers are not what they were from previous All-Star seasons but their team’s success warrants a selection from at least one, if not two, of these players.
Brown on David West and Carlos Boozer
I think in the East, the two players who could have possibly been included were David West in Indiana and Carlos Boozer with Chicago. I know some coaches would not want to put three Chicago guys on the roster, but Boozer has been great. West has been very steady with Indiana and they have the fifth best record in the East.