Friday , Dec , 12 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Are They Good or Do We Just Like Them for Some Reason? NBA All-Star Voting: Why People Almost Chose John McCain

Are They Good or Do We Just Like Them for Some Reason? NBA All-Star Voting: Why People Almost Chose John McCainThe first All-Star Ballot returns are in and Kobe, LeBron, Dwight Howard, D-Wade, and Yao are in the top 5.  Yet, at 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 assist per game, the Nets’ 7-footer Yi Jianlian came in third in the voting for all Eastern Conference forwards ahead of  Olympic gold medalist Chris Bosh and NBA champion and Finals MVP Paul Pierce.  That’s good stuff.  If you haven’t voted yet, vote for Yi Jianlian.  Let’s make him a starter.  All he has to do is catch up and surpass Kevin Garnett in the voting.  We can make it happen.  Yes, we can!

This is one of the reasons why I love America: People have the right to their own opinions and don’t have to explain to anyone else why they vote the way they vote.
It is understood that being voted to a starting position on an All-Star team by the fans is not necessarily an indicator of how good a player is in comparison to the others at their position.  It’s a popularity contest.  The hope is that players will become popular because they are skilled and that, therefore, a starting spot on an All-Star team is a reward that players get for being the best at their position.  So the NBA should switch the voting up.

On a general level, coaches think that they need to have two guards, two forwards, and a center on the court to start a game.  More specifically, they think they need a facilitator, a shooter, someone with versatility, a rebounder, and someone to anchor their defense and keep things tidy around the basket: point guard, a shooting guard, a small forward, a power forward, and a center respectively.  Tasks overlap among positions, but that’s the break-down.  Let’s have a voting system that reflects it.

Carmelo Anthony should not get snubbed for a starting spot because neither Amare Stoudemire nor Tim Duncan (both ahead of him in the voting) are small forwards.  It would be a problem if Chris Paul doesn’t get to shine because Tracy McGrady catches him in the voting and Kobe maintains the top spot.  T-Mac would be like Sam Bowie between Jordan and Olajuwon—well, not quite Sam, but you get the picture.  

For its faults though, the current balloting system allows players who play multiple positions to receive credit for that.  Dwyane Wade is a perfect example—is he a point guard or a two guard?  

NBA Bites

-At this point, it is fair to say that the Iverson-for-Billups trade worked out better for the Nuggets than it did for the Pistons.  However, Allen Iverson has over 400,000 more All-Star votes than Chauncey.  

-About a month ago, I predicted the Lakers would beat the Celtics in the Finals this year.  However, Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins improving the way they have is a major surprise.  I overlooked one key element about the NBA- playoff experience helps young players improve faster.  

-The addition of Jason Richardson to the Suns will make them better offensively.  He replaces Boris Diaw (8 points per outing and a 2.1 to 1.68 assist to turnover ratio in 24 minutes a night) and Raja Bell (9 points per game in 34 minutes a night).  The hopes, though, are that Richardson’s offensive talents outweigh the loss of Bell’s ability to defend and that Steve Nash doesn’t resent him for being his best friend’s (Bell’s) replacement.

Games to look for:
Boston v. New Orleans (Friday, December 12 at 8:00pm)—This game could be the upset of the week, ending the Celtic win streak and making the Hornets look like contenders out west.  Tonight will be the second of back-to-back nights for the Celtics—fatigue could play a major role with the Big Three all in their early thirties.  Can the Celtics’ youthful bench handle the possibility of Chris Paul having a 15 assist/zero turnover night?  The Celtics beat the Wizards by 34 last night, though, resting their starters for most of the fourth quarter so the Big Three could be crisp as a doggy biscuit.  One thing is true: The Celtics have no one to guard David West.

San Antonio v. New Orleans (Wednesday, December 17 at 9:30pm)—The Chris Paul v. Tony Parker matchup in this game makes you hope it goes into overtime.  Expect James Posey to earn his paycheck chasing around Manu Ginobili.  Can either of these teams make it far in the west?  We find out Wednesday night.