The NBA: Snubs

Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, Rudy Gay, and Monta Ellis should all be in
the 2012 NBA All-Star Game.
(portraits fro Yahoo! Sports; compressed image by Hoop Nut)

 *Unless otherwise specified, all images are from the Associated Press.

“I don't think he gets the credit he deserves, what he really brings to the table.” – Hawks coach Larry Drew on his star, but not All-Star, forward Josh Smith.

Josh Smith over Luol Deng.

Rudy Gay over Dirk Nowitzki.

Monta Ellis over Steve Nash.

Greg Monroe, yes you just read Greg Monroe, over Roy Hibbert.

To a lesser extent, Danny Granger over Andre Iguodala, Pau Gasol over Marc Gasol, and Brandon Jennings over Deron Williams.

I believe Dirk and Nash got the nod because of their whole body of work over their respective careers, not really because of how they’ve played this season.

Both Deng and Hibbert were big surprises. Deng, though, much more than Hibbert. Deng has been a great complement to Rose in Chicago, but an All-Star selection ahead of Granger, Stoudemire, or, OMG, Josh Smith? I don’t think I’ll ever understand that. Hibbert, meanwhile, has been solid for the Pacers, but he is neither the best Pacer this year, nor the best East center outside of Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh. Greg Monroe is a better player on a worse team. Perhaps that’s what did him in.

Both Iguodala and Williams have the skills and star power to make highlight-worthy All-Star plays, but I think both Granger and Jennings should’ve been considered ahead of AI and D-Will. Still, I don’t feel too bad about this.

Pau will watch li’l bro Marc in the All-Star Game. Never thought I’d write that sentence. Ever. But it’ll happen. And it’s wrong.

All things considered, though, with the level of talent in the NBA, I’m 110% sure the All-Star Game will be awesome. And, let’s face it, we won’t really watch it because we want to see Joe Johnson hit a three or even Tony Parker make his teardrop.

We’ll be watching for CP3 lobbing to Bynum, for Kobe connecting with BG, for D-Wade speeding alongside D-Rose, for LBJ whipping a no-looker to Big D, and for Carmelo Anthony to be the odd man out.

After the JUMP, key stat-stuffers for today’s games:

LAL over BOS, 88-87 – Pau Gasol won’t say it, but his game did all the talking. He won’t say he should be in the All-Star Game. He won’t say he deserves to be there instead of, say, his baby bro Marc, but his game, THIS game, did all the talking. Too late, though, as Pau will stay on the sidelines and be content cheering for Marc and teammates Kobe and Bynum.
HOU over PHX, 96-89 – The Rockets’ reserves continued to soar, this time against the Suns. A day after scoring 66, the Houston bench came up big again, with all 5 players who came off the pine scoring in twin digits. Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry were the only starters in double-figures with 16 and 14 points respectively.
GSW over DEN, 109-91 – The Nuggets are slowly slipping, losing their 5th in a row. Steph Curry won’t play in the All-Star Game, but he sure played like an All-Star here, scoring 36 points while shooting 6 threes. The Warriors just spanked the Nuggets here, making 13 of their 25 attempts from three-land, and blocking 14 Denver shots.
SAC over OKC, 106-101 – Well, what do you know? The Kings slid the Thunder down to #2 overall in the NBA, and on national TV at that! Sacramento has won 4 of its last 5 games and they showed lots of heart in this nice comeback win. Young ‘uns Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins combined for 41 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 steals, canceling out the big games from both Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, and helping force 23 OKC errors.

Super Scorers (Top scorers of the night!)
Steph Curry (GSW) – 36
Russell Westbrook (OKC) – 33
Kobe Bryant (LAL) & Kevin Durant (OKC) – 27
Arron Afflalo (DEN) – 26

Ragin’ Rebounders (Top rebounders of the night!)
Andrew Bynum (LAL) – 17
Pau Gasol (LAL) – 14
Kevin Garnett (BOS) – 12

Dynamic Dishers (Top playmakers of the night!)
Steve Nash (PHX) – 13
Goran Dragic (HOU) – 11
Ty Lawso (DEN) – 10

Steve Nash, at 38, continues to shine, leading the
league in assists with better than 10 a game.

Terrific Thieves (Top thieves of the night!)
Tyreke Evans (SAC) – 4
A LOT with 2

Boomin’ Blockers (Top blockers of the night!)
Serge Ibaka (OKC) – 10
Ekpe Udoh (GSW) – 5
Andrew Bynum (LAL) & Jermaine O’Neal (BOS) – 3

Serge Ibaka (L) was good for 10 blocks,
but the Kings still found a way to win.

Sharpshooters (Top 3-point shooters of the night!)
Steph Curry (GSW) – 6
Arron Afflalo (DEN) – 5
Channing Frye (PHX) – 4

Feb. 9, 2012 First Five
C – Pau Gasol (LAL) – 25pts, 14rebs, 3asts, 2blks
F – Channing Frye (PHX) – 21pts, 10rebs, 4 treys, 2stls, 2blks, 1ast
F – Kevin Durant (OKC) – 27pts, 8rebs, 3asts, 2stls, 1blk
G – Steph Curry (GSW) – 36pts, 7rebs, 7asts, 6 treys, 2blks
G – Russell Westbrook (OKC) – 33pts, 6rebs, 3asts, 1stl

Steph Curry put up stratospheric numbers
to help the Warriors add to the Nuggets' woes.

Honorable Mention:
Kobe Bryant (LAL) – 27pts, 5rebs, 4asts
Steve Nash (PHX) – 14pts,13asts, 1reb, 1stl
Andrew Bynum (LAL) – 16pts, 17rebs, 3blks, 1ast, 1stl

For a full summary of the day, here’s today’s NBA Daily Zap:

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