The NBA: 2014 All-Star Snubs

At this time every year most of the deserving players are voted in by fans as starters. The final seven are chosen by the head coaches. It's uncanny to see how often the coaches manage to select the less "deserving" player for the All-Star game. Thus, the term "snub" was designated for those omitted by the coaches.

This year is no different from other years. There are snubs on both the East and West teams. Now, who are they?

Kyle Lowry has played so well that the Raptors are considering NOT trading him
(Image from: CBS Sports)

EASTERN CONFERENCE

1. Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
The Raptors are potentially the 3rd best team in the East primarily due to Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. DD made it to his first All-Star while KL was snubbed. Lowry has been playing the best ball of his career. He is doing it all for the Raps: score, rebound, pass and defend. Lowry has career-highs for points, assists, steals and three-point shooting. He is arguably the best all-around guard in the East who can defend PGs and smaller SGs.



2. Lance Stephenson, Indiana Pacers
He has improved in all facets of the game. His shooting and scoring are much better. His perimeter defense is solid. Overall,  his all-around game is a level higher than last season. He has career-highs in points, rebounds and assists. He leads the Pacers in assists per game while second in team points and rebounds. The biggest proof of his growth: he has three triple-doubles to lead the league. He has more than LBJ, KD and CP3.

3. Al Jefferson, Charlotte Bobcats
The Bobcats are realistically within reach of a playoff spot even without a key role player (Jeff Taylor) and best guard, Kemba Walker who is still out with a sprained ankle. Big Al is averaging close to 20 and 11 with 1.2 blocks per game. Jefferson's post play is still one of the best and he even added a decent mid-range shot that he can make from time-to-time. Big Al is slowly but surely trying to lose his tag as a "black hole" too.

Who should be out?
Joe Johnson of the Brooklyn Nets does NOT belong in the ASG. He hasn't been a "deserving" All-Star in at least the last 2 years. A case can also be made that Paul Millsap of the Hawks or Joakim Noah of the Bulls should not be on the Eastern team. Heck, even Chris Bosh does not totally deserve a spot on the team. The East is so weak, unlike the West. Over in the West, they have so many deserving players that they can probably field two Western All-Star teams.

Anthony Davis came into this season with a much better physique and shape.
His game has improved immensely because of his added strength and growth
(Image from: The New Orleans Pelicans)

WESTERN CONFERENCE

1. Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans
The Brow has been a beast for the Pellies. He leads them in points, rebounds and blocks.  Davis leads the league in blocks per game and is top 5 in PER. The Pelicans are still in the hunt for a playoff spot even without Ryan Anderson, Jrue Holiday and Jason Smith because Davis is carrying them. Plus, All-Star weekend will be in New Orleans. Wouldn't it be best if they had a deserving player on the team?

2. Goran Dragic, Phoenix Suns
Who here thought that the Suns would be above 0.500 and a playoff team? How about a better team even without Eric Bledsoe? Yep, I didn't expect those at all. Dragic has kept them afloat with his superb play and leadership.  He is averaging career-highs in points and FG% shooting. Dragic is just the 4th guard to shoot over 50% this season, together with Dwyane Wade, Tony Parker and Lance Stephenson.

3. DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings
Boogie seems to be a changed man this season. He came into the season in the best shape of his life. He is averaging career-highs in points, rebounds, assists and FG% shooting. Best of all, his technical fouls and ejections are down from last season. DMC still complains after no calls and he still whines but he does them less often these days.

4. Mike Conley,  Memphis Grizzlies
The Grizz are back in playoff contention because if Mike Conley. They managed to stay within striking range of the playoffs even without Marc Gasol. Conley is leading them in scoring and assists. He is averaging career-highs in scoring and FG% shooting. Conley was recently diagnosed with a severe sprain and could be out for a few weeks.

5. Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder
OKC is leading the West even without Russell Westbrook for the past 5 weeks or so. The major reason for that is Kevin Durant's scoring explosion and MVP performance. But KD can't do it alone and his primary helper has been Ibaka. Serge is averaging career-highs in points and rebounds. Ibaka is now the 3rd best shot blocker this season.

6. DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Clippers
The Clips improved a lot defensively this season. Coach Doc Rivers gets credit for that but so does DJ who has significantly played better. He is averaging career-highs in points and rebounds. He has already eclipsed his career high in double-doubles. Jordan is also very exciting to watch when it comes to alley-oops and other dunks.

Who should be out?
Tough question since everyone on the West squad deserves to be on the team. If one or two players had to be removed, maybe Damian Lillard or Dirk Nowitzki.

Solution?
Regular NBA teams are allowed to carry a maximum of 15 players. They can activate 13 players who are allowed to play in games. For the ASG, only 12 players are selected. The NBA should consider increasing the roster to at least 13 players, maybe even do 15 to give others more chances to play.


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