2009 NBA All-Star Reserves: Western Conference Discussion
The reserves for this year's NBA All-Star game were announced, and as always, there were a few surprises. Head on past the jump for the list of who was selected, and a discussion of who was snubbed.
The Western Conference reserves went mostly as expected but, of course, there's always room for discussion. Here's who will head to Phoenix, as voted on by the coaches:
C- Shaquille O'Neal
F- Pau Gasol
F- David West
F- Dirk Nowitzki
G- Tony Parker
G- Chauncey Billups
G- Brandon Roy
It's hard to argue with most of those choices. Now, I'm not really a fan of teams getting multiple players in, unless those teams are among the top two or three in the league, but I understand wanting to have the host city well-represented. Shaq has the numbers this year, he's one of the league's biggest personalities, and the game's being played in Phoenix. I get that.
The Lakers have been at the top of the conference all season, so seeing Pau Gasol selected makes sense as well. Same goes for the Spurs' Tony Parker; no complaints there.
But do the New Orleans Hornets really need two players in the game?
Besides the fact that the Hornets have yet to show that they're as good as they were a season ago and deserve to have two players representing them, David West certainly hasn't been better than some of the guys that were left out.
Carmelo Anthony, though recently injured, has more solid all-around numbers than West, and can actually create his own shots and get his teammates involved -- whereas West's success is a direct result of playing with Chris Paul. Melo's numbers back me up here: He's averaged 21.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game, versus West's averages of 20 points and 7.1 boards.
Besides Anthony, we have the curious case of Al Jefferson.
For some reason, playing in the state of Minnesota has made Jefferson completely invisible to everyone as far as the All-Star game is concerned. Big Al has better numbers than Shaq, and his season averages of 22.7 points and 10.5 rebounds per game have been the main reason the Timberwolves had the best record in the entire league this month before last night's loss to the Pistons. Jefferson is by far the biggest snub in the West.
Paul Millsap's name is worth mentioning too, as he's been great in Carlos Boozer's absence. But with averages of 15.6 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, there's no one on the list I would remove in his favor.
Also on FanHouse:
A look at the Eastern Conference reserves.