Aug 24, 2013, 12:30 PM EST
When you sit down to fill out your All-Star ballot this year (or you may not sit down, you can do it from your phone while standing) who are you going to select as the starting guards in the West?
Are you going to take Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant, like last year? Smart money is they win the fan vote again. (We will see how Kobe plays post Achilles surgery, but if you think fans are not voting him in I question your logic — you also probably think Ben Affleck was a great choice as the new Batman).
But now you’ve left the coaches (who fill out the roster) with an impossible job.
But then you are going to snub a number of deserving guys —the West is loaded with quality guards, some of whom will not make the cut and will have a legitimate complaint (something Jeff Caplan was talking about at NBA.com).
At the top of the list is Stephen Curry, who didn’t earn a trip to Houston for the ASG last year and after that “snub” (again, who are you leaving off?) he picked up his game and averaged 26 points a game (up from 21 before the ASG), 7.4 assists a game and shot 46 percent from three. Then he led the Warriors into the second round of the playoffs. He will make the cut this season.
Other guards in the West deserving consideration:
• Jrue Holiday was an All-Star last season for the Sixers and he’s now in the West for a Pelicans team that could surprise people.
• Ricky Rubio also is a fan favorite, plays with a flair and will lead another team that will surprise some fans if they can stay healthy (Minnesota is a playoff team out West if healthy).
• Damian Lillard will warrant votes. The Rookie of the Year averaged 19 points a game and should take a step forward (plus he won’t have to carry as much of he offensive load with Mo Williams and some added doeth all over the Trail Blazers roster.
• Ty Lawson is one of the fastest and better point guards in the league, averaging 16.7 points and 6.9 assists a game last season.
• Mike Conley has become a solid point guard, one of the better defensive points but a guy who still scored 14.6 points and averaged 6.1 assists a game, orchestrating a Memphis a Grizzlies attack that went all the way to the conference finals.
• Then there is the list of good guards not likely to even sniff making the team: Monta Ellis, Eric Bledsoe, Steve Nash and Klay Thompson. (I’m counting Andre Iguodala as a forward with Golden State.)
Some of those guys are going to have a monster first half of the season and put their names in contention. Then, when they don’t make the cut they will have a legitimate complaint. But there are just not enough spots for all the deserving guys.
Dec 13, 2013, 4:10 PM EST
Evan Turner leads the Philadelphia 76ers in scoring this season — he’s still not a great shooter but he has a couple spots he can get to on the floor (along the baselines in the midrange) where he is solid, plus he is finishing better inside. He’s really a solid rotation player on most teams,…
Dec 13, 2013, 3:42 PM EST
One of the best parts of NBA League Pass is getting to see the quirky local commercial in cities around the nation. From Pizza Guy in Sacramento to Native American casinos all over this land, there are some amusing advertisements. Like this one from Portland featuring LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez. Brilliant. Hat tip to…
Dec 13, 2013, 3:15 PM EST
For the Toronto Raptors, Rudy Gay never got out of the hotel while Aaron Gray was doing a pregame workout when they found out they had been traded to Sacramento. But nothing was as good as Patrick Patterson’s story that he had been sent back the other way. Patterson was taking his mom to see…
Dec 13, 2013, 2:52 PM EST
Once again you, dear readers, were the programmers for this edition of the PBT Podcast — myself and Eyton Shander of NBC Sports Radio took your twitter questions and tried to answer them. What you care about this week are trades and the draft. With that we talk about how the Lakers aren’t looking to make…
Dec 13, 2013, 2:28 PM EST
Yes, but what would Jim Boeheim have said if he was successful at recruiting Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker? There’s plenty of talk about teams tanking this season for the chance to draft Wiggins, Parker, Julius Randle, Joel Embiid and the other elite players expected in the upcoming draft. You need franchise changing players to…
Dec 13, 2013, 1:23 PM EST
Gilbert Arenas last stepped on an NBA court on May 13, 2012, as a lightly used backup guard for the Memphis Grizzlies. After the last couple years of his career and at age 32, let’s just say it’s a long shot we get to The Hibachi back in an NBA uniform. But he’s hoping for…
Dec 13, 2013, 12:53 PM EST
The Lakers and Los Angeles Kings share a practice facility in El Segundo — basically near LAX — and a security guard at that facility has been arrested for allegedly stealing two NBA championship rings plus $20,000 in gift cards. The Daily Breeze newspaper, which covers this part of L.A., has the details. Eddie J.…
Dec 13, 2013, 12:25 PM EST
Pau Gasol just does not fit in Mike D’Antoni’s offense. And it shows. In years past I’ve defended Gasol because one segment of Lakers fans were unnecessarily harsh on him because he didn’t play like Shaq — but how Gasol played was perfect for the triangle. The Lakers won back-to-back rings because of him, not…
Dec 13, 2013, 11:20 AM EST
Zach Randolph can, and likely will, become a free agent next summer. He is owed $16.9 million but at age 32 he may want the security of a longer deal even if he takes a little less per year to get it. Which means if you’re Memphis you may not be able to keep the…
Dec 13, 2013, 10:37 AM EST
There’s a small window at the start of next week where we could see a little flurry of trades. On Dec. 15 everyone who signed a contract this summer becomes eligible to be traded. Anyone traded before Dec. 19 can be traded again at the trading deadline (after that you are stuck with the player…
Dec 13, 2013, 10:12 AM EST
NEW YORK – A few leftover items from Thursday night’s big win for the Nets, the team’s third straight. When Jason Kidd parted ways with assistant coach Lawrence Frank a little more than a week ago, it was viewed in one of two ways. Either it was a desperate attempt to shift the blame for…
Dec 13, 2013, 8:45 AM EST
There is a whole lot of spin going on around the idea of a trade of Kyle Lowry from the Raptors to the Knicks, but a couple of themes seem to be consistent: 1) The Raptors want a lot to give up Lowry. By a lot we mean Raymond Felton plus some combination of Iman…
Dec 13, 2013, 8:00 AM EST
By Brett Pollakoff NEW YORK – It was only a week ago that the Nets were a sinking ship on the verge of capsizing completely, following consecutive losses at home where the team didn’t even seem capable of competing much less staying close enough to win for anywhere near the requisite 48 minutes. Jason Kidd may…
Dec 13, 2013, 2:50 AM EST
Our quick look around the association on a busy Thursday night, or what you missed while worrying about what could happen to Santa’s home due to global warming… LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers. I’ve been saying he is the best power forward in the game all season (yes, better than Kevin Love) and he showed…
Dec 13, 2013, 12:12 AM EST
There was a time when “Deron Williams or Chris Paul?” was a legitimate question worth debating. Not for the past few years however — D-Will has hobbled around with injuries while CP3 has assumed the title of best point guard in the game (with reason). But for a night, the debate could be on again.…
Dec 12, 2013, 10:46 PM EST
NEW YORK – Things were going almost perfectly for the Nets by the time the team suffered its latest injury blow, a sprained ankle to Brook Lopez that prematurely ended his night. Lopez returned to the game briefly after coming out to get the ankle looked at with four minutes or so remaining in the…
Dec 12, 2013, 9:41 PM EST
NEW YORK – Deron Williams began the night by falling to the floor after being victimized by a crossover from Chris Paul. The fact that he stepped on the foot of teammate Brook Lopez was what ultimately caused him to crumble, but Paul’s action at least sent Williams sliding in that direction. In the second…
Dec 12, 2013, 8:30 PM EST
After trying to play through it for a month and it not really working, Golden State’s Jermaine O’Neal is going to have surgery to repair the torn ligaments on the outside of his right wrist, the team announced Thursday. 1 of 2) @jermaineoneal will undergo arthroscopic surgery tomorrow to address a torn ligament in his…
Dec 12, 2013, 5:45 PM EST
We don’t need to tell you the Pacers are doing just fine without Danny Granger — they have the best record in the NBA (19-3) and knocked off the Miami Heat this week. Yet with Granger, they either will improve or they will have a potential trade piece to shop around at the deadline (or…
- PBT Podcast for Dec. 13: Talking Asik, Gasol trades plus NBA Draft with Rob Dauster 0
- Pau Gasol expresses frustration with D’Antoni offense. Lakers have to think trade. 23
- Report: Grizzlies shopping Zach Randolph around, want deal with Pelicans 6
- Nets notes: Kidd takes some credit, Lopez downplays injury, and Pierce off the bench 2
- Report: Knicks’ owner shoots down trade to get team Kyle Lowry 26
- NFL legend Jim Brown takes shot at Kobe Bryant, Kobe fires back (64)
- Why question “When did basketball get so bad?” misses mark (62)
- Pacers win first Conference Finals rematch vs. Heat (52)
- Raptors trade Rudy Gay to Sacramento for multiple players (47)
- Adam Silver: NBA to consider doing away with divisions (39)