The starting lineups were set on Thursday for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game to be played in Houston.
But as with any fan voting for any All-Star Game, they didn’t get it entirely right.
With the NBA All-Star Game, most of the selections are no-brainers, but there were a few slip ups along the way.
Here is a look at grading the fans performance in voting for the 2013 All-Star starters. As a reminder, the NBA took out the center position, so the fans were voting for two backcourt and three frontcourt players.
BC- Rajon Rondo: This is a spot that traditionally goes to Derrick Rose, but Rondo was the right selection. His closest competition comes from Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving, who leads all point guards in PER, but has also missed time due to injury and plays on a 10-31 team, so he can’t be an All-Star. In addition Deron Williams is having a bad year and Brandon Jennings shouldn’t be starting, so Rondo was really the only choice. Grade: A-
BC- Dwyane Wade: Wade’s numbers have slipped over the course of the past five years, but the 20.1 points, 4.6 assists and 4.4 rebounds he is averaging are still very good numbers. In addition 23.0 PER ranks in the top 10 in the league. But Wade pretty much gets this spot by default as well. The fans could have voted one of the other point guards, but they aren’t more deserving than Wade, neither are shooting guards Joe Johnson and J.R. Smith. Grade: A
FC- LeBron James: James is as close to a no-brainer as it gets: Grade: A+
FC- Carmelo Anthony: Despite a weird couple of weeks that has seen injuries, a suspension and his owner eavesdropping on him, ‘Melo’s MVP-type season makes him a no-brainer as well. Grade: A+
FC- Kevin Garnett: Garnett’s averaging 14.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 29.5 minutes and has a PER of only 18.7, which is far less than Chris Bosh who he edged out in the voting. Bosh has similar numbers and has a 21.5 PER. However this spot should have gone to either Tyson Chandler, who is averaging 12.4 points and 10.9 rebounds and shooting 67.2 percent, with a PER similar to Bosh, or Chicago’s Joakim Noah who is averaging 12.4 points, 10.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.3 steals. The fans got this one wrong. Grade: D
BC- Chris Paul: It is a good thing that Jeremy Lin didn’t overtake Paul in the voting, which would have been a travesty. Unlike in the Eastern Conference, there were alternatives here which include San Antonio’s Tony Parker and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, but Paul is an MVP candidate on the team with the best record in the NBA. Grade: A
BC- Kobe Bryant: Kobe leads the NBA in scoring and is averaging 29.9 points, hitting a career-high 47.8 percent from the field and tacking on 4.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.5 steals. In addition he ranks sixth in the NBA in PER. Fans could have gonne with two point guards here, but Bryant’s numbers speak for themselves. Grade: B+
FC- Kevin Durant: Just like in the case of LeBron, Durant is a clear no-brainer. Grade: A+
FC- Blake Griffin: There is some competitiion here, which includes: David Lee, LaMarcus Aldridge, Zach Randolph and Tim Duncan, but I have no problem with the Griffin selection. He’s a big reason why the Clippers have the best record in the NBA and his PER trails only Durant and Duncan among Western Conference frontcourt players. I have no problem going with the guy the fans want to see here. Grade: B
FC- Dwight Howard: Now the Howard selection is nothing short of ridiculous. How can a 17-22 team be rewarded with a pair of starters? In addition, Howard has not been great this season, despite averaging 17.8 points, a league-leading 12.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks. This spot should have gone to Duncan, possibly Lee. Duncan ranks No. 6 in PER among players logging at least 30 minutes per game, trailing only James, Durant, Paul, Anthony and Bryant. His team sits atop the Southwest Division at 30-11 and boasts the third best in the West. He’s averaging 17.2 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.8 blocks and 2.7 assists while shooting 50.1 percent. Those numbers compare very well with Howard’s, and are better nearly across the board on a per-minute basis. The fans botched this one. Grade: F
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