Now that the 2013 NBA All-Star rosters have been announced, it’s time to take a look at not necessarily who made the team, but who didn’t.
Every year there are a handful of players who deserved to make the team, but for one reason or another didn’t.
With that being said, let’s take a look at this year’s Top 5 All-Star snubs.
5. Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics: Pierce may not be having his best season and the Celtics are struggling, but that doesn’t mean Pierce isn’t All-Star worthy. He is averaging 18.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists a game. Pierce isn’t the reason the Celtics are struggling, but it is hard to give a team like the Celtics three All-Star’s, especially with Kevin Garnett questionably voted in by the fans.
4. Serge Ibaka, Oklahoma City Thunder: Ibaka is a big reason why the Thunder have the best record in the NBA. He has proven this season that he is far more than just a defensive stopper by averaging 14.0 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, both career-high marks. The only problem with making a case for Ibaka is the fact that the Western Conference roster is loaded, so someone would have to come off, but Ibaka is certainly having an All-Star worthy season, more so than Dwight Howard, who was voted in by the fans.
3. J.R. Smith, New York Knicks: Usually good teams get rewarded with two or three All-Star’s, so it was a bit shocking to not see Smith on the Eastern Conference squad, especially when you see the likes of Kyrie Irving and Jrue Holiday make the team. That’s not saying that Irving and Holiday aren’t worth, but their teams are a combined 28-57 and you rarely see players on bad teams get rewarded, much less two of them. Smith became the No. 2 scoring option on a team that has been near the top of the east all season long. Ultimately the fact that he comes off the bench probably hurt Smith’s chances.
2. Brook Lopez, Brooklyn Nets: Lopez leads all centers in scoring with 18.6 points per games and is seventh in the NBA with 2.1 blocks per game. In addition his 25.4 PER screams out that Lopez is an All-Star. More importantly the Nets are 25-11 with Lopez in the lineup and only 1-5 without him. Tyson Chandler and Joakim Noah are both worth of being on the Eastern Conference team, so the fans vote of Garnett ended up costing Lopez a spot he deserved.
1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors: There was no bigger snub than Golden State’s Curry, who is a big reason why the Warriors are having such a great season. Curry is averaging 20.9 points, which is second among West point guards, and 6.6 assists a game. In addition his shooting percentage from three-point range (45.1) is third in the league. Not having Curry on the Western Conference team is a joke, but at the same time the Western Conference roster is loaded, so we could be having this argument about anyone really. Curry is the case to extend the All-Star roster to 13 players. The regular season rosters are at 13 permanently so it makes little sense that the All-Star rosters wouldn’t be the same.
Follow Matt Shetler on Twitter for news, reaction and analysis from around the NBA.