January 30, 2009

THE BASEMENT NBA ALL-STARS: All-Stars from the bottom of the standings

The All-Star reserve list was announced on Thursday and with every announcement come a band of critics of the list. For instance, Al Jefferson didn’t make the All-Star team but some would argue that he’s not deserving because although he's playing great, his team is horrible. A lot of good players on bad teams never get the credit as All-Star talent because their team is sitting in the bottom of the standings. Some people call them All-Star snubs, some people call them Stat Stuffers on bad teams, either way here’s the best of the worst.

Here are the qualifications for this team:
Have to have played at least 40 Games
All-Starrish stats this season
Player's come from a team with a losing record

In the West:

Starting at Point Guard
Russell Westbroook, Oklahoma City Thunder (11-35)
Finding a good point guard in the West is easy. Finding a good point guard in the West on a losing team is impossible. There's Tony Parker, Chris Paul, Steve Nash on the winning side but the best on the losing side is Russell Westbrook. He has been amazing as a rookie. Westbrook has averaged 14 pts, 4 reb and 4 assists for the Thunder. And on another note, he should also be in the dunk contest instead of Rudy Fernandez.

Starting at Shooting Guard
OJ Mayo, Memphis Grizzlies (11-34)
This spot is hard to fill . I could have went a few directions but Mayo has been pretty consistent and has been an offensive threat for the Grizz. Mayo is averaging 19 pts per game and is a strong candidate for Rookie of the Year.

Starting at Small Forward
Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder (11-35)
The Thunder are in 13th place in the Western Conference but they got a young 20-year old Kevin Durant to build their franchise around for the future. KD has been a quiet all-star in OKC and has been averaging 25 points and 6.6 boards. In the West, Durant is the third highest scorer behind Kobe & Dirk.

Starting at Power Forward
Al Jefferson, Minnesota Timberwolves (16-28)
Probably the biggest All-Star snub, Al Jefferson has been averaging 22 pts, 10 rebounds & 1.6 blocks with the Wolves. Minnesota has been playing good ball as of late going 7-3 in their last ten. Jefferson is one of only three players in the league to average 20/10.

Starting at Centre
Andris Biedrins, Golden Sate Warriors (14-32)

Biedrins has been a beast on the boards for Golden State. He averages 13 pts & 12 boards on the season along with 1.2 steals & 1.6 blocks. The Latvian has been getting in done in Golden State with his double double consistency.

In the Eastern Conference where pretty much half of the teams have losing records...

Starting at Point Guard
Devin Harris, New Jersey Nets (20-26)

New Jersey has been a perfect opportunity for Harris. He landed a lead point guard role and has flourished with the Nets. He has been the biggest suprise for the Nets averaging 22 pts & 6 assists, he deserves to be on this year's All-Star team.

Starting at Shooting Guard
Vince Carter, New Jersey Nets (20-26)
I mean the Nets unload Jason Kidd & Richard Jefferson, who else is supposed to pick up the scoring?

Starting at Small Forward
Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers (18-28)

Granger isn't all-star snub as he made the All-Star reserves. Granger's scoring has been bananas lately averaging 27.6 points in the last month including a game against the Warriors where he dropped 42.

Starting at Power Forward
Antawn Jamison, Washington Wizards (9-36)

Jamison is averaging 21 pts, 9 rebounds and 2 assists. He has been a consistent 20/10 threat each night but the Wiz just stink. Someday Gilbert Arenas will be healthy for the Wizards.
Starting at Centre
Chris Bosh, Toronto Raptors (19-29)

Of course, CB4 is an all-star he's one of the best big men in the East. But unfortunately, the Raps have not lived up to their expectations. CB4 has been the leader on the Raps and since the Eastern conference is so bad, the Raps have an opportunity to make a run for the playoffs with Bosh leading the way.

Photo credit: (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)


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