Just now on the NBA on TNT pregame show with Sir Charles Barkley, Shaq, Kenny Smith, and Ernie Johnson, the 2014 NBA All-Star Game reserve selections for both conferences were revealed. Here are the selections:
Eastern Conference: Chris Bosh, DeMar Derozan, Roy Hibbert, Joe Johnson, Paul Millsap, Joakim Noah, John Wall
Western Conference: LaMarcus Aldridge, James Harden, Dwight Howard, Damien Lillard, Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Paul, Tony Parker
Now, like every year, there were a bunch of guys who probably should’ve made the game but didn’t. Among them are Lance Stephenson, Boogie Cousins, Kyle Lowry, Goran Dragic, Tim Duncan, Jeff Teague, and Al Jefferson.
For me, in the East, Stephenson should without a doubt be an all-star, and if not him Kyle Lowry should be. Joe Johnson, who plays on a vastly underachieving Brooklyn Nets team that has a 20-23 record, has only really played well for a month and is still only averaging 15.7 PPG. Stephenson, who leads the league with three triple doubles this season and is arguably the second best player on the best team in the conference, is a much more well-rounded guard (averaging 5.3 APG & 7.1 RPG). Lowry, who’s having his best season as a pro to date, also is ridiculously well-rounded (7.6 APG & 4.3 RPG) and is averaging over 1 more PPG than Johnson is. Plus, if you want to talk about player efficiency, Johnson is only the second all-star ever chosen with a below-average PER (14.9); both Stephenson (15.96) and Lowry (20.43!)’s are higher and way more impressive.
In the West, the only change that I’d make would be inserting Boogie Cousins into the lineup and removing Dirk Nowitzki. While it’s nice for Dirk to be selected for the 12th time of his career, Cousins is one of only three players who currently rank in the top 10 in PPG and RPG; the other two players are LaMarcus Aldridge and All-Star starter Kevin Love.
I would’ve included Anthony Davis as a Western Conference snub, but apparently he’s already been chosen to replace Kobe Bryant in the game.