View Full Version : Steve Kerr's All-Star Reserves (Jho included!)

02-01-2007, 02:37 AM
Magnificent sevens

By Steve Kerr, Yahoo! Sports

January 31, 2007

The NBA all-star starters were announced last week, and for the most part, the fans did their job (other than the selection of Shaquille O'Neal, who has scored fewer points than Royal Ivey this season). Now it's up to the league's coaches to fill in the blanks, as they vote on the seven available reserve spots in each conference. The results will be announced Thursday on TNT at 7 p.m. ET.

Inevitably, there will be controversy, with deserving players left off the roster due to a numbers crunch. Players, fans and coaches will be upset and the debates will ensue. Allow me to be the first to stir the pot.

In the Western Conference, a few of the slots are simple. Steve Nash is a no-brainer at one guard, as is Dirk Nowitzki at the forward position. But given the format the coaches must select two guards, two forwards, a center and two wild cards the picks begin to get dicey.

As a general rule, I believe that playing for a winning team should be a major part of the selection criteria. That's why I'll go with Tony Parker at the other guard spot alongside Nash. The San Antonio Spurs have the third-best record in the NBA, and Parker is a big reason why.

Nowitzki's running mate in Dallas, Josh Howard, has had a phenomenal season and is my choice for the other forward spot. The Mavericks have dominated the league all season and anything less than two all-stars would be a crime.

The same holds true for the Phoenix Suns, and that's why Amare Stoudemire is my reserve center. His terrific bounce-back season is a prime reason why the Suns have scorched the league since a 1-5 start.

As for the West's wild cards, one was simple: Shawn Marion. Phoenix's do-it-all forward is having another great season and deserves a place on the team. The other slot would have been easy because Carlos Boozer has been dominant for the Utah Jazz, who have enjoyed a fantastic campaign. But with Boozer out four to six weeks with a hairline fracture in his left leg, he'll be unable to play in Las Vegas in two weeks.

With so many deserving players waiting in the wings, I decided on Elton Brand. The Los Angeles Clippers have been mired around the .500 mark all season, but it's not because of Brand, who has been his usual consistently brilliant self.

I can hear the complaints and the typing of angry emails already. What about Carmelo Anthony? (He missed too many games with the suspension.) Zach Randolph, Kevin Martin and Ray Allen? (They play for bad teams.) Deron Williams? (Almost). Chris Paul? (Injured). And most glaringly, what about Allen Iverson? That was the toughest omission, and I'm solving that one by naming him as my replacement for injured starter Yao Ming.

In the East, my reserve guards are Jason Kidd and Ben Gordon. Kidd is playing the best basketball of his career, almost averaging a triple-double (15 points, eight rebounds, nine assists) for the New Jersey Nets. Gordon has been almost unguardable for the Chicago Bulls, who are one of the best teams in the conference.

The forwards are Jermaine O'Neal and Caron Butler. O'Neal wasn't a lock, but he's still one of the top post-up forwards in the league. Butler has been underrated all season, but his scoring and toughness have helped turn the Washington Wizards into one of the East's top teams.

The backup center is the Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard, who is still scratching the surface but has been dominant, particularly at the defensive end. Howard beats out Charlotte's Emeka Okafor, who is playing outstanding ball for the suddenly respectable Bobcats.

The two wild-card selections were terribly difficult, with a slew of talented wing players all very deserving. Ultimately, I chose Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton of the Detroit Pistons. They beat out Michael Redd, Joe Johnson and Vince Carter based on one factor: winning.

Redd and Johnson are having amazing seasons, but their teams (Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks, respectively) are really struggling. Carter was the toughest choice because he has played really well, particularly of late, but I couldn't get over the fact that the Nets have been stuck below .500 for most of the season. Billups and Hamilton are the key players on a Detroit team that has been at or near the top of the Eastern Conference all season long.

There you have it my all-star reserves. Bring on the complaints.

02-01-2007, 02:38 AM
I actually think he did a pretty solid job. The East reserves are debateable, but other than that a very nice article by him and it's good to see Jho included.

02-01-2007, 10:38 AM
Wow, he didn't even use his wildcard for Josh.. nice! I've never really thought that Josh could make it in the west, but with Yao and Boozer out, I think he can now.

02-03-2007, 01:27 AM
Well this was very off the mark :(