Monday, January 27, 2014

Steel Reserves

The fan votes have been tallied for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game and the starters have been announced, picking the All-Star reserves is the hard part and with those selections are where the majority of the complaints are voiced. There should really be no bickering about the starters because the game is for the fans and they vote who they want to see.

The reserves however, should only be chosen based on merit
The coaches choose who the seven reserves are for their respective conference, and are given certain guidelines that need to be followed in order for the roster to be filled out:
Players must be ranked in specific order of preference in three categories.
  1. They must vote for two guards, three frontcourt players and two wild cards.
  2. Each coach is instructed to vote for players at the position he thinks is most advantageous for the All-Star team and not necessarily the one he normally plays during the season.
  3. Voting for their own players is restricted.

With that caveat, I give you my choices for All Star reserves.

The Western Conference All Stars as voted by the fans are Kobe Bryant (injured), Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin, and Kevin Love.

Backcourt 1 - James Harden  He's the league's top scoring guard, gets to the cup and splashes from deep, and he's also a quality playmaker that drops over five dimes on the regular.

Backcourt 2 - Tony Parker  He's really one of the most under-appreciated of this era. A very efficient scorer, he shoots over 51% from the field and 43% from deep.

Frontcourt 1 - Lamarcus Aldridge  Finally living up to the promise that most scouts saw in him prior to being drafted. He's having a career year while leading the surprise team in the West in scoring and rebounding at 24.2 and 11.2 respectively.

Frontcourt 2 - Dwight Howard  Other than having some of his defensive numbers lower than usual, he's doing what he's always done, albeit less of an impact on his current team.

Frontcourt 3 - Anthony Davis  Here's a guy that is living up to every expectation of him and some, as he's an impact player on both ends of the court.

Wildcard 1 - Damian Lillard  I would have thought due to the rise of Aldridge that his assists would be up but they've taken a dip. Nevertheless, when you win games like his team has, he's earned his spot here.

Wildcard 2 - Chris Paul Until it's confirmed that he won't be back in time, the last spot belongs to the best point guard of this era.

*It's likely Kobe Bryant won't participate on the court, therefore incoming commissioner Adam Silver will choose his replacement. Dirk Nowitzki should receive the nod here, as it is likely he won't see another one of these games. 

The Eastern Conference All Stars as voted by the fans are Kyrie Irving, Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony.

Backcourt 1 - John Wall I don't know what USAB was thinking when they left Wall out of the 28 player pool for international play but he's clearly the best point guard in the Eastern Conference this season. one of only two players in the entire league averaging 20 points and 8 assists per game.

Backcourt 2 - Demar Derozan The go-to player on a division leading team is putting up decent numbers this season. His style of play is perfectly suited for this type of wide open game.

Frontcourt 1 - Roy Hibbert  This should be an automatic choice for coaches. Roy is the defensive anchor on the conference's best team and leading candidate for DPOY.

Frontcourt 2 - Joakim Noah  This team needs size, besides, there's not much too choose from due to injuries and poor performance. In any case, Noah is still worthy of a nod .

Frontcourt 3 - Chris Bosh  He's a player that I feel doesn't get enough credit for Miami's success. While the other two guys have taken days off, Bosh has been the glue.

Wildcard 1 - Paul Millsap  The under the radar signing of the summer has picked up the slack and filled the void that Al Horford's injury created. Winning has to be rewarded and Millsap is making an impact.

Wildcard 2 - Jeff Teague  This was the toughest choice to make on either roster but without this man, we'll be talking about Atlanta as one of the teams playing for a top draft pick.

Snub Knows

DeMarcus Cousins is having a career year, even having a better all around season than D12. Him being left off of the team is a direct result of last year's rule change that removed the center position from voting consideration, lumping them with forwards. Unfortunately his performance failing to translate to team success is what does him in at the end.

Lance Stephenson's play in the backcourt for Indiana is one of the main reasons for their success. However I asked myself if the numbers he's putting up weren't for the conference's number one team, "would I even consider him?", that answer would be no.

This conversation about who got snubbed and who belongs is always a hot topic.  Join the discussion by voicing your opinion in the comments section below.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The NBA’s First Trimester From A to Z

I published this earlier for The Pick and Roll.

There’s much to discuss about this fantastic NBA season thus far, and it’s hard to know what’s really going on by just checking box scores. So allow me to make it easy for you by giving you a tour of the NBA’s first trimester, from A to Z.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

NFL Week 17 Power Rankings

One week left in the season, let's see how they stack up.

1.  Seattle  No longer invincible at home but still belongs on top. They're going to need to figure out how to loosen up defenses for their run game.

2.  Denver  There shouldn't be a question about who the best regular season quarterback of All-Time is. The defense is hurting for certain, with no signs of improvement.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

NFL Brain Dump - Playoff Race of Disgrace

So many teams had a chance to make a statement in week 15 and strengthen their playoff position but failed to capitalize on their opportunities. The top three seeds in the AFC all lost and gave other teams hopes of getting either a playoff bye or home game. Outside of the West division, the top teams in the NFC are falling by the wayside. Now there are teams whose life lines were weak just a week ago, are now revitalized.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

NFL Week 16 Power Rankings

Just one new team sneaks in this week. We're heading for an exciting close to the NFL season as teams fight for playoff seeding but in these power rankings, Seattle is back at the top.

1.  Seattle  All we talk about is Seattle's defense but Russell Wilson is a special player. He has yet to lose while playing on his home field. I expect to see him at Met Life Stadium in February.

2.  Denver  No problem scoring points but this defense is just flat out horrible. The winterization of their offense will take away the biggest advantage they have over opponents.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

NFL Brain Dump - Injured Feelings

I feel like I should say something about the situation going in Washington regarding their coach and the quarterback that loves to take off and scramble. After all he’s a coach that made a ballsy decision to go with a quarterback at the beginning of a season when nobody had any real idea as to how he would perform. Even after losing this past week, there’s no doubt that the coach chose a leader of men whom in which all of his teammates will go to battle for. This week, his team is on the road in a city that they’ll most likely visit in February. Of course, I'm speaking of the team that plays in Seattle, Washington.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

NFL Week 15 Power Rankings

1.  Denver  400 yards and 4 touchdowns versus one of the better pass defenses in the league answered questions about Peyton's play in the cold.

2.  Seattle  Played a gritty game; this is what they do. Barely finished on the wrong side.