Monday, December 24, 2007
If I Had To Pick/Predict Players For All-Star Game...
...I'd pick/predict these:
Welcome to my annual winter's All-Star Game predictions/choices. The 07-08 League is in a pretty good shape. T-Blazers just WON 10 games in a row!!
Guards: The leaders for the first returns of the NBA ASG voting program here are Dwyane Wade and Jason Kidd and I think it's not gonna change. D-Wade carries his Heat on his shoulders, one thing is they're still deeply under the water, the second is that he's a perfect match for this type of games. We need point guards in All-Star Games, therefore J-Kidd MUST be involved. He's in a very good shape, triple-doubling his way out of... his way through the season. Again, his team sucks, but it is what it is.
Forwards: Top vote-getter overall is Kevin Garnett, followed by LeBron James. We have beautifully constructed duo here, KG is athletic, swift and big, leads the best team in the league (Celtics record-wise), while LBJ is the king of his Cavs. Who doesn't wanna see one of his signature full-powered slams? We need to note that any All-Stars in the next ten years without James aren't All-Stars. He's, simply, engraved there. Garnett+James, well, who's protesting? Pick your poison, baby!
Center: Fanfare, Mr. Dwight Howard. He's a lock here. His Magic are one of the biggest pluses of the season, he blocks and rebounds like a beast (Did you see his rebounds-average?). Any Kidd's lob that is thrown towards the hoop is gonna end up in Howard's hands and... smashed home. Of the five players mentioned, KG is the first (735,664), the next in rankings are LBJ (597,768), DH (596,187), DW (470, 921) and JK (343, 468). The closest challenger for Eastern starting slot is Vince Carter (G) with 277,705, but Kidd is safe, I suppose.
Bench: Here is a place where I got a chance to pick my favorites. /Rules: A) I'm picking my favorite stars, B) they gotta perform on the high level so far. We need seven players and I don't care if I have, e.g. seven substitute-guards in the end./ Paul Pierce have to be here, because at least two of Boston's three stars should be in their East jerseys. I prefer PP over Ray Allen. Michael Redd gets my vote as a second sub. He's stepped up his game this season, he's not just a shooter anymore. My floor leader here is, maybe stunningly, Jamaal Tinsley - he leads the black horse of East, Pacers. His off-court adventures? Let it be, he's alive. Caron Butler (:TOUGH JUICE:) should be invited, I have him over Antawn Jamison, their Wizards fight nicely without Agent Zero. At least one fella of Raptors and Pistons will be in New Orleans, my gut feelings are Chris Bosh (I'm not a big fan of him, though) & Chauncey Billups looks like the safest bet of Detroit's big four. If you're scoring at home, we have Tinsley, Billups, Redd, Pierce, Butler and Bosh. The last player would be... wait a minute... one of the big men gotta be my last pick, due to match-ups with West. But who? I'm biased, it's my blog, Emeka Okafor! He doesn't get enough respect and is generally underrated - he plays for Bobcats... Knicks' and Sixers' players are out of equation, Bulls are underachieving, Hawks are good and have Joe Johnson and Josh Smith is my biggest sleeper (Rashard Lewis is the other)... scratch it! JJ over Billups even if that leaves Detroit with no invitee. Honorable omission: Rich Jefferson.
Finally, if I had to pick/predict players, this is my Eastern conference squad, coached by Doc Rivers:
Guards: Kobe Bryant is the best vote-getter from Western conference so far (569,302), meaning that he's gonna be there no matter what. For many people, he's the most fascinating player to watch in the association. And the Lakers aren't that bad, too. (Note: this picks are made barring no star-trade before trade deadline.) Tracy McGrady (388,959) is the second man, but I do think Steve Nash (317,091) defeats him in the finish lane. Suns are great; Stevie is created for All-Star Games.
Forwards: Carmelo Anthony (596,302) is gonna finally be there, sporting West's jersey. He can score, he can run and dunk. Plus his Nuggets are very dangerous. Not-so-surprisingly, Tim Duncan is my second forward. He's The Franchise and I'm not afraid that he eventually beats Dirk Nowitzki (443,117) here and his streak of ASG appearances continues. So we have emotional 'Melo and peaceful Timmy as West's forward force. It's all about fun, it's all for fan. (Hey, this should be NBA's new slogan!!)
Center: Mmm. Yao Ming (439,125) is simply too huge hurdle for anyone. I don't think he's good for such games like these free-wheeling ones, but it's about fans' voting and there's a lot of people in China with internet-access. Where is that Greg Oden, please. I suppose a big battle for starting center spot for 2009 ASG in Phoenix, with Yao, GO and even home Amare Stoudemire in the mix. The closest challengers for Wastern 2008 starting slots are Dirk (F), T-Mac (G) and even Allen Iverson (G) with 292,565 votes. Yao and West, good luck.
Bench: It's getting a little bit tougher here, in fact, this is my biggest dilemma since the choice between pro-Shaq's and pro-Kobe's supporters (or between my dog and Star Wars movie). I guess Chris Paul is an obvious pick, he plays excellent ball, his Hornets troops are better than ever and he's at home in Big Easy City. I reckon he's gonna be chosen by coaches. The second one would be A.I., a phenomenal baller, a great to-be-around person. And I think having him stolen from East it's very promising for West's victory. Now, I'm going with T-Mac. Why? He's better than his cousin V.C. and is a star that cannot be snubbed by head coaches. Even when his Rockets stink. (Scratch it! Tracy is out for me). One Jazz player have to be there, either Carlos Boozer or Deron Williams. It's crowded by guards, thus it'll be Booz who can be a major threat under the basket. German Dirkster plays subpar this season, however I do believe he'll pick up the slack come January and dominate a few of games for Mavs. I can't imagine a situation where Nowitzki is in Texas and Josh Howard in Louisiana during All-Star Weekend. So we have four guys. The wild cards are... Amare Stoudemire (I can't stand him, folks) - ready to dunk it, dunk it, dunk it. Hopefully he doesn't overdunk himself to death (I apologize for that jab, it's Xmas time). My semifinal decision: who from this quintet, J-Howard, D-Will, Baron Davis, Manu Ginobili or Kevin Durant? KD! He's a skilled rook and a kid, so this is his belated Xmas present. The biggest omission is BD. Final decision (and a little bit of sleeper): Brandon Roy! Sadly, Spurs have just one 2008 All-Star... Sadly, Warriors have none. Kings, Grizs, Clips & T-Wolves, as well. Honorable omission: Andy Bynum.
Finally, if I had to pick/predict players, this is my Western conference squad, coached by Mike D'Antoni:
>>> Spurs at home during these holidays
Spurs players received their best Christmas present in the summer, when the NBA released its annual schedule. No game on Christmas Eve. No game on Christmas Day. No game at all between Dec. 22 and Dec. 26, when they face Chicago at the AT&T Center. It meant Spurs could spend Christmas at home. In the NBA, it's no small luxury. Christmases in a foreign city, like the one Spurs spent in Detroit two seasons ago, are *bad, bad, bad, bad, bad,* Bruce Bowen said. *You're always wishing you could be back in San Antonio with your family,* Bowen said. *So you kind of rush through the game and try to get back home.* Chicago Bulls (without today-fired coach Skiles) must endure that kind of blue Christmas this season.
Gifts for Spurs:
Tim Duncan: a healthy body
Manu Ginobili: a healthy index finger
Tony Parker: healthy ankles
Bruce Bowen: a knock on wood
Mike Finley: a steady jumpshot
Brent Barry: a healthy calf
Cisco Elson: a healthy right foot
Fabio Oberto: a good dose of southamerican food
Jacque Vaughn: a day without caring about hoops
Matt Bonner: a dinner with family
Ime Udoka: a PlayingTime-Increaser
Robert Horry: a dunk with no. 25
Ian Mahinmi: some French wine
Darius Washington: good games in D-League
Gregg Popovich & his staff: no work
Merry Christmas, hoops fans!
p.s.: *i can give you a lot of things, but i can't give you pride and heart,* said isiah thomas.
p.s.2: knicks turned /mike/ dunleavy into larry bird, the player, not the gm. dunleavy finished with a career-high 36 points. (-marc berman)
p.s.3: hey, doesn't a /richard/ jefferson-kirilenko trade make sense for both utah and new jersey, or do i need to enter rehab for my addiction to the nba trade machine? (-bill simmons)
p.s.4: *i'm a role player,* said matt bonner with a shrug. *sometimes my role is not to play.*
p.s.5: *if you don't go through these up and downs, you start to feel like you can conquer the world without ever having being tested,* said tim duncan after rudy-gay-buzzerbeater loss vs. memphis.
p.s.6: stoudemire would be only half as effective without nash feeding him cookies. (-charley rosen)
p.s.7: THANX avery johnson, no. 6! (the following blog will be about aj's legacy for me.)
Posted by Foreigner in CS - Dec 24 2007 8:00PM
Posted by Luke_Mellow at 8:00 PM