Congrats, Andrea. You’re my 2012 mancrush. I can see how happy you are.
When the NBA All-Star ballot came out last week, after barely a week of basketball, twitter was abuzz- with the most popular topic seemingly being how a vast majority of the players on it had no business being there.
And in a strike-shortened season, we have seen..well..some pretty bad basketball. And trust me, I’m not even considering the Wizards in the pretty bad basketball category. No, they get a category all their own (I think I have to copy John Hollinger from ESPN and put them in their own “complete trainwreck of cluelessness” category).
But among all the poor individual play, and some poor team play, there has been some standout play, in a good way, as well.
So while many have discussed and argued why some guys even made it onto the All-Star ballot, I thought it’d be fun to name the guys that not only belonged on it, but would be starting on the teams as well (spoiler alert/another chance to poke fun: no Wizards made my list).
PG Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics (14.8ppg, 10.5apg, 5.1rpg)
Rondo has been outstanding. He has at least 12 assists in 5 of his first 8 games and already has a triple double in the books (shocker- against the Wizards).
First alternate- Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls (19.7ppg, 8.4apg, 3.4rpg)
SG Ray Allen, Boston Celtics (20.7ppg, 3.7 3’s/game)
The old man still has it, in a big way. The SG position (unless you get fancy with the PG/SG hybrids) is a little weak so far, and I think Allen has lead the way with his downtown dominance.
First Alternate- Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia 76ers (14.0ppg, 6.5rpg, 4.1apg)
SF LeBron James, Miami Heat (30.7ppg, 7.6rpg, 7.6apg)
If you need an explanation on this one, you’ve never watched one second of basketball your entire life.
First alternate- Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks
PF Andrea Bargnani, Toronto Raptors (23.7ppg, 6.7rpg)
My personal 2012 man-crush, Bargnani is finally starting to prove his worth as former #1 overall pick. He’s scored less than 20 only twice so far this year and is coming off a 31 point night. The next Dirk?
First alternate- Josh Smith, Atlanta Hawks
C Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic (18.6ppg, 14.6rpg)
In a young season, Dwight is coming off a 5 point, 4 rebound night. And he STILL averages 18.6 points and 14.6 rebounds. He’s already had 3 games of at least 20 rebounds and 3 more of at least 15. If this is an audition for another team, it’s off to a good start. Plus, the game is in Orlando so if he’s still on the Magic- this will be the lock of the century.
First alternate- Chris Bosh, Miami Heat
PG Kyle Lowry, Houston Rockets (15.3ppg, 10.0apg, 6.2rpg)
Maybe my toughest choice, but I had to give the nod to Lowry after his all-around stellar start. He’s only played 6 games, but in those games he filled up the stat sheets. He’ll need to keep pace with the likes of Monta Ellis (see below) and Russell Westbrook once he’s healthy again, but if he keeps being the do-it-all guy for the Rockets he has a chance.
First alternate- Monta Ellis, Golden State Warriors
SG Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers (27.6ppg, 6.1apg, 5.8rpg)
What wrist problem? I don’t know what part of the off-season drama has him in full-blown black mamba mode, but it’s not good for the rest of the league. He’s shoot a lot, and fully admitting it, but he’s producing. He’s scored 26 points or more in 8 of his first 10 games. Does anybody think he’s slowing down?
First alternate- James Harden, Oklahoma City Thunder
SF Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder (25.7ppg, 6.5rpg)
The leagues best and most effortless scorer, you can basically pencil Durant’s name in this spot for the next 10 years. Actually, might as well use pen.
First alternate- Danilo Gallinari, Denver Nuggets
PF Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves (24.0ppg, 14.9rpg)
The best power forward in the NBA? It’s what many are saying, and the numbers don’t lie. Before his 13 point, 14 rebound performance last night, Kevin Love had at least 20 points and 12 rebounds in EVERY GAME. He’s slimmed down and his game has beefed up.
First alternate- LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers
C Andrew Bynum, Los Angeles Lakers (18.8ppg, 15.7rpg)
Is this what a healthy, motivated Bynum looks like? Yikes. After sitting out the first four games of the season, 12 rebounds is his season LOW. In just his third game of the season, he scored 21 points and grabbed 22 points against the Rockets.
First alternate- Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers