Last night, the NBA revealed the rest of its 2013 All-Star Teams, adding some reserves to go to the already-announced starters. As always, there are some nice stories - oh look, Tim Duncan's going for the 14th time while Jrue Holiday and Kyrie Irving each got their first bid!
It would be much more heartwarming if, you know, the rosters actually had the correct people.
According to numberFire's nERD-based power rankings, which measure's a player's overall contribution to his team through his efficiency, we can determine just who should have made the All-Star Team. I'm throwing in two caveats to be a true All-Star: you must have started at least half of your team's games (sorry Kevin Martin) or average 30 minutes per game (sorry Tiago Splitter).
We already took a look at the Eastern Conference All-Stars earlier today, and now it's the West's turn to the get numberFire treatment.
The Real-Life Starters
The Ideal Starters
|Kevin Durant||Oklahoma City Thunder||4|
|Blake Griffin||Los Angeles Clippers||3|
|Tony Parker||San Antonio Spurs||5|
|Chris Paul||Los Angeles Clippers||6|
|Marc Gasol||Memphis Grizzlies||2|
Adios Kobe, hello Tony Parker. No, that's not a typo.
Kobe Bryant was one of our top five players in the NBA for much of the year, but as the Lakers have gone downhill, so has Kobe's efficiency. While Kobe still maintains his career-high .513 effective field goal percentage (eFG%), his 6.8 total rebound percentage (TRB%) is his lowest since 1998, his 113 offensive rating (ORtg) is still below his post-Shaq heyday, and his 109 defensive rating (DRtg) is his highest since the '04-05 season. Tony Parker, meanwhile, not only has Kobe beat in each of those categories, but also in assist percentage (as to be expected from a point guard). Well, at least Kobe has the Lakers' winning rec... oh. Right.
Dwight Howard, meanwhile, might be the ultimate case of name recognition before actual basketball play this year. His TRB% has dropped over three percent from last year and is his lowest mark since his rookie year. His .573 eFG% is in fifth of his nine NBA seasons. His 17.6 percent turnover rate is the third-highest of his career His 106 ORtg is the lowest of his career. And his 101 DRtg is his highest since his sophomore season. Who is this guy again? Surely not Marc Gasol, who has him beat in every single one of these categories except for eFG%. And the guy's not even an All-Star...
The Real-Life Reserves
The Ideal Reserves
|Russell Westbrook||Oklahoma City Thunder||3|
|James Harden||Houston Rockets||1|
|Tim Duncan||San Antonio Spurs||14|
|Kobe Bryant||Los Angeles Lakers||15|
|Serge Ibaka||Oklahoma City Thunder||2|
|David Lee||Golden State Warriors||2|
|Zach Randolph||Memphis Grizzlies||2|
I have to hand it to the NBA, they did a halfway decent job picking the West roster at least. The only other possible case that I could have made is Kenneth Faried over David Lee; Faried missed my cut-off point by half a minute per game.
But there's one clear snub on our Western reserves roster: Serge Ibaka. On our list, he would even make it in over David Lee: he's been that good. Let's do a nice blind test to see which player you'd rather have.
|Player||eFG%||ORB%||TRB%||Block %||Turnover %||ORtg||DRtg|
It has to be Player B, right? Especially considering that Player B doubles Player A's block percentage and is more efficient with both offensive and defensive rating, this shouldn't even be a battle. The only statistic where Player A excels is not turning the ball over.
Congratulations LaMarcus Aldridge, you can hold onto the ball with the best of them. Now here's an All-Star bid because of it?
I can kind of, maybe, possibly understand if the All-Star Committee didn't want to load the team up with Thunder and Spurs players. They're within their rights. I mean it's not like over half of the East roster is from the Heat, Knicks, and Celtics (whoops).
There are only two major snubs on the Western side, but both Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka have a major reason to complain for a trip to Houston.
Three Two Most Confusing Western Conference All-Stars
2. Dwight Howard
1. LaMarcus Aldridge
Three Biggest Western Conference All-Stars Snubs
3. Stephen Curry
2. Serge Ibaka
1. Marc Gasol