On Thursday the NBA announced who would be supporting the NBA All-Stars in a bench role for the upcoming game in Charlotte. There were a good amount of names that we expected to see on the reserves list, like Nikola Jokic, Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons, and Blake Griffin to name a few. But with the obvious names were some names that left NBA fans and media questioning if they got it right. Players like LaMarcus Aldridge, Nikola Vucevic, and Klay Thompson seem to be the popular players being swapped out in theoretical moves to the roster.
Do they deserve to be All-Stars? Sure. They were voted by the players, media, and coaches. We could split hairs and talk about if LaMarcus Aldridge is more impactful for his team than Luka Doncic, but I don’t think any snubs are too egregious.
Instead I made a dream team of players who’s names didn’t earn the honor of being called a 2019 All Star. Here’s my All-NBA snub team.
Right out of the gate Luka set the league on fire. He has put together an impressive stat line to go along with his equally impressive on court moves like the step back three. Luka has been able to average over 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists through the first 50 games of his career. Thats more points and rebounds per game on higher efficiency than LeBron James posted through his first 50 games. Now I know thats a lofty comparison, but Luka is drawing hype from all fans around the league. The Mavericks have flipped the script from last year when they were a joke, and now are third in the NBA in road attendance. Rookies very rarely make the All-Star roster and this year is no exception. The road ahead looks bright for the future All-Star.
Last year DeRozan was named All-NBA second team as a guard, meaning that he was thought of as one of the best three or four guards in the league. This year he has changed his role due to injuries to the Spurs and has become a primary ball handler with a heavy responsibility to distribute and has done a great job. His numbers this year are very similar to last year and in some categories like assists, FG%, and rebounds, he has improved. While his usage percentage has not increased the burden for him to carry the backcourt has now that he is partners with Derrick White instead of Kyle Lowry. Early in the year the uphill battle that the Spurs faced appeared to be too much and many were saying that they should be giving up and tanking. Fast forward to today and the Spurs have the 5th seed in the difficult Western Conference and are looking like a team you don’t want to play in the first round of the playoffs. I’m crediting DeMar a good deal for the spot they’re in, and for that reason he’s gets the All-Snub nod.
What a value pick for my All-NBA snub team. I get one of the best players in the league and it’s all due to his off court shenanigans. I have a hard time believing that his “decline” is why he was skipped over. We all know the story of him in Minnesota this year, and I do understand that a player that seems to be toxic shouldn’t be rewarded as one of the best players. But guys, its Jimmy Butler. Per 36 minutes Jimmy is averaging 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists; the same figures as last year. His defensive numbers? All improved. He is allowing less points per 100 possessions than last year, while creating more steals, and getting more blocks. You don’t need a locker room guy for the All-Star game. You need the best players, and Jimmy is just that.
The Clippers forward was victim of the Western Conference. It’s not his fault that there were 9 front court players in the west that averaged over 20 points and 7 rebounds. It’s almost impossible to pass all time greats like LeBron and Durant. Then you have to get through a field that is littered with MVP candidates like Anthony Davis, Paul George, and Nikola Jokic. Tobias isn’t that kind of player, at least not yet. This offseason Tobias turned down a $80 million extension that would have made him a Clipper for an additional four years and we are starting to why he was willing to bet on himself. The sharpshooting wing is 8th in the league in three point percentage among all players that have made 100 or more shots this season per NBA.com.
There is more than just one great wing in LA this season. Keep an eye out for Tobias Harris.
No All-Star snub made more news than Rudy Gobert. Within two days of the announcement there was an interview in which he was so emotional that he was brought to tears, he got in a social media back in forth with Draymond Green, and had a heart to heart on the court with 8x and honorary All-Star Vince Carter. All this is a bit unfair to Rudy since his success and impact is greatly noticed on the defensive end, but is rather average on the offensive end. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year doesn’t have flashy stats but unfortunately you need stats to back up your play on the court when we are talking about the absolute best. He is among the best in the league at getting blocks, but is that enough to say your elite? The All-Star voters said no.
We hear so much about All-Stars demanding trades and wanting to team up, but what would happen if these five teamed up to form the ultimate snub team? Would they win 50 games? 60 games? Could they make a deep playoff run? Let us know what you think on twitter.