The NBA announced its reserves Thursday night for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game which will take place in New Orleans on February 16. There was a big debate on who would make the all-star team and now we finally know. After seeing these names, there is sure to be more debating as some of these names definitely don't belong on the list. There are other players who are much more deserving, but got snubbed by the coaches around the NBA.
Here is a list of the Eastern Conference reserves:
Chris Bosh, DeMar DeRozan, Roy Hibbert, Joe Johnson, Paul Millsap, Joakim Noah, John Wall
Congratulations to DeMar DeRozan who becomes the Raptors' first all-star since Chris Bosh in 2009-2010. He is also just the fourth Raptor in franchise history to be named an all-star (Bosh, Vince Carter, Antonio Davis). DeRozan leads the Raptors with a career-high 21.8 points per game and ranks 11th overall in the NBA. He is also averaging career-highs in rebounds (4.7), assists (3.6) and steals (1.2). DeRozan has been a huge part of the Raptors' success so far and is definitely deserving of being an all-star.
Now that the congratulations are out of the way, it's time to focus on what really matters here. The fact that Kyle Lowry didn't make the all-star team is ridiculous. Anyone who watches the Raptors will tell you that Lowry is the heart and soul of the team. He lays it on the line each and every night and is their catalyst. For those who say DeRozan or anyone else has been leading this team, stop looking at the box score. Yes, the Raptors' success comes from great team play but it all starts at the point guard position with Lowry. He puts his teammates in the best position to succeed and provides intensity and energy on both sides of the court.
Lowry leads the NBA in charges drawn and offensive fouls drawn. Standing at just 6'0 tall, he's often the smallest guy on the court, but he has the biggest positive impact for this team. He is tied for fifth in the NBA with 114 made three pointers, while still shooting it at 40.6% behind the arc. He is eighth in the NBA at 7.6 assists per game. He is sixth in the NBA in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.39. He ranks 15th in the NBA in steals averaging 1.6 per game.
Lowry has recorded 10 double-doubles this season and one triple-double. Since truly being handed the keys to the team after the departure of Rudy Gay, Lowry has taken the team to a whole new level. The Raptors are 18-9 since Gay left the team. They currently hold a three game lead over the Brooklyn Nets on top of the Atlantic Division and sit third in the Eastern Conference. Since the team has been without Gay, Lowry is averaging 18.4 points per game, 8.3 assists per game, and 4.9 rebounds per game. His numbers have increased, his leadership role has increased and overall the Raptors' record has increased.
So many players make the all-star team based on their name alone. Their previous accomplishments in other years seem to somehow carry over and everyone thinks they are having an all-star year when that is certainly not the case.
Dwyane Wade has missed 13 games this season and is putting up average numbers, but thanks to the fans he got voted in as a starter.
Chris Bosh is averaging 16.9 points per game and 6.7 rebounds per game. Has he been Miami's second best player this year? Maybe. But that doesn't mean he should be a lock to make the all-star team. There are some nights where Bosh is absent and it looks like he isn't even in the game. Bosh has made the all-star team each year since 2005 and it seems as if he is a lock to make it no matter what he does on the court.
Joe Johnson also made it based on past success. The Brooklyn Nets have a losing record at 20-23. They are seventh in the Eastern Conference. Johnson is averaging 15.7 points per game, 3.4 rebounds per game and 2.8 assists per game. This is the lowest scoring total of his career since 2002-2003. He has gone 10 games this season failing to score in double-digits, including a five-game span in December-January. All-star calibre? Not by a long shot.
Since Wade was voted in by the fans, there is nothing we could have done about that. However, the coaches had a chance to put Lowry on the all-star team, but chose otherwise. Lowry has better numbers than Bosh and Johnson. He has had a bigger impact to his team than Bosh and Johnson. But since he's not a consistent all-star each year and he plays with a certain type of intensity, he doesn't get the respect he deserves.
The fact that Kyle Lowry didn't make this year's all-star team is absolutely ridiculous. Even Lance Stephenson of the Indiana Pacers is more deserving than half of the people on the list. Nonetheless, the decision has been made and we must deal with it.
Let's hope this all-star snub fuels Lowry and helps him play even better than he is playing now. Let's hope it makes everyone regret not choosing him to be an all-star as he leads the Raptors to the playoffs for the first time in six years.
Kyle, you are our all-star and just know that we appreciate what you do on and off the court. Keep up the hard work and go out there and show people what they missed out on.
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