NBA All-Star reserves will be announced Thursday and whether it was his way of declining an invitation to play before even being invited, actually being self aware or some combination of both, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki says he doesn't deserve to be an All-Star.
"Averaging whatever, 15, 16 points, I don't think you should be an All-Star," Nowitzki said. "But we'll just have to wait and see. I think there is a lot of great young talent in this league that deserves to go. I think LaMarcus Aldridge has been stiff the last couple of years. He's a great young player, fun to watch. You know Blake and Love are playing great. There is a lot of talent at my position."
So Dirk doesn't think he should be an All-Star and I probably agree with that. He's right that Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge both deserve the nods over him. Coaches are supposed to pick two guards, two forwards, a center and two wild cards. Paul Milsap is playing better than Dirk and Utah is playing about as well as Dallas and there's still a guy like Pau Gasol. So Dirk being left off the All-Star team wouldn't be the biggest crime.
Here's another all-time great who is likely to be left off the All-Star team: San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan. Duncan is doing about what he did last season, averaging 13.8 ppg and 8.2 rpg. He is playing a minute less this season. Duncan's PER sits at 21.51 right now, which is better than Gasol, but not nearly as good as Paul Milsap. So just going by numbers, it's tough to see Duncan getting an All-Star forward nod.
Here's where it gets interesting. Picking two forwards and a center are more guidelines than set rules. So instead of selecting a back up center, they can take an extra power forward. Enter Tim Duncan who a ton of people consider a center anyways. Duncan's real competition at center is Memphis center Marc Gasol. Gasol is averaging 15.1 ppg, 10.2 rpg and 2.2 bpg. However, Gasol is playing 38 minutes per game compared to Duncan's 27.5 mpg. Duncan's PER is actually two points higher than Gasol's. Duncan's per 36 minute numbers blow Gasol's out of the water.
So is Duncan an All-Star? It's tough to say. If he makes it I'm sure people will say it's legacy pick. I don't know if that's a bad thing. Duncan's also been on a tear lately. In his last four games he's averaging 19 points and 12 boards, in his last ten it's 16 points and 10 boards a game. That's not terrible. Don't be completely surprised Spurs fans if Duncan's name is announced on the NBA on TNT Thursday night.
No way is Duncan an All-Star. Not even close. His numbers are solid, especially playing only 27.5 mpg. But Love and Aldridge are much more deserving. The real question is; do you give the nod to TP over Kyle Lowry?
TP definitely deserves it over Lowry. No disrespect to Lowry because he has had a great season, but Tony has been terrific for us this season. At least one Spur should make the All-Star game and I think it has to be Tony Parker.
@Emicris I personally think it's a push. Lowry has Parker beat in rebs., steals, assists, and 3p%. Parker has better fg%, TOs and pts. and his team has the better record. Depending on which efficiency rating you use, you could go with either. Parker also has the legacy vote in his favor. Who know's?; maybe they'll both make it.
@Enzo the Baker did you read the article? he's saying he could get the nod as back up center not a power forward over Love and Aldridge
@denso I didn't actually. That's a good point, but it would be hard to take him over Gasol, going against what is trationally done in the selection process.
@Enzo the Baker yeah I agree with you there... also even though Duncan's PER is higer, It's not about what your capable of doing, it's what you've done. Gasol has played the minutes and played well
I won't be surprised if Duncan makes it, especially since he made it last season. And the funny thing is that he's averaging better numbers this season than last season.