Ball Don't Lie - NBA

Kids, it's time to pick a point guard for the All-Star team. The way I see it, you have two choices.

This guy: 

37 minutes per game, 11.4 points on 37 percent shooting, 33.5 three-point shooting, 10.5 assists to 3.8 turnovers, 8.3 rebounds, doing his damage on a 18-23 team. Good defender.

Or this guy: 

31 minutes per game, 12.1 points on 51 percent shooting, 43.5 percent three-point shooting, 8.6 assists to 1.6 turnovers, 3.2 rebounds, doing his damage on a 23-19 team. Good defender.

It's the second guy, right? We're not crazy, especially when our basketball-lovin' mind involuntarily tries to pro-rate the second guy's stats to the first guy's 37 minutes per game. I'll do it for you: 

14.5 points, 10.3 assists, 1.9 turnovers, 3.8 rebounds. 

By now, especially considering that goofy picture at the top of this post, you've figured out that the first guy in question is Jason Kidd, and the second is Toronto's Jose Calderon.

The NBA will announce its All-Star starters today, voted on by knowledgeable fans like you and I (and, sometimes, our girlfriends at T-Mobile store with the boyfriend right next to her imploring her to punch out the little circle next to Antoine Walker's name), and Kidd is considered a shoo-in as a starter for the East.

Calderon? Not so much. Which is pathetic. He's barely being mentioned as a replacement for the All-Star bench, either. Peter May called him "a long shot" in this column today dedicated to Ray Allen's hope for the All-Star team. Ray Allen? 

Calderon's been hurt by Kidd's rebounding ability, and propensity to make the ESPN highlights with "another triple-double!" Of course, those 12-point, 11-assist, 10-rebound games (on 4-11 shooting, with four turnovers) tend to pale in comparison to Jose's 14-point, 10-assist, 3-rebound games with two turnovers and 50 percent shooting to these eyes, eyes that tend to go into these sorts of things objectively.

I mean, what's the point of Kidd's rebounds if he's starting a fast break that's going to end with him making a turnover (remember, Kidd turns it over almost two and a half times more than Calderon per game, in six less minutes), or clanging a jumper?

And don't act as if the aging Kidd has more than a negligible advantage over Calderon defensively, it's a rough way to articulate what I've seen and scouted, but I'll use the stat anyway: point guards facing Kidd average a 16.2 PER, point guards facing Calderon average a 17.8.

You'll have to spare the, "it's for the fans, and they want to see Kidd run a break for the East"-bit. Please. Unfortunately, the All-Star games of the last few years have been pretty boring, and Kidd was on the court for quite a bit of that. 

But these points are all moot. He's going to get in, nobody on the TNT set will raise a hackle tonight (in his column trumpeting Kidd for an All-Star nod, Kenny Smith pointed out that Jason "single-handedly gave Team USA credibility again." International competition. Does that mean Andrei Kirilenko gets a nod after his dominant play last summer?), and Calderon will just have to deal with it.

It doesn't make it right, though. It doesn't make it right.

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