January 21, 2010
Despite a career-low scoring average of 14.4 points per game, a forgettable three-game stint with the Memphis Grizzlies, "retirement" and this unfortunate ankle moment, Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson(notes) will start for the Eastern Conference in next month's All-Star Game in Dallas.
That's the bad news.
The good news is that Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash(notes) made a late move in the polls to pass Tracy McGrady(notes) for the second guard spot in the Western Conference. As you know, the once mighty T-Mac has played only 45 minutes in six games for the Houston Rockets this season.
As for the Nash, the NBA's two-time Most Valuable Player? Oh, he's having only a career year ... at the age of 35 ... with a weird Canadian accent. No big deal.
The announcement of the 2010 NBA All-Star Game starters was made on TNT.
The starters in the East are Orlando's Dwight Howard(notes) at center, Cleveland's LeBron James(notes) (this year's leading vote-getter with 2,549,693 votes) and Boston's Kevin Garnett(notes) at forward and Miami's Dwyane Wade(notes) and Iverson in the backcourt.
The starters in the West are Phoenix's Amar'e Stoudemire(notes) at center, Denver's Carmelo Anthony(notes) and San Antonio's Tim Duncan(notes) at forward and the Lakers' Kobe Bryant(notes) and Nash at guard.
Or, if you're more of a visual person, your starting All-Stars look like so:
So, there's your starting 10. Now, what about the snubs? BDL's own Kelly Dwyer has you covered:
Chris Bosh(notes), PF, Toronto Raptors:
24 points, over 11 rebounds, a block, and low-turnover numbers like Bosh's are usually MVP-worthy, and for this Raptor big man to miss the starting lineup entirely is quite the crime. Kevin Garnett is a legend, but at 15 points per game and just 31 minutes a night spread out over 29 contests, he's nearly a shell of his former MVP self. In the East, only LeBron James has been better than Bosh this season.
Rajon Rondo(notes), PG, Boston Celtics:
To vote Allen Iverson in at any position is a pathetic enough showing for the voters that took part, but to drop Rondo (who will probably have ten times as many national TV appearances as Iverson this season) out of the starting lineup? 14 points, 9.6 assists, over four rebounds, 52.7 percent shooting and two and a half steals for Rondo this year, as the fourth-year guard continually shuts down opponents at the point guard slot.
Oh, to see a play-in game to 11 between Rondo and A.I.
Dirk Nowitzki(notes), PF, Dallas Mavericks:
This has less to do with Amar'e Stoudemire's presence in the starting lineup (though Stoudemire has not had nearly the season Dirk has) and more to do with the way the NBA sets up the voting process. Amar'e doesn't play center. Tim Duncan does, but because Duncan is still listed at power forward and Stoudemire at center, they're voted in despite a borderline archaic lineup selection of one center, two forwards, and two guards. Dirk had Duncan have had similarly brilliant seasons, and both should be starting up front.
Chris Paul(notes), PG, New Orleans Hornets:
It's safe to say that Paul is still the best point guard in the NBA, but it's also fair to point out that he hasn't had the best season of any point guard in the NBA this season, and that Steve Nash has. Paul might earn All-NBA First Team nods in May, but for now (with CP3 injured for 33 out of 41 games and gimpy for a few others), Nash deserves the starting slot. Call it a snub to-be.
Kevin Durant(notes) falls along the same lines, but his season has been so identical to Carmelo Anthony (who made the starting lineup) that it's hard to call the starting forward slot in either player's favor.