In all actuality, I can really give a horse’s ass who starts the NBA All-Star Game, but I’m itching to talk some sports, so here’s my attempt.
We’ll look a little closer to home at the Eastern Conference. It’s about as big a joke as there is in sports with just five of the 15 teams above the .500 mark and two of them are just a game over (I’m looking at you Chicago and Toronto). But at least there are some true studs putting up some huge numbers this season.
Here’s a list of the five starters for the Eastern Conference:
LeBron James, Miami Heat – King James is the best player in the league, bar none. He’s shooting 58% from the floor and averaging a conference best 26.2 points per game. Couple that with 6.9 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game and there’s no disputing that he’s a starter…anywhere on Earth.
Paul George, Indiana Pacers – Well deserved for #PaulStar. Like James, he does a lot bit of everything and is the glue that holds the NBA’s best team together. Yes, best team. At 33-8, the Pacers are a fine-tuned machine with George being a key factor. He’s averaging 23.3 ppg, 6.2 rpg, and 3.4 apg.
Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks – He better put up numbers for the lackluster Knicks, he’s the only true scorer they have (sorry, J.R. Smith). He’s third in the league in scoring (26.1 ppg) and pulls down nine rebounds per game but he refuses to play any defense. Still, he’s as good a pure scorer as there is.
Dwayne Wade, Miami Heat – Remember when Wade was thought to be on a decline? Yeah, me either. His points per game average is the lowest it’s been since his rookie season (18.9 ppg) and his rebounds and assists per game are both below his career averages, but there’s no denying this dude is a beast. He’s tops among Eastern Conference guards in shooting percentage (54%) by a wide margin.
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers – Something to look forward to in Cleveland, Irving is putting together quite a season. He’s scoring 21.7 ppg, handing out just over six assists per contest (his best numbers as a pro) and seems to be living up to the billing as #1 Draft Pick in 2011.
John Wall, Washington Wizards – If anyone has a gripe, it’s Wall. He’s averaging nearly three assists per game more than Irving despite scoring a point less per game. He’s a better rebounder and runs the point for the sixth best team in the Eastern Conference. I know, it ain’t saying much, but still, he’s a lock to be picked for the squad.
DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors – The Atlantic Division leaders (at 21-20) wouldn’t be anywhere near .500 if it weren’t for their guard’s career year. Straight outta Compton, DeRozan is putting up the best numbers of his five-year career. Is he more deserving than James, Anthony, George, or Wade? Probably not but he’s having one hell of a season and should be picked to be a reserve in the game.
Brook Lopez, Brooklyn Nets – Lopez, before getting hurt, was putting together one hell of a year. Better than 20 points per game to go along with six rebounds, he is one of just two or three centers in the Eastern Conference (Roy Hibbert being the other and maybe Marcin Gortat) who deserves a trip to New Orleans for the All-Star Game. He’ll miss the remainder of the season thanks to a broken foot suffered in a loss to Philadelphia in late December.