Three Guys Who Should be All Stars

We are just a quarter of the way through this strange 2014 NBA season and it has come that time again to select this year’s All Stars. I thought I should create another poll asking people who they thought would be most deserving of being an All-Star this season out of a list with some impressive names.

All-Star Poll

As I expected, Klay Thompson was the fan favorite, as it seems the Warriors are everybody’s favorite team. However, no one player had a huge lead on any other. I finally made a poll that had reasonably competitive ratings.

So we know what the fans think, but who else should be thrown in alongside some of the other All-Stars this season?

DeMarcus Cousins

Frontcourt – Western Conference

DeMarcus Cousins has continued to improve his game since joining the league out of the prestigious University of Kentucky. Yet, despite his tremendous play in recent years, he has yet to win any major award. This year should finally be his chance to start building up that resume of his with not only a selection to the All Star team, but as a STARTER.

If it weren’t for breakout years from Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol, Cousins would be unanimously considered the league’s best center. Dwight Howard has been too inconsistent and before that and Joakim Noah seems to have slipped a bit this year (if he was even in the conversation before). Not only is Cousins in the top three rankings, you could make a very strong argument that he could be the #2 guy. (I can’t make any reasonable argument that would place Cousins over Davis.) It is true that Marc Gasol is the best player on a more successful team than Cousins, but his stats are nowhere close to those of Cousins.

Cousins currently stands at a solid second in terms of efficiency this year, with a rating of 27.9. (Efficiency seems to be the NBA’s new favorite stat, as the All Star voting lists players in decreasing order based upon their efficiency.) That puts him behind only Anthony Davis and well ahead of Chris Paul, who is in third. He is also tied with DeAndre Jordan for first in rebounds, at 12.6 per game, which is a whole two rebounds better than Davis. He’s also averaging 24 points per contest while putting in 51.2% of his field goal attempts. That scoring mark puts him ahead of the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge, Stephen Curry, and even Carmelo Anthony.

You get to choose three frontcourt players per conference in this year’s All Star voting. That should leave you plenty of room for DeMarcus Cousins. (Put him alongside Anthony Davis and Blake Griffin and you’ve got a solid starting frontcourt.)

Monta Ellis

Backcourt – Western Conference

The Western Conference backcourt is loaded with talent this season, and it might be tough for Monta Ellis to get into the mix. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t worthy of being there.

With the addition of Rajon Rondo, many believe the Dallas Mavericks could be on their way to the NBA Finals. If they do make it that far, it wouldn’t be because of Rondo, but rather because of the tremendous play of Monta Ellis. He is currently averaging 21.3 points per contest on just over 47% from the field. He has worked very well within his offense and has been able to score when needed and without taking away from the play of his teammates. His scoring has also continued to increase, being up over 4 points per game in the month of December compared to the months prior. Ellis has shown that he can set up his teammates well too, averaging 4.6 assists per game. His pick and roll play with Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler has been outstanding. Defenses have been continually struggling to guard Dirk’s jumpers set up by Ellis off the pick and roll or Chandler’s alley-oops, also courtesy of Ellis.

Of the two guard positions in the West, the shooting guard spot is far less competitive. I think it would be hard to put Ellis any lower than fourth at his position in the West, topped only by Kobe Bryant, Klay Thompson, and James Harden (Harden being the clear leader). There should be plenty of room to get Ellis into the All-Star game, as long as there isn’t a ridiculously large amount of point guards that fill up the shooting guard spots.

Dwyane Wade

Backcourt – Eastern Conference

Dwyane Wade didn’t quite get the respect that I feel he deserved from the voters on my poll. In fact, a lot of people even said he shouldn’t be an All-Star at all! I have to disagree with them.

Dwyane Wade may be the most unappreciated player in the league today. It seems that nobody truly realizes how well Wade is producing for his team. He is currently averaging 22.8 points per game, but that’s not the impressive part. As a shooting guard, (a position known for volume shooters that take lots of shots to score points) he is shooting nearly 52% from the field. Of the top 50 scorers in the league, only two are shooting a higher percentage than Wade, and only Anthony Davis has a higher percentage and more points per game. It is obvious that Wade has lost the explosiveness that he was once known for, but that comes with age. The impressive part is how he is still managing to produce without his supreme athleticism. Alongside his high-efficiency scoring, Wade also pitches in with 5.5 assists per game, showing how he can help facilitate the offense while still scoring.

About the only weaknesses in Wade’s game today is his outside shooting and his injury problems. Other than that, he might just be the most complete player in the game today. Being that he’s in the much-less-competitive Eastern Conference, I would be shocked if he doesn’t crack the All-Star lineup. He should even be a starter, but that’s all in the hands of the fans voting him in.

My Starters

I’m not sure why the NBA allows fans to vote for the starters for the All-Star game (it should all be selected by the coaches), but hey, if I get a say, I might as well use it. Here’s my picks:

My All-Star Starters

I’ll probably get a lot of hate for putting Chris Paul over Stephen Curry in the West, but this is my honest opinion.

What do you guys think? Who do you think is worthy of being an All Star this season?

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