Editor’s note: Each week, one blog in the ESPN TrueHoop Network hosts the “TrueHoop Network Roundup”, pointing you towards the best work from around the Network. In honor of the All-Star rosters being released, we also got 3 TrueHoop Network writers to give their opinions on the players involved. This week, Salt City Hoops hosts. Enjoy!
Rahut Huq, Red94: Damian Lillard with Kyle Korver being a close second. Lillard playing at a near MVP level and not being able to make the midseason classic is both confounding, but also reflective of the talent glut out west. There’s a star point guard on just about every playoff team and someone was going to get left off.
Matthew Tynan, 48 Minutes of Hell: Damian Lillard has to be No. 1 on the snub list, but I’m going to throw in my support for Kyle Korver. We don’t consider guys like Korver to be “stars,” so to speak, but he bends defenses in ways only a handful of players in the league do. And while his stats aren’t necessarily mind-blowing in volume, his efficiency is freaky. You can’t even go 50-50-90 in NBA 2K (FG%-3P%-FT%).
Eddy Rivera, Magic Basketball: Damian Lillard. The problem is who do you take off the West roster? Every single player is deserving of his spot. Fans were outraged that commissioner Adam Silver selected DeMarcus Cousins over Lillard as the injury replacement for Kobe Bryant, but Cousins has had a better season. Unfortunately for Lillard, he plays in a conference where there’s more deserving players than available spots.
Rahut Huq, Red94: Probably Carmelo. I’m not one of those people who thinks you should reward the best teams at the detriment of guys on average teams who are having better years, but I do think being on a team that’s been absolutely dreadful should be disqualifying. We’re talking about a guy here who might even be shutting it down soon.
Matthew Tynan, 48 Minutes of Hell: I want to preface this with “I’m glad he’s in because the game will be more fun,” but it’s Kevin Durant. The guy had played only 21 games at the time of the selection, and while he’s one of the best two or three players on the planet, this season’s performance has been one of his least All-Star worthy, relatively speaking. I wish Cousins had been selected over Duncan and Lillard had replaced Kobe for the sake of entertainment, but I believe Durant was least deserving.
Eddy Rivera, Magic Basketball: I can’t remember the last time where I was completely satisfied with both All-Star rosters. In my opinion, there’s not one undeserving All-Star. If there’s one player that’s debatable, it’s Carmelo Anthony. I don’t think he should be penalized for being on a bad team (it’s not his fault), but if you wanted to replace him with someone like Kyle Korver (on pace for the first 50-50-90 season in league history), I wouldn’t argue.
Rahut Huq, Red94: Patrick Beverley. He’s actually been pretty bad defensively of late, but it would be nice seeing someone pick guys up 94 feet in the All-Star game. It could actually edge some edge. Maybe while we’re at it, bring Draymond Green and Tony Allen along with him and run that unit for a five minute stretch. .
Matthew Tynan, 48 Minutes of Hell: Just name your favorite gunner. I think it’d be hilarious to assemble an entire team of Dion Waiters- and J.R. Smith-types and watch them test the limits of quality shot-taking. If you’re looking for an example or a visual of what that could be like, just go back to the Waiters-Tim Hardaway, Jr., battle in the Rising Stars Challenge last season.
Eddy Rivera, Magic Basketball: Dion Waiters. Just to watch Waiters throw his hands up in the air and ask for the ball, despite being on the same court with players like Anthony Davis, James Harden, and Stephen Curry. How crazy would that be? The crazier part is that he did this in Cleveland with LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving, and continues to do it in Oklahoma City with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.