By Aaron Tobinhess

Thursday night, February 3, 2011, the NBA All Star reserves were named before the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic contest.

No real surprises for the Eastern Conference as all four Boston Celtics deserved to be selected; even the biggest tool and third wheel in the league deserved a nod as well. I am a big Knick fan but any one who really thinks that Raymond Felton is more deserving than Joe Johnson is crazy. Look at Felton’s numbers for the last month. To quote Denise Green, he is who we thought he was. (an average point guard whose numbers look better playing in D’antoni’s system).

After a commercial break, the Western Conference reserves were named. Manu Ginobili, Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams,  and Dirk Nowitzki were all very deserving. That leaves only three spots left.  Blake Griffin, Pau Gasol and Tim Duncan. WTF? Really? No Kevin Love? Is that a joke? The only guy since Moses Malone to average 20 points and 15 rebounds a game (that happened 25 years ago by the way) not being selected by the coaches? Really?

Now I understand that teams with the best records will get multiple All-Star selections. Teams should be rewarded for having great seasons and, in the end, sports are all about wins and losses.  Shitty teams will not get recognized at the NBA’s mid season classic. That’s just the way it is. However, when a player, no matter how garbage his team may be, does something so extraordinary, he must be rewarded. This season, that man is Kevin Love. He is averaging 21 points and 15 rebounds a game and has had a double-double in every game since early November. In addition, he is shooting 40 percent from three-land this season; just ridiculous.

The Western Conference is loaded with talent this season, and guys like Monte Ellis, LaMarcus Aldridge, Steve Nash, Tony Parker and Zach Randolph are all having great season and would have been all-stars in the Eastern conference, but Kevin Love is having a better season than all of them. His biggest problem is that he plays in Minnesota, the Siberia of the NBA, according to Bill Simmons. The team is so bad, and the fact that he goes out and busts his ass every night for a shit team that has no chance to win is pretty amazing. It is not his fault his GM drafted two point guards back to back in the draft; neither of which were Steph Curry or Brandon Jennings and signed Darko for 20 million dollars (the outrage). It is not his fault that his second best player is a druggie castoff exiled from Miami. It is not his fault that his team can not seem to play a full four quarters and actually close out a game.  It is not his fault the Wolves have about 6 average small forwards on the roster that can not hit threes. What Kevin Love is doing this season is remarkable.

The only argument against Love is that he gets sick numbers for a bad team. That might be true for scoring numbers, but definitely not rebounding numbers. Rebounding, something that I am allergic to, is all about smarts and hustle. He would put up monster rebounding numbers on any team.  He would grab 12 rebounds a game if he played for the Lakers. His rebounding numbers since he has gotten into the league have been off the charts (over 13 rebounds a game per forty minutes each of his first two years where he didn’t get nearly enough minutes). Lastly, why doesn’t that argument hold true for Blake Griffin?  The Clippers suck too and Love has better numbers than Griffin (for the record, I think Griffin is the one of the five best power forwards in the NBA and definitely deserves to be in the game, but so is Love).

In addition to his sick rebounding stats, his offensive game has gotten better. He has nice post moves and has a great pick and roll/ pick and pop game. Did I mention he is hitting forty percent from three this season?  He has three 30 point-20 rebound games. No one else in the league has one, and still this guy isn’t an all star?  In Reggie Miller’s voice, are you kidding me?

Love’s candidacy begs the question, who on the Western Conference should you knock off? The Spurs are 40-8 going into tonight’s game so they have to have 2 guys right? Parker loses out because the plethora of great points guards in the West, even though he is the second most deserving Spur.  Tim Duncan doesn’t even play 30 minutes a game. He is averaging 14-9 this season.  He is not an all-star this year; and I don’t care how good the Spurs are this year and how great Duncan has been over his career. You can make the argument that the Gary Neal, DeJuan Blair, George Hill combo is just as valuable as Duncan this year (I do not believe that but still). Anyone playing under 35 minutes a game isn’t an all-star.  As Charles Barkley says, “this isn’t a lifetime achievement award”.  Cynics would then argue, but KG and Duncan have the same numbers and no one questions KG’s selection. KG ISN’T BLOCKING A GUY AVERAGING 20+-15 FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1982-1983.

The second guy I would question is Pau Gasol.  Let me be clear, Pau Gasol is tremendously skilled.  He has all the tools, but he is so grossly overrated this season. He plays like such a pansy and disappears in the fourth quarters of games.  Gasol defenders will claim that Kobe dominates the ball way too much. Watch the tape of the most recent game against the Celtics. Gasol was getting pushed around by Kevin Garnett all afternoon.  If you are a superstar, you don’t get pushed around in a big game.  Superstars impose their will and are aggressive.  If Gasol was really a superstar, he would demand the ball late in games.  And, this is for all the Celtics fans out there; if KG doesn’t get hurt 2 years ago (an injury that takes two full years to heal) and Perkins doesn’t get hurt in game seven last year, The Celtics could have easily gone for a three-peat, which means Gasol is just another talented, all-star level player and not a “superstar” (which he has proved he isn’t). Plus, he hasn’t been the Lakers second best player this season.  That honor goes to Lamar Odom; another all-star snub. Back to Love though. There is no doubt he would still grab 11-12 rebounds a game if he played for the Lakers or the Miami Heat.  Now if he played with either of those teams, he would not get as many shots and score as many points, but he would still average 17 a game. 17-12 is better than Gasol and Chris Bosh this year.

The reality is that Yao Ming was voted by the ten million Chinese people who don’t watch basketball and is out with an injury.  That opens a spot for another All-Star selection. David Stern can rectify the situation by selecting Kevin Love as a replacement and start Duncan (legacy) at Center. NBA, please show this man some Love.

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Comments
  1. JNN says:

    Stern’s going to pick Bynum unfortunately, because he’s on a winning team and because he is a true center and because he is the only one that can really match up with Howard. I really think Aldridge is a bigger snub. Right now, he’s the best player on a winning team.

  2. JNN says:

    Also, stupid Chinese people.

  3. aaron says:

    If that were the case. I am done with the NBA. Bynum was hurt for most of the first part of season. That would be a terrible choice. Plus Duncan and Gasol can play Center if needed. Love has to be the pick by stern

  4. Micah says:

    Looks like you got your wish…

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