Who was biggest snub for NBA All-Star Game?

February 06, 2011

Aldridge at his best

Barry Stavro

Los Angeles Times

David Stern's addition of Kevin Love to the Western Conference All-Star team leaves Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge at the top of the list of most deserving talents who didn't make it. .

Granted, the West is heavy with talent at forward; the Grizzlies' Zach Randolph and the Lakers' Lamar Odom also were overlooked.

But Aldridge is the most deserving because he has kept the Blazers in the playoff chase for seven weeks since Brandon Roy's knees failed.

Aldridge packed on extra muscle during the offseason, and he has used it to his advantage on the court. In his fifth season, he's averaging career highs in scoring (21.2), rebounding (9.1) and minutes (39.2).

But it wouldn't be an All-Star Game if somebody wasn't left behind.

bstavro@tribune.com

Bulls depend on Deng

K.C. Johnson

Chicago Tribune

Luol Deng should be an Eastern Conference All-Star for reasons beyond the fact I cover him every day.

The biggest reason is the Bulls are 19 games over .500 and have only one All-Star in Derrick Rose. That's wrong. Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah would have drawn strong consideration if not for injuries, so Deng is the guy.

While his numbers aren't flashy, they compare favorably to Paul Pierce's and, though he plays a different position, Joe Johnson's. Deng guards multiple positions. He worked hard in the offseason to stretch his range and become an effective 3-point shooter. And he has played in every game, ranking in the top five all season in average minutes played.

He's dependable, consistent and reliable — and he should have been an All-Star.

kcjohnson@tribune.com

West needs more slots

Ira Winderman

Sun Sentinel

In the East, you can't make an argument for anyone when the "snubbed" list amounts to little more than Carlos Boozer, Josh Smith, Andrew Bogut and Raymond Felton.

In the West, the glaring omission was Kevin Love before he was selected as an injury replacement for Yao Ming.

Beyond that, LaMarcus Aldridge has almost singlehandedly kept the Trail Blazers afloat; the Spurs could merit a third All-Star in Tony Parker in light of their league-best record; and can you have an All-Star Game without Steve Nash?

Fortunately, David Stern got to remedy the Love omission. What needs to follow is Carmelo Anthony getting traded to the East in advance of the All-Star Game to open another slot.

iwinderman@tribune.com

It all points to Nash

Zach McCann

Orlando Sentinel

Suns point guard Steve Nash is averaging 16.7 points and 11.0 assists, numbers that aren't far off his MVP seasons of 2004-05 and 05-06. He's a better shooter than any other point guard, posting a true shooting percentage of 63.7 percent, and he's doing it with an underwhelming supporting cast.

Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook are deserving of the honor, but Nash's play should afford the West to carry four point guards.

If the Spurs' Tim Duncan can get the All-Star nod over the more deserving Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge based on reputation alone, why isn't Nash, 37, afforded the same luxury?

Is winning percentage to blame? Is it Nash's fault his team no longer has Amare Stoudemire, Raja Bell and Shawn Marion?

zmccann@tribune.com

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