Saturday, February 08, 2014

Three Surprising All-Star Game Absentees

The NBA All-Star game is a chance for fans to see basketball’s best players from each conference square off against one another. This televised event creates interesting story lines and great action as adversaries become teammates and offense is favored over defense.

While this concept sounds great in theory, a problem arises in that only a limited number of players can be selected each year. For many fans this means seeing their favorite team’s star player miss out on a chance to join in the fun. The 2014 All-Star game will be no different in this regard as many of the game’s best players were snubbed in the voting process. Below is a discussion of three notable players who weren’t selected for this year’s game.

Anthony Davis

For hometown fans the most disappointing absence from this year’s all-star game will surely be the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis. In just his second season, Davis is putting up numbers that warrant his consideration as one of the best players at his position. Davis is currently averaging 20.4 points and 10.5 rebounds per game and his average of 3.4 blocks leads all NBA players.

Issues that likely hurt Davis’ chances during all-star voting are his teams poor performances this season and his injuries. Davis has played in just 39 games this season and his Pelicans are sitting in the 12 spot in the Western Conference standings.

It’s a shame that these factors tend to impact player selection as they often lead to deserving players being left on the shelf. When you purchase items such as garden products or home cleaning solvents you are generally unbiased and only interested in performance. Sadly, despite the fact that Davis is one of the best performers in the league, he will be missing out this year.

Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry stands as one of the biggest letdowns in terms of All-Star voting. Statistically Lowry is one of the top players at his position as he is averaging 16.5 points, 7.5 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game. Not only has Lowry greatly surpassed his career averages in all of these categories, but his average is currently 6th in PER out of all NBA point guards. In combination with Toronto’s excellent performances this season, these statistics more than warrant a reserved role in the all-star game.

Al Jefferson

“Big Al” is in the midst of one of the best seasons in his 10 year NBA career. The Charlotte Bobcats’ big man is averaging nearly 20 points and 11 rebounds a game so far during the 2013-2014 season, as cited by ESPN. This exceeds his prior career averages and marks the fourth season in which he has averaged a double-double.

With a thin roster and Kemba Walker sidelined with an injury, Jefferson’s stellar play has Charlotte currently sitting in the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. This would mark just the second time in franchise history that the Bobcats have earned a playoff birth. Charlotte’s small market is likely a factor in Jefferson’s snub as only one other Bobcats player has been selected as an All-Star.

The aforementioned players represent three of the highest-caliber snubs for this year’s all-star game. These players will likely feel that their exclusion was unfair given the performances that they have submitted this season.