Los Angeles Times
It's hard to come off the bench and get an All-Star nod. Example: James Harden, overlooked with the Thunder, but an obvious All-Star starting for the Rockets. It's the same for Clippers shooting guard Jamal Crawford. An ex-Sixth Man of the Year winner, he's likely to get that award again this season.
He has been so good off the bench that Crawford is second in scoring on the team. And it has meant the Clippers' starters usually only have to play even with the opposition before their bench, led by Crawford, outscores the other team's reserves.
He ha scored 50 or more points three times in his NBA career. So if a player on the West team is sidelined, send Crawford to the All-Star show because he puts the ball in the hole.
Considering the NBA deems it worthy to annually name a Sixth Man Award winner, perhaps it's time to put the same considerations into the selection process for All-Stars.
Instead, it tends to come down to those with the biggest numbers, numbers difficult to attain for those playing off the bench. This should have been the season for such a market correction with Jamal Crawford, who is playing as the quintessential sixth man for the Clippers, a team that has thrived, in large part, due to its depth.
But because there are All-Star delineations in both the fan and coach voting when it comes to starters and reserves, perhaps there should be the same consideration for the non-starting set.
Warriors point guard Stephen Curry should've been selected to the Western Conference's All-Star team.
He's the best player on a team that was in fifth place in the Western Conference standings when the All-Star reserves were named. Curry also was averaging 20.9 points per game — in the top 10 among all NBA players — and was averaging 6.6 assists per game.
You want a great shooter? He had made 45.1 percent of his 3-point attempts, an absurdly high accuracy rate.
Curry, 24, always had been considered one of the most talented players at his position, but now that he's healthy, he's fulfilling that promise.
There are other prominent All-Star snubs, but Curry does as much for his team than any of them.
The knock on Brook Lopez used to be he didn't rebound. He's rebounding. The knock on the Nets used to be they didn't win. They're winning.
Every year, there are strong cases for All-Star snubs. This year, Lopez is the biggest — and not just because he's 7 feet. After two down years, Lopez is rebounding at 7.3 per game in just 29 minutes. The Nets' offense functions more efficiently when Lopez is on the court.
His 52 percent shooting speaks to his efficiency. Lopez ranks in the league's top 10 in points-per-minutes, another testament to his offensive efficiency.
It's tough for people to accept the Nets as legitimate given the franchise's history. However, they appear to be for real. And this season, so is Lopez.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun