The All-Star Snubs

Editor’s Note: The following was written by Andres (Dre) Alvarez and originally posted at Nerd Numbers.  In this post, Dre reviews the players who should have – and who should not have – been named to the All-Star game (according to Wins Produced).  In addition to Dre’s discussion of “All-Star Snubs”, I would like to let everyone know about the following:

All of this writing has been offered within the past 48 hours.  So hopefully a quick tour around the Wages of Wins Network is becoming a part of your daily routine.  If you miss a day or so, you will miss a great story (or two or three or four).

One last note before we get to Dre’s coverage of the All-Star selections.  As Dre notes, my actual job is reducing how much time I have for blogging.  Currently I am scheduled to write (by myself and with a number of co-authors), at least ten papers.  These all need to be finished by the end of June.  In addition, I am also teaching more than 200 undergraduates and graduate students this semester.  I don’t plan on giving up writing for this blog and Huffington Post, but I suspect the amount I write on-line has to decline. I do want to thank everyone for making this forum a part of their day.  And hope on days I don’t post you spend a bit more time looking around The Wages of Wins Network.

I don’t know if Dr. Berri has said this in any of his posts but he is actually quite busy with real professor work and as such has let some of us bench players fill in on some his posts. That topic seems rather valid today as the NBA announced the coaches’ picks for the reserve All-Stars. The starters are picked by the fans and they may use whichever metric they choose. The coaches are not allowed to vote for their own players and as such we’d expect they’d vote for the best talents rather than their favorites. So did the coaches pick the top talents in the league or were they swayed by other factors? Let’s take a look at how the final rosters shook out and if the coaches or fans left anybody deserving at home.

Player Team Pos MP WP48 Wins Rank RB36 AST36 PT36
Chris Paul NOH PG 1791 0.398 14.9 2 4.1 9.8 17.0
Kobe Bryant LAL SG 1643 0.223 7.6 15 5.3 5.2 27.5
Kevin Durant OKC SF 1753 0.225 8.2 10 6.2 2.6 26.4
Carmelo Anthony DEN F 1472 0.126 3.9 45 8.0 3.1 24.5
Tim Duncan SAS FC 1407 0.287 8.4 8 11.5 3.7 16.7
Pau Gasol LAL FC 1838 0.263 10.1 7 10.2 3.5 17.7
Manu Ginobili SAS GF 1511 0.253 8.0 12 4.4 5.5 21.5
Blake Griffin LAC FC 1806 0.273 10.3 3 12.2 3.5 22.0
Dirk Nowitzki DAL PF 1346 0.194 5.4 25 7.2 2.6 24.2
Russell Westbrook OKC PG 1732 0.198 7.2 16 5.1 8.5 22.3
Deron Williams UTA PG 1732 0.226 8.2 11 3.5 9.0 21.0
Total/Average 1639 0.242 8.4 14 7.1 5.2 21.9

Table 1: Western Conference All-Stars. Players in bold are “suspect” picks. Rebounds, assists and points listed per 36 minutes.

Player Team Pos MP WP48 Wins Rank RB36 AST36 PT36
Derrick Rose CHI PG 1783 0.199 7.4 11 4.3 7.8 23.3
Dwyane Wade MIA G 1615 0.314 10.6 4 6.6 4.1 25.2
LeBron James MIA F 1757 0.326 11.9 2 6.7 6.9 24.5
Amare Stoudemire NYK FC 1784 0.103 3.8 31 8.5 2.6 25.3
Dwight Howard ORL C 1704 0.370 13.2 1 13.5 1.2 22.2
Ray Allen BOS SG 1720 0.213 7.6 10 3.7 3.1 17.4
Chris Bosh MIA FC 1553 0.153 4.9 22 8.3 1.9 18.8
Kevin Garnett BOS PF 1210 0.341 8.6 8 10.4 2.6 17.4
Al Horford ATL FC 1644 0.309 10.6 3 10.2 3.7 16.6
Joe Johnson ATL GF 1457 0.143 4.3 27 4.2 5.4 20.3
Paul Pierce BOS GF 1652 0.245 8.4 9 5.3 3.4 20.0
Rajon Rondo BOS PG 1379 0.305 8.8 7 4.3 12.1 10.3
Total/Average 1456 0.235 7.7 10 6.8 3.9 18.2

Table 2: Eastern Conference All-Stars. Players in bold are “suspect” picks. Rebounds, assists and points listed per 36 minutes.

The players in bold did not make the top twenty in wins produced for their conference. We see that both out East and out West the fans picked one player that had no business starting in Amare and Carmelo. When it came to rectifying the fans mistakes the coaches actually did an alright job. With the exception of Dirk, Bosh and Johnson all of the replacements were sound. Out East they may have cheated a little and just picked all of the starting Celtics minus Shaq. Dirk is not even that terrible of a pick as he is a bit rusty and was in the top twenty before falling to injury. Chris Bosh is a tad iffy as a call but again he is not far removed from the top twenty. The real question mark however is Joe Johnson. Joe Johnson is playing above average, which is exactly the kind of positive language you want to use for a max contract guard. In returning to the Yay Points! Hypothesis we see his only major distinguishing characteristic is that he hit over 20.0 points per 36 minutes. It seems coaches can be fooled by points as well.

Having seen the All-Stars themselves we should take a look at the top players in each conference and see which players missed the cut and see if we can figure out why.

Player Team Pos MP WP48 Wins RRB36 AST36 PTS36
Kevin Love MIN FC 1762 0.448 16.4 15.2 2.5 21.0
Chris Paul NOH PG 1791 0.398 14.9 4.1 9.8 17.0
Blake Griffin LAC FC 1806 0.273 10.3 12.2 3.5 22.0
Zach Randolph MEM FC 1675 0.295 10.3 13.0 1.5 19.8
Lamar Odom LAL F 1652 0.294 10.1 10.3 3.1 16.5
Steve Nash PHO PG 1488 0.326 10.1 4.0 12.1 18.3
Pau Gasol LAL FC 1838 0.263 10.1 10.2 3.5 17.7
Tim Duncan SAS FC 1407 0.287 8.4 11.5 3.7 16.7
Marcus Camby POR C 1119 0.354 8.2 14.2 2.9 7.5
Kevin Durant OKC SF 1753 0.225 8.2 6.2 2.6 26.4
Deron Williams UTA PG 1732 0.226 8.2 3.5 9.0 21.0
Manu Ginobili SAS GF 1511 0.253 8.0 4.4 5.5 21.5
Tyson Chandler DAL C 1260 0.295 7.7 11.9 0.5 13.1
Jason Kidd DAL PG 1609 0.228 7.7 5.1 9.0 8.7
Kobe Bryant LAL SG 1643 0.223 7.6 5.3 5.2 27.5
Russell Westbrook OKC PG 1732 0.198 7.2 5.1 8.5 22.3
Emeka Okafor NOH C 1586 0.216 7.1 11.3 0.6 12.3
Nene Hilario DEN FC 1347 0.239 6.7 8.6 2.5 17.8
Andre Miller POR PG 1551 0.187 6.0 4.2 8.0 14.5

Table 3: Top 20 Players out West. Possible Snubs in Bold. Rebounds, Assists and Points in Per 36 Minutes.

Player Team Pos WP48 Wins RRB36 AST36 PTS36
Dwight Howard ORL C 0.370 13.2 13.5 1.2 22.2
LeBron James MIA F 0.326 11.9 6.7 6.9 24.5
Al Horford ATL FC 0.309 10.6 10.2 3.7 16.6
Dwyane Wade MIA G 0.314 10.6 6.6 4.1 25.2
Kris Humphries NJN PF 0.350 9.3 13.0 1.6 12.5
Landry Fields NYK GF 0.283 9.1 8.0 2.1 11.2
Rajon Rondo BOS PG 0.305 8.8 4.3 12.1 10.3
Kevin Garnett BOS PF 0.341 8.6 10.4 2.6 17.4
Paul Pierce BOS GF 0.245 8.4 5.3 3.4 20.0
Ray Allen BOS SG 0.213 7.6 3.7 3.1 17.4
Derrick Rose CHI PG 0.199 7.4 4.3 7.8 23.3
Josh Smith ATL F 0.207 7.4 9.2 3.6 16.7
Andre Iguodala PHI GF 0.249 7.0 5.6 5.4 13.9
Andrew Bogut MIL C 0.230 6.7 11.7 1.9 13.4
Mike Dunleavy IND GF 0.219 6.2 6.0 2.4 14.2
Jose Calderon TOR PG 0.201 5.5 3.5 10.1 12.2
Joakim Noah CHI FC 0.286 5.3 11.5 2.6 13.7
Elton Brand PHI FC 0.150 5.1 8.9 1.5 15.5
Carlos Boozer CHI FC 0.250 5.0 11.5 2.5 22.1
Amir Johnson TOR PF 0.186 5.0 9.2 1.6 14.2

Table 4: Top 20 Players out East. Possible Snubs in Bold. Rebounds, Assists and Points in Per 36 Minutes.

I was careful to say possible snubs in the table captions. A snub is a player that should have been picked instead of more deserving players. I’ll let you guys pick at the top twenty lists to agree or disagree with who should have gotten in. I would like to list a few players I think were snubbed.

Western Conference Snubs

  • Kevin Love – Head and shoulders the best player in the league right now. He is scoring over 20 points a game on a TS% of 59.3%. He’s pulling down over 15 boards a game. I have no clue what the heck else the coaches want in a player. Epic failure by both the fans, who picked Melo over him and the coaches, who apparently are crazy.  Editor’s Note: Since Dre wrote this, Love was named to the team by David Stern as the replacement for Yao Ming.
  • Zach Randolph – Another player snubbed for players on better teams. Zach Randolph is putting up amazing numbers and has Arturo Galletti (@ArturoGalletti) saying crazy things on twitter like that the Grizzlies may actually be contenders.
  • Lamar Odom – This may inadvertently be the fault of the fans over the coaches. Lamar Odom could arguably have fit in as a small forward next to an amazing front court of Love, Griffin and Randolph. However, the fans picked two small forwards as their starters. Lamar is still a top four big out West though and definitely deserved a nod. He keeps up his streak of being underappreciated.
  • Steve Nash – He just managed to go toe to toe with Love and Howard for the month of January. Chris Paul is the undisputed top point guard but Nash is hands down the second best guard out West. The confusing thing is his scoring and assist numbers are great. The fans get a reprieve as Chris Paul was the obvious starter at PG but the coaches fail here.

In the case of Love, Randolph and Nash the players seem to suffer from not having a strong enough team. In short, the coaches don’t realize how much they need to credit these players. The same is actually true in Odom’s case. The fans and coaches agree Kobe is important and probably Gasol as well, but they may not realize how much Odom contributes on that team.

Eastern Conference Snubs

Kris Humphries – A classic story of an underrated player good at getting boards. Part of his problem is that he is not getting enough minutes. Unfortunately both coaches and fans are swayed by per game numbers and Humphries is below 10 on both points and rebounds. Looking at his per 36 numbers shows how well he’s actually been playing.

Landry Fields – Dr. Berri said Landry Fields for the hall of fame on the podcast (he may have been being sarcastic) I love Landry Fields and he belongs in this game. While he did just get his points per game to above 10 his stat line doesn’t have the classic 15.0+ points or 10+ assists that coached tend to hope for in guards. He is an amazing talent that may be partially responsible for Amare starting.    Editor’s Note: I also said Landry Fields will never be in the Hall of Fame.  The “never” part of this statement was disputed.

Josh Smith or Andre Iguodala – I list this one as a tie. If the coaches wanted a guard-forward, then Andre Iguodala was a much better choice than Joe Johnson. If the coaches wanted a Hawk then Josh Smith was a much better option. Sure, they don’t hit 20 points per game but it turns out that the game involves other things and these two players are actually quite good at them.

Out East it looks like the snubs were more forgivable than out West. David Stern will be able to name a replacement for Yao and unfortunately I don’t think he’ll be able to right all wrongs with just one pick. The clear choice is of course Kevin Love, who sadly isn’t getting much love from the fans or the coaches. Out East all I can say is that Joe Johnson gets to be part of yet another bad choice made by NBA decision makers.

-Dre

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