With the NBA All-Stars being announced recently, it opens up the inevitable discussion as to who was left off the squad. Every year a number of deserving players don’t make the cut. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of too much talent in their conference at a particular position. But other times, there can be some real shocks. Veteran players will sometimes get the nod over rookies, just as more established stars, or All-Star game regulars, will sometimes get picked over new blood.
Everyone has a player they believe should have made the cut. Let’s take a look at eight players that didn’t make the team:
- Kyle Lowry (Raptors): He’s averaging 16.8 PPG and 7.6 APG, and the Raptors are leading the Atlantic Division with a 25-21 record, which is good for third-best in the East. It’s possible that DeMar DeRozan‘s selection may have hurt Lowry’s chances. His biggest competition for a reserve spot was Kyrie Irving, who was named to the team.Irving’s numbers are 21.6 PPG, and 6.1 APG, for a bad Cavaliers squad.
- DeMarcus Cousins (Kings): Cousins ranks 10th in the NBA in scoring with an average of 22.6 PPG and is sixth in rebounding at 11.6 RPG. It’s possible that his negative reputation amongst coaches played a part in him not being selected. The argument can be made his numbers are more impressive than reserve Dirk Nowitzki, who is putting up 21.8 PPG, and 6.2 RPG.
- Anthony Davis (Pelicans): Davis missed out on a Western Conference All-Star berth because he’s 20 years old and his team is not very good, writes James Herbert of SB Nation.com. Davis has put up impressive stats this season, averaging 20.4 PPG, 10.4 RPG and a league-leading 3.3 BPG. His numbers compare very favorably to reserves Nowitzki and Blake Griffin, who is averaging 23.0 PPG, and 9.7 RPG. Griffin is obviously a bigger attraction, thanks to his athleticism and dunks.
- Goran Dragic (Suns): Dragic is averaging 19.7 PPG and 6.1 APG for the Suns, who are one of the NBA’s biggest surprise teams. He’s also kept the Suns in the hunt after the injury to Eric Bledsoe. His biggest competition was from reserve Tony Parker, who is averaging 18.1 PPG and 6.2 APG.
- Al Jefferson (Bobcats): Jefferson is averaging 19.3 PPG and 10.5 RPG, for the eighth-seeded Bobcats. His competition came from reserve Joakim Noah, who is averaging 11.7 PPG, and 11.4 RPG, for the Bulls.
- Lance Stephenson (Pacers): Joe Johnson made the team with averages of 15.6 PPG, 3.3 RPG, and 2.8 APG for a bad Nets team. Stephenson plays for the team with the best record in the league, and is putting up 14.2 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 5.4 APG. Dwyane Wade might not play, which could possibly open up a spot for Stephenson.
- Mike Conley (Grizzlies): Conley is stuck in a conference with a wealth of talent at point guard. His numbers of 18.0 PPG, and 6.3 APG are comparable to Tony Parker‘s.
- Arron Afflalo (Magic): Afflalo plays for a bad team, which definitely hurt his chances. His numbers of 20.0 PPG, 4.3 RPG, and 3.7 APG compare well against the previously mentioned Joe Johnson‘s.
So which of these players do you think got the rawest deal in not being named to the All-Star team? There aren’t enough spots for every worthy player, but the case can be made for a number of players on this list to be on the team over their counterparts. Sound off in the comment section below with your thoughts.