Western Conference All Star Explanations

All Star Starters

G James Harden – I’ll put it this way. Remember when Steve Nash won back-to-back MVPs, even though he really shouldn’t have won the second one at all (sorry Kobe, you got robbed). Well, that Mike D’Antoni and Steve Nash seven seconds or less offense in now in place with James Harden, but now it’s more like “Give Harden the ball, surround him with lethal shooters, set screens for him, and after the screen he’ll figure everything out because he’s the smartest offensive basketball player on the planet.” So yeah, not only is Harden a starter, to me he’s also the clear MVP of the league so far. He’s so good that he turned a running joke of a team from last year into a legitimate title contender. ‘Nuff said. ( But quickly, if we could give out an all star spot for GM, it’s definitely Daryl Morey, the guy’s a genius who saw this team’s offensive potential with Harden and realized that the league had shifted to 3 Point shooters. He’s a genius)

G Russell Westbrook – Once again, I’ll admit I’m what’s considered to be a “Westbrook Hater.” I think his stat line is overrated because he has poor efficiency, he racks up defensive rebounds because his bigs don’t even jump for the ball and just let him take it, and he’s just as bad of a defender as Harden, because he falls asleep everytime and lets his man get wide open. It’s just infuriating. I’m not that upset that it’s been revealed that Curry is starting over him. But why do I have him here then. Because his stat line is so much better than Curry’s and everyone else that it’s too much to ignore, and his team is winning enough. But still, this is exactly how I thought Russ’s season would go: great individual stats, slightly above mediocre team.

F Kevin Durant – To be honest, Durant is having season that’s almost as good as his MVP year. Sure, his scoring numbers aren’t as high, but 26.3 ppg on a team that’s 37-6 is pretty dang good. I feel that it’s better than in 2014 when he averaged 32, but everyone knew that OKC couldn’t beat the Spurs come playoff time. It’s just amazing to watch him. For years I saw him, and he was a good shooter, but I always though his 3s could be a little inconsistent. Now, he’s pulling up from 3 automatically just like the Splash Brothers taught him. If you wanted him to be MVP, you can play the “best player on the best team” card, and it’s not that bad of an argument.

F Kawhi Leonard – I’ve been on the Kawhi bandwagon ever since I saw him locking up the 2-time MVP in the 2013 Finals, and then outplaying him in 2014. I was even outraged when he didn’t receive all star selection in 2015. But now, he is right up there with KD and LeBron as the top Small Forwards in the league. Not only has his scoring increased (again), but the Spurs are quietly putting together another top-tier season, as they are on pace to finish at 64-18, which will only be a couple wins shy of the Warriors’ record. And above all he’s still an other-worldly defender. I say one thing when I watch him: “Wow, he’s good.”

C/F Anthony Davis – Poor AD. Hopefully something changes in his career, otherwise we’re going to have to witness one of the greatest natural-talents in league history squandered by bad management and JV level teammates. Luckily, with the return of Holiday, the Pelicans are in position to sneak up and the snag the 8th seed (or as it’s better known, the competition for who wants to get their butts kicked by the Warriors 4 times in a row). And I like Hield, but he’ll never be more than a good, complementary shooter. Davis is saddled with bad teammates, a bad coach, and a bad culture. Just ask Chris Paul. Talking about Davis himself, he’s been tremendous. He averages around 28 points, 12 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and 1 “oh my gosh he’s freak play” a game. We here it all the time, but he really is a guard in a stron, 7 foot body. He now has a patented move where he blows by the guy to the left side, and shoots a semi-fade away while floating over everyone and dropping it clean through the net. He’s remarkable.

Reserves: 

G Stephen Curry – I love Curry. He’s fun to watch. And like I said, I have no problem with him starting. It just speaks to how great the guard play in the West is that Curry, in my opinion already a top 5 Point Guard of all time, is on the bench due to the unprecedented statistical years of Harden and Westbrook. In all truth,  he’s been just as good as he was in 2015, the difference is that he’s coming off arguably the greatest offensive year ever, so everything seems worse by comparison.

G Damian Lillard – I’m not a huge fan of his game, and his team is vastly underperforming. But regardless, he’s a great scorer and his numbers are still good enough to justify his all star spot.

G Klay Thompson – It was a rough start for Klay, but he’s got going just like the whole GSW team, and like team, he’s not slowing down any time soon. Klay is the deadliest corner 3 shooter ever. In games I’ve watched this month, and this isn’t a joke, I literally haven’t seen him miss. He’s just crazy good.

G Chris Paul – I’m sorry Clips fans. You guys have the worst luck. Definitely an all star, but sucks that he got injured. His replacement …

G Eric Gordon – I didn’t like Gordon when the season started. He’s way too injury-prone and he was overrated as a shooter. But now, everytime I watch him it’s like he’s inherited Klay and Steph’s ability to get unconciously red-hot. He can make it from anywhere and he just fits so well with Harden. He’s also become a pretty good defender, not that it matters much with the Rockets’ philosophy, but still. He’s been great this year and is definitely worthy of the recognition.

C DeMarcus Cousins – It’s been a typical Boogie season. Team sucks-check, great stats-check, at time look like the most unstoppable force in the NBA-check, technical fouls-you betcha. He’s even added a deadly efficient 3 point shot that just makes it unfair for opposing defenders. I love that he’s loyal and wants to stay in Sacramento, but for the good of basketball everywhere, someone needs to get him out of there.

C Marc Gasol – Gasol is pretty awesome. Like Cousins, he’s even added a 3 point shot that works perfectly with his big, goofy white-guy confidence. He’s the smartest big man in the league, and like the Grizzlies, his game can be somewhat boring, but man is it effective.

F Draymond Green – Not as good as last year, and I don’t like how he’s been shooting. The following players missed the cut because of separate reasons: Griffin(injured and is getting worse), DeAndre(not good enough offensively and his team isn’t as good), Gobert(I was tempted to put him in but it’s not clear if he’s more valuable than Hayward and that matters), Gordon Hayward(same as Gobert), LaMarcus Aldridge(numbers are a little down and he’s getting worse defensively), Towns(team loses too much and his numbers are inconsistent), and Jokic(super fun and underrated, but has had to split too much time with Nurkic, but that’s more of a coaching issue). Draymond’s all around game for a superstar team is enough for him to snag the last spot.