It’s time to get serious and play the 2015 NBA All-star game for real. Set aside the playful joke that is the actual game and imagine if it meant something. With the reserves announced and the starters exceptional, would the best All-star rosters in years make for great basketball? NBA sports debate.
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The Atlanta Hawks deserve four All-Star representatives, forget just one! Jeff Teague will most likely get in as the coaches’ vote comes in, as will (hopefully) a few of his teammates.
Way to go super-hyperbole on the starting lineups though. The Western Conference is a gauntlet of superb big men and stars. There is no denying that. Once the reserves are announced, it’s going to be egregious how good the first couple guys who do NOT make the team actually are. But come on. The East is garbage! How can this be the best matchup in recent memory if only one side is good?
LeBron is a star’s star for sure. He isn’t enough to carry the rest of the East though. Pau Gasol is putting up huge numbers, and his matchup against his brother will be fun, but Pau isn’t the same player he used to be. His was a statistical pick and a Chicago pick. Marc is the much better all-around player.
To replace Carmelo, they will probably tab one of the Hawks big men, either Al Horford or Paul Milsap. But after those guys, have you checked out the East’s frontcourt depth? Ooof. I know this game isn’t really a game and no one is going to be planning strategy, but gosh. The West could crush the East down low if this ended up being played for real.
You know how good the West is? Kevin Durant, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki and DeMarcus Cousins might all flat-out miss the game. They might not make the cut. And guess what? All four would be immediately plugged into Carmelo’s spot as a starting forward on the East.
I love John Wall, and your Kyle Lowry sighting is spot-on. LeBron is also rounding back into his old form after his return from injury. But if this was a real game, it would be a blowout.
I am beyond excited, imagining this 2015 NBA All-Star game being played out for real. FYI, the reserves were announced last night and Jeff Teague, Al Horford, and Paul Millsap indeed will represent the Eastern Conference. But DeMarcus Cousins and Damian Lillard got the snub.
On the flip side, the Western Conference reserves are out of this world, as James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Tim Duncan made the cut. Nowitzki is another big snub, but in the end he makes little difference on a loaded roster out west.
Playing this game for real would NOT be a blowout, however. It’s hardly even one-sided. You may not care for the LeBron James factor, but it’s real and in full force. Take a look at the actual position by position matchups of this now real basketball game.
Eastern Conference Starters:
John Wall, Kyle Lowry, Carmelo Anthony(Hurt), LeBron James, and Pau Gasol
Kyrie Irving, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Jeff Teague, Al Horford, Paul Millsap, and Jimmy Butler
Western Conference Starters:
Stephen Curry, Kobe Bryant(Hurt), Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis, and Marc Gasol
James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Tim Duncan, Klay Thompson, and LaMarcus Aldridge
I think its worth mentioning that only five players are on the court at one time. This limits any edge the Western Conference might have on paper. But that edge is a misguided ruse.
First of all, LeBron James is reuniting with his old teammates from Miami. That is pretty damn sweet and will elevate both Wade and Bosh off the bench. More importantly, John Wall has been out of this world this season. Replace Carmelo for Horford and now the East is rolling.
The Western Conference roster is certainly stacked, but just because the Eastern All-stars are not yet household names, does not make them pushovers by comparison. The guard matchup is a wash, the big men edge falls to the west, and the forwards edge is in the east. Ultimately this makes for a seriously competitive basketball game.
Someone needs to run these lineups through the latest NBA video game for Xbox One or Playstation 4. That’s the only way to see a real competition, with blood, sweat, and tears shed for a chance at victory. In that simulated reality LeBron James never gets tired. He’s the king for a reason.
Photo credits: latimes.com and www.nydailynews.com
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