Here it is time again for another All Star game and this one is in our home building. Quite exciting. In no traditional way and because of my bias these picks exceed the number of starters and falls short of a full squad for each conference. Some of these choices are purely because of liking the player, some are placed out of position for the mere whimsy of it and some of them will match the choices of the fans.
For the East, I have Dwight Howard at the center spot because he is ferocious. He can score almost at will on the low block, he rebounds like a fiend (leading the league as of this writing). He also blocks shots and can run the floor. His free throw shooting is poor but everyone (just about) has their Achilles heel. The other big man is Kevin Garnett who has all the tools plus intensity galore. He is quite gifted and unselfish and ALWAYS comes to play. Right with those two guys I have Chris Bosh who is rapidly becoming a fine all around player. He, too, can score in the post and has a nice touch facing the bucket. He rebounds (a must) and plays hard all the time. Dwayne Wade and Lebron James need no explanation for their being picked. They are supremely talented and versatile. Danny Granger makes my team as he has definitely arrived. Last year it was evident he was on the way up and is now there. He can really shoot it, is a quiet leader and does all the other aspects required for forwards. Devon Harris would play the point in order to free up Wade to move without the ball. My other two guys are Paul Pierce and Joe Johnson. I have finally come around to see Pierce as a go-to scorer that can handle the ball and work the glass effectively. His defense has dramatically improved and he has emerged (in my eyes) as a leader. Joe Johnson is simply one of my favorite players; he can flat out play, shoot, rebound, defend and pass. And he is big and strong like Lebron and could play three different positions.
For the West, I have Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan as sure fire, no hesitation picks because they are, well, Bryant and Duncan. No need to type further. Another guy that is for me, a certain always pick (bias) is Steve Nash. To me, he is one of the best players in the league and a great athlete. He is the unique 40%, 50%, 90% guy. From three land, the field and the line. A leader, tough and unselfish…no team should be without one. At the same time, while trying to keep my emotions out of it, Tony Parker is on this squad as he is fast, fast,fast and we all know that speed kills other teams. Parker can get into the paint at any time just like the great point players. He can get off and make shots over the big guys with the little scoop or teardrop. He is an annoying defender and has developed into an outside shooting threat. One of the bigs is Amar’e Stoudemire. When he has it going, he is impossible to stop. Only he can stop himself with concentration lapses. He is highly skilled and quite the athlete. There might be some bias here as well, but I am in charge of this list. A first time selection is next and that would be Al Jefferson. He is quite the low post scorer as we have seen here in Phoenix as he has schooled any who have checked him. He is a 20 – 10 player that works hard and plays with the intensity and attention I like to see in players. He was deserving last season in my opinion. I am a big fan of Kevin Durant, he can run and jump and shoot and pass and for a skinny guy appears quite durable and he is still so young. It is no diss on Chris Paul that he is mentioned here next to last. He is quite the point player – deft touch and quickness afoot. He can get into the color at any time that he desires and sees the court so very well. Certainly, a leader who will do what his team needs every game. If it scoring he will, passing he always does and his defense is excellent. He stole a couple of bounce passes that Nash threw while guarding Nash. Amazing. Another guy I really like and one who will be on the team for years to come is Brandon Roy. Mature beyond his years he leads his team and can score when he wishes, he defends his position and like the other points, makes the passes necessary.
There are other players who could surely be selected this year that I am not picking and won’t be picked by you or the coaches but they could be. Everyone has their favorites that can’t make the team just because of space. There are many other highly deserving players out there, just not the room for all of them.
It will surely be a fun weekend with all the All-Star activities being hosted by one of the best crews in the league in our Suns staff. Plus, the interactive exhibits for the fans to enjoy and the former players that come around for these games add up to a whole lot of excitement for all.