2013 All-Star Game Snubs
J.R. Smith (NY): Smith is the second leading scorer (16.7 points per game) on the Eastern Conference's second place team. He's filled in as the go-to scorer several times this season when Carmelo Anthony has gotten hurt, and he's made it much easier for the Knicks to forget about the absence of their best player. He's also played sensational defense on many opponents' best offensive perimeter players, and is averaging 5.0 rebounds per game. The NBA's leader in bench scoring easily could have been named to the All-Star team.
Joe Johnson/Brook Lopez (BKN): Despite a slump that got head coach Avery Johnson fired, the Nets have climbed their way back into third place in the East. They've done so behind consistent strong performances out of their top two scorers, Brook Lopez (18.6 points per game) and Joe Johnson (17.4). Though I'm a Knicks fan who is wired to despise the Nets, I think the coaches should have found a way to get a player from the East's third best team into the All-Star game.
Carlos Boozer (CHI): I admit that it would have been a little over the top to have three players from the Bulls named All-Stars, but I think you could make a case for Boozer over one of his teammates who made the team (Joakim Noah and Luol Deng). Boozer is second on the Bulls in points and rebounds, and leads all Bulls players who get 20+ minutes per game in field goal percentage. I certainly wouldn't go as far as to say that Boozer was "robbed," but I wouldn't have been too surprised if he made the team.
Paul Pierce (BOS): Pierce was probably left off the team in large part due to the Celtics struggles that have them barely in a playoff spot (8th in the East). However, Pierce is still having a very good year, averaging 18.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.5 steals - top three on the team in all of those categories. In addition, players often get into the All-Star game based on "lifetime achievement," which Pierce definitely has earned. He's another player that I'm wired to hate as a Knicks fan, but I was a bit surprised when I didn't see him on the list of All-Star reserves.
Monta Ellis/Brandon Jennings (MIL): The Bucks are another Eastern Conference team that fired their coach midseason and still finds themselves in playoff position (7th in the East), and it's all thanks to their electrifying guard tandem. Ellis (18.8 points per game) and Jennings (18.7) are the seventh and eighth leading scorers in the East, and are also posting solid, near-identical numbers in other areas. Ellis is averaging 5.5 assists, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.8 steals, while Jennings is averaging 5.8/3.5/2.0 in those categories. They're by far the two most important players on a playoff-caliber team, so I could have seen one of them getting in.
Josh Smith (ATL): To be honest, I almost forgot him - that's why he's last and why the East has one more snub than the West. However, Smith is stuffing stat sheets in usual J-Smoove fashion, averaging 16.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.3 blocks, and 1.3 steals for the 6th best team in the East. He's top-two on his team in all five of those categories. He's been a stud for a team that is almost certain to make the playoffs.