2013 All-Star Game Snubs
Stephen Curry (GS): The Warriors are an impressive - and surprising - 26-15 this season, good for 5th in the Western Conference. Curry is the guy on the Warriors, leading the team with 20.9 points per game (5th most in the West) and 6.6 assists. His 4.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals aren't too shabby either. He's turned into the type of player that you go out of your way to watch. He's been sensational this year. Teammate David Lee made the team, deservingly so, but I thought Curry should have been there with him.
Jamal Crawford (LAC): Crawford has been huge for his Clippers, who currently sit at 3rd place in the West. His 16.6 points per game are tied for second on the team, as well as the second most bench points per game in the NBA. His ability to come into the game and immediately provide a spark of instant offense has been essential to the Clippers' success so far this season.
Serge Ibaka (OKC): Once thought of as a strict defense/rebounding paint presence, Ibaka has added a ton of offense to his game, making him invaluable to the 33-10 Thunder. His points per game have jumped up to 14.0, and his shooting percentage (56%) has gone up with it. He also adds 8.3 rebounds and 2.8 blocks a night. He's definitely become one of the best all-around big men in the West.
Al Jefferson (UTA): The young Utah Jazz have found their way to a 23-19 record, positioning themselves for the playoffs as the 7th team in the West. How's that, you ask? Well, in large part it's thanks to their leading scorer and rebounder, Al Jefferson. Big Al is posting 17.1 points and 9.8 rebounds per game, while also providing a good amount of steals (1.0), blocks (1.1), and assists (2.1 - very solid for a center).
Marc Gasol/Rudy Gay (MEM): The Grizzlies are currently 4th in the Western Conference, and there's not one individual player that stands out statistically. Zach Randolph made the All-Star team, but you could definitely make a case for Gasol and Gay as well. Gasol is a great inside presence, especially defensively - he's averaging 13.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks. He's even averaging 3.5 assists - a great number for a center. Gay, on the other hand, is the team's leading scorer with 17.3 points, and also adds 6.0 rebounds a game. Both players have been vital to the success of the Grizzlies, and could have been All-Stars this season.
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.