My All-Star Ballot: Part I

The NBA plans on announcing the all-star starters tomorrow night on TNT. I think it's pretty safe to assume that there won't be any Wizards selected by the fans. Gilbert Arenas was fifth in the last poll, Caron Butler was sixth behind Yi Jianlian (In my best Lil Jon, "What!?") and Antawn Jamison wasn't even in the top 10.

I know Arenas managed to get a miraculous, unheard of, unbelievable 665,917 votes in the final two weeks of fan balloting last year to defeat Vince Carter by a mere 3,010, but he's not playing right now, and I'm not expecting a repeat (there was no big birthday bash or buzzer-beaters to propel him this time).

So let's look at the guys who should be among the first 10 players on the court come Feb. 17 in New Orleans. I was able to sneak in my vote just before the balloting ended last Sunday.

Western Conference All-Stars
Guards
The fans will likely select: Kobe Bryant, Lakers, and Tracy McGrady, Rockets
Who I voted for: Bryant and Chris Paul, Hornets


It's in my city. It should me my team. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)">

Could this be the first year Kobe wins MVP? Probably not, the way LeBron James and Kevin Garnett have been playing. But Bryant is indeed doing more (winning) with less (scoring). That could change now that Andrew Bynum is out for another seven weeks, but it is a telling stat that the Lakers are 8-1 when Bryant fails to score 20 points.
As for Paul, there isn't a point guard in the game playing better right now - that includes Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Deron Williams, Tony Parker or anyone else you want to throw in. Paul could become the first player in NBA history to average 20 points, 10 assists and three steals for an entire season. He also has his team in first place in the Southwest Division - ahead of San Antonio and Dallas. Who woulda thunk it?

Forwards
The fans will likely select: Tim Duncan, Spurs and Carmelo Anthony, Nuggets
Who I voted for: Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks


How could you forget about me, the MVP? (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)">

I know some people might look at Tim Duncan's stats (18.8 points, 11 rebounds) and think that he's having sort of down year, until you realize that he's playing a career-low 33.6 minutes per game - second lowest of any of the top 50 scorers in the NBA; Manu Ginobili plays the fewest minutes). But how can you keep an NBA champion off the roster?
I think it's great that Anthony is about to get the same recognition in the West that his comrades in the East (LeBron and D-Wade) have been getting the past few years, but Allen Iverson has been the best player on the Nuggets all season. And, you cannot ignore how the Mavericks season turned the moment Nowitzki started playing like an MVP again. I'm not saying Anthony isn't deserving - he really is - but with his latest ankle injury, this may very well be the starting lineup when all is said and done.

Center
The fans will likely select: Yao Ming, Rockets
Who I voted for: Amare Stoudemire, Suns


"Take that, Yao! Huh, that's not. . .What? Who's Yi?" (AP Photo/Morry Gash) >

You've got to give Yao props for keeping the Rockets competitive while Tracy McGrady was out, but it doesn't change the fact that Houston has been a disappointment the first half of the season. The Rockets wouldn't even be in the playoffs if the season ended today (which would also explain why Tracy has been omitted).
I know Phoenix hasn't been a dynamic force this season, but the Suns still have the best record in the West and need at least one rep in the starting five. Since Nash gets bumped for Paul, Stoudemire gets the nod.

The East will come later today. . .

By Michael Lee |  January 23, 2008; 11:06 AM ET
Previous: Rolling along | Next: My All-Star Ballot: Part II

Comments

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"I know Arenas managed to get 665,917 in the final two weeks of fan balloting last year to defeat Vince Carter by a mere 3,010, but he's not playing right now, and I'm not expecting a repeat (there was no big birthday bash or buzzer-beaters to propel him this time)."

LOL!!!!

Yes, self promotion does help in fan balloting, whether you deserve to start or not.

Maybe Gilby will come up with another stunt like crashing the democratic debate by streaking across the stage in his agent zero trench coat outfit and screaming "Vote for Gilby!!!"

LOL!

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 23, 2008 11:44 AM

Pretty solid list, although I might be tempted to give Camby the nod over Stoudemire.

Posted by: kalorama | January 23, 2008 11:45 AM

Great Western picks Michael. Re. Eastern Conference other teams have larger fan bases, Washington seems to have a far smaller one that is mostly limited to the metro area. Players like Jason Kidd have been around longer and have a lot of name recognition and the rookie Yi Jianlian has fans from his home country watching his every game. Oh well, here's hoping the coaches will vote Caron in. It may be too much to hope for Antawn to be included as well. In any case, our guys could be well rested and far away from the hoopla gearing up for the rest of the season.

Posted by: rgz | January 23, 2008 11:52 AM

Self promotion PLUS

28.4 points, 6 assists, 4.6 rebounds, 1.8 steals and a half dozen game winning shots.

tell the whole story.

Posted by: mark | January 23, 2008 11:54 AM

Hopefully the snub will motivate CB and AJ to prove people wrong in the second half. They'll undoubtedly get picked by the coaches, though.
On a related topic, we REALLY need to start getting these two more rest...even if it risks losing a few games. I'd rather be the 6th seed with both in the lineup than the 3rd seed with one or both worn down or injured.

Posted by: mark | January 23, 2008 11:57 AM

Once again Gilbert shows he is all about himself. He is injured and still begging for votes. He should be promoting his boys(caron and jamison) but instead real surprise he is all about himself as usual. I'm sure he will play 6th man when he comes back. Just trade him to some pathetic city that needs a hero and he can self promote himself all he wants. SO tired of Gilby and his act. I pray we sign and trade him this offseason for someone that can actually help this team.

Posted by: BEAS | January 23, 2008 12:01 PM

If we are the 6th seed we will be out in the 1st round of the playoffs. We can beat anyone in the east if we have home court.

Posted by: Beas | January 23, 2008 12:03 PM

Butler and Jamison certainly deserve All-Star recognition (Jamison has been a 20-10 guy this year; how can he possibly be kept off the East team?), but given the heavy minutes both have been playing so far, it would be better for the 'Zards if neither one was selected for the team. A few days of rest would stand both of them in good stead. I understand why Jordan would want both of them on the court as often as possible given the team's lack of consistent scoring from other players, but I hope that when Arenas returns, EJ cuts back on Butler's and Jamison's minutes a bit so that they have something left for the playoffs.

Posted by: rbpalmer | January 23, 2008 12:07 PM

I like our chanes no matter what the seeding is. We have a good matchup with the Celts and have proven we can beat them in Boston.
BEAS, who do you have kicking us out in the first round? Detroit is the only team that I would be slightly afraid of and even they don't have our firepower. Even if GA didn't come back this year, I think that the bench (especially with the addition of Pech) is going to put us over the top.
I have this team contending for the Conference Finals regardless of the seed.

Posted by: mark | January 23, 2008 12:14 PM

Also, BEAS, when did GA beg for votes? I didn't see that in this article and I don't read his blog. Was there somewhere where he was asking for votes this year?

Posted by: mark | January 23, 2008 12:16 PM

Posted by: rgz | January 23, 2008 12:32 PM

BEAS....I'm hping you move back to where to came from, and that way GA and the city of DC wont be sic of you.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 23, 2008 12:35 PM

"Also, BEAS, when did GA beg for votes? I didn't see that in this article and I don't read his blog. Was there somewhere where he was asking for votes this year?

Posted by: mark | January 23, 2008 12:16 PM"

Yea, Gil posted in his blog about it. It was just one line though, they're just blowing it way out of proportion. Also, it was before Caron and Jamison really started to propel the team forward.

Posted by: babbtong | January 23, 2008 12:37 PM

"Once again Gilbert shows he is all about himself. He is injured and still begging for votes. He should be promoting his boys(caron and jamison) but instead real surprise he is all about himself as usual. I'm sure he will play 6th man when he comes back. Just trade him to some pathetic city that needs a hero and he can self promote himself all he wants. SO tired of Gilby and his act. I pray we sign and trade him this offseason for someone that can actually help this team.

Posted by: BEAS | January 23, 2008 12:01 PM "

This point is very interesting. What would Gilby do if he was actually voted in as an all star? I'm sure it's just for ego purposes and he wouldn't play, but who knows?

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 23, 2008 12:38 PM

that's dirty Ivan. How you gonna give us the West and then make us patiently wait to see what you have to say about the East. You did it on purpose. You know all of us want to hear what you have to say about the East.

Posted by: LooseCannon | January 23, 2008 12:39 PM

Also, this year Gil DID say that fans should vote for Caron and Jamison...he said more about that than for fans to vote for himself, in fact.

Posted by: babbtong | January 23, 2008 12:39 PM

dang it. I am sorry Michael. You wrote this.

edit: everything I just said with Michael's name inserted

Posted by: LooseCannon | January 23, 2008 12:40 PM

Yea in Gil's blog he said everyone should be voting for Caron and Antawn. He said that he doesnt expect people to vote him in and come from behind like last year because he has been injured the whole season. Educate yourself.

Posted by: LooseCannon | January 23, 2008 12:43 PM

The whole All-Star process is ridiculous. Exhibit A is Yi from the Bucks. To think that he's gotten more votes than Caron is proof that they shouldn't give fans all the say in voting for All-Star starters. He's from a the most populated country in the world, which has two players (him and Yao) to vote for. Next year, don't be surprised if he gets voted as a "starter".

Posted by: Metro Center | January 23, 2008 12:49 PM

You know what? Maybe DCMan88 IS Gilbert Arenas...did anyone ever think of that?

Regarding self-promotion, did you guys see the chris bosh all-star commercial? hilarious.

Posted by: Nick | January 23, 2008 12:51 PM

As long as we have somebody from the Wizards there, that's all that matters to me. It would be great if we had both players, Caron and Antawn, that would be two players from our team each year.

We got two Wizards All-Stars again. Caron Butler is an All-Star definitely and Antawn Jamison is an All-Star definitely. If you coaches can't see this, you should be fired.

Don't make the mistake you made last time with me when I was averaging 29 points per game, don't make that mistake again. We don't need the collaboration that was going on last time when Larry Brown was here and trying to put all 17 Pistons players in to the All-Star game. We don't want to see that no more. We have All-Star players in this league and you want All-Star players and not an All-Star team, and Caron and Antawn are All-Stars this year. Hands down. One is one of five players averaging 20 and 10 and the other is just a killer on the court right now. Y'all will see Antawn and y'all will see Caron at the 2008 All-Star in New Orleans.

Posted by: What Arenas said about the ASG | January 23, 2008 12:52 PM

"Yea in Gil's blog he said everyone should be voting for Caron and Antawn. He said that he doesnt expect people to vote him in and come from behind like last year because he has been injured the whole season. Educate yourself.

Posted by: LooseCannon | January 23, 2008 12:43 PM "

Gee, a stroke a brilliance from Gilby on who to vote for and why. Nobody ever noticed.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 23, 2008 12:53 PM

The articale was about the WEST Allstars but it didn't take long to turn this into another chance to talk about Arenas. And typically it all starts with another misstatement that can't be factually backed up.

Nice articale Micheal, it's a shame you and Ivan's good hard work are constantly being fouled with this endless same old everyday.

It's hard to have a thoughtful discussion about basketball with this other stuff on here 24/7.

Posted by: GM | January 23, 2008 1:00 PM

You're right. I think if Gilby disappeared and didn't reappear until he's fully healed, nobody would be talking about him.

But, that's expecting a lot from Gilby. This team is doing well without Gilby, but he had to interject in his blog about "it takes 82 games to see if the team is better than me....they only beat dallas.."

Then he interjected about the all star game and him not being voted in. Of course he interjected once again about wanting to be a max money player.

Gilby's best bet is to become a hermit until he's fully healed.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 23, 2008 1:19 PM

Camby definitely deserves the nod instead of Stoudemire. I don't think there's any question about it. Stoudemire is one piece of that Suns team, I think, who the Suns could remove without fear of it affecting the team's chances.

Posted by: Colin | January 23, 2008 1:23 PM

"You're right. I think if Gilby disappeared and didn't reappear until he's fully healed, nobody would be talking about him.

But, that's expecting a lot from Gilby. This team is doing well without Gilby, but he had to interject in his blog about "it takes 82 games to see if the team is better than me....they only beat dallas.."

Then he interjected about the all star game and him not being voted in. Of course he interjected once again about wanting to be a max money player.

Gilby's best bet is to become a hermit until he's fully healed.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 23, 2008 01:19 PM"

Or you could just stop reading his blog, since you dislike him so much.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 23, 2008 1:30 PM

Can you hang it up for a minute?

This Gil stuff is a month or more away from playing itself out.

In the meantime...

I actually think Toronto is a team that matches up well and tends to give us fits.

Sportsline has the Wiz # 8 behind cleveland and did a little piece on the wiz for their power rankings. He says Etan is back on the bench, which I think is an error.

But my thought is, I'd rather play Cleveland or Boston than Detroit or Toronto in the playoffs.

Can you believe how bad Chicago has been?

Every year a team turns up or down, but I didn't see that coming.

Last thought, As good as boston is... I could see them quickly turning into a Miami... or worse. At least Miami has Udonis and Wade. Guys you can build around long term. But when the big three in Boston start to show some wear and tear it might get pretty ugly.

I'd like to play them in a 7 game series, cause I think with each game your chances get better.

Still a long way away. It would be great to win the division.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast: Gilby-thon 08

Posted by: g | January 23, 2008 1:33 PM

Nick, I'd actually thought about that myself. What's up, Gilby/88/Clewiston/Herb?

Posted by: mark | January 23, 2008 1:37 PM

I'm still wondering which team BEAS or anyone else thinks is gonna roll right through the Wizards in the plaoyffs. Assuming that everyone is healthy at the end of the year and not even including GA because the team dynamic might be different with him....who scares you? There's no team in this league that I'd go into a series with knowing that we'd lose. I knew years ago that Miami would beat us no matter what. No longer the case. I put this team up against any in the league including SA and I think we have a sporting chance. In fact, SA, Detroit, and maybe Phoenix are the only teams that I think can hang with us in a series assuming that both teams play decently. I need to see us at full strength against the Hornets, Blazers and Lakers before I crown our ass but I'm confident.
I really believe that Pech is one of the keys to this stretch run, too. He gives us rest for the starters at the C position and PF positions. He's also a wild card who can step out and hit threes against backups. Does anyone else in the league have 3 young 7 footers with skills like we do? Pech is 22, AB is 21 and BTH is 28 with low mileage.
Any time your 12th man (Songaila) could start for some teams, you know you're in good shape. Compare this bench to Ruffin, PJ Ramos, Booth, etc. and it's easy to see the improvement.

Posted by: mark | January 23, 2008 1:49 PM

Good list for the west all-star starters. One of the ESPN guys (Stein or Hollinger I think) just put out a list and I think it is identical (the center choice might be different.)

As far as Wizards talk, let's try not to be too homer about this. We beat Boston twice but their players (if not as a team) are much more battle-tested in the playoffs. They also have a fierce leader in KG. Boston is unquestionably favored over us.

Detroit is MUCH more playoffs-experienced than us. They are an incredibly difficult match-up for us.

And good point on Toronto, they have given us trouble the last 2-3 years. We typically have no answer for Bosh.

I'm anxious to see how we play against Cleveland tonight, as they would be the other real tough team for us. They were playing badly all season but have turned it on in January. Tonight should be telling. And, once again, they are more playoffs-tested than we are.

As for the Magic, I think we can beat them, but Dwight Howard is a monster and they would be tough to beat in the East.

So basically... I like the Wizards chances this year, but lets not get carried away. One last note: WE ARE BETTER WITH GILBERT and I am sick to death of those who think we are not.

Posted by: andy | January 23, 2008 1:50 PM

I'm homer too Mark, but we havent reached the point to were we should say no team can stop us.

We still have a very hard schedule ahead of us. We have played the 3rd easiest schedule to date...

I may join you if we finish February with 34 wins.

Posted by: JSchon | January 23, 2008 1:56 PM

Mark,

I don't recall anyone saying anything about any team "rolling right through" the Wiz in the playoffs. That doesn't change the fact that, as well as they've been playing, they are not invincible. The fact that they beat Boston twice does not guarantee they'll beat them in a 7-game series. Because if it does, the fact that Detroit beat the Wiz by double-digits certainly wouldn't bode well for their chances of beating Detroit in the playoffs, would it?

Posted by: kalorama | January 23, 2008 1:58 PM

is boston really more battle tested than the wizards?

Posted by: g | January 23, 2008 2:10 PM

"Or you could just stop reading his blog, since you dislike him so much.

Posted by: | January 23, 2008 01:30 PM "

I don't read his blog. It's people here who read his blog and comment on it, and then I comment on that. Or, people like Ivan read his blog, and talk about it here.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 23, 2008 2:14 PM

"So basically... I like the Wizards chances this year, but lets not get carried away. One last note: WE ARE BETTER WITH GILBERT and I am sick to death of those who think we are not.

Posted by: andy | January 23, 2008 01:50 PM "

I don't think anyone said Les BouleS are better without Gilby. Take any 12 mil dollar player off any roster and you'll be hurting. Given that, add another 12 mil player to replace Gilby and you might be just as good.

Gilby is not irreplaceable. This team has shown they can thrive without him.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 23, 2008 2:16 PM

At least in the regular season the Wizards have done well against the Pistons, whether that would translate to the playoffs, I have no idea. But the Wizards shouldn't fear them if a two-man operation like the Cavs could take the Pistons out last year, I can't see why the Wizards with a functioning healthy Arenas couldn' do the same.
Toronto is our bugaboo that is for sure, but it isn't just Bosh who eats our lunch, its Calderon who has really stuck it to the Wizards. Stopping him would be the key to that series if it came off.

Posted by: George Templeton | January 23, 2008 3:51 PM

Maxiel + Rasheed worries me.

I think they can really push AB and BTH around.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 23, 2008 4:23 PM

Mike, I think your forgot Carlos Boozer.

Posted by: DC Man88 | January 23, 2008 4:25 PM

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