The news of the injury to the Boston Celtics All-Star guard Rajon Rondo immediately brought thoughts of redemption for the NBA and it’s moronic selection process that failed to select a single Brooklyn Net to this year’s All-Star team. The Nets are the only team in the NBA with an above.600 winning percentage that did not select a player to go to Houston to represent the league this year.
With that thought in mind, no one has been able to present a solid reason as to why Brook Lopez was overlooked for his first All-Star game with numbers that compare to the best centers in the NBA today. It has been almost five days since the reserves were selected and every article that is read tells me that Lopez is an All-Star and no one has been able to present a case as to the reason why he is not.
Lopez is averaging a career high 18.6 points per game to go with 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks and still does not get league-wide respect. The only other player in the last five years to average 18-7-2 in a season is Dwight Howard, and I don’t see anyone keeping him off the team. Does Howard deserve to be on the team this year? The answer is no but he has the fan vote, and that obviously is a different story for a different day.
The Nets would not be two games back for the Atlantic Division lead right now if Lopez was not playing at an All-Star level. Early in the season when Lopez was sidelined for seven games with an ankle sprain the Nets looked out of sorts and nowhere near the team that ran out to a 11-4 November start.
The team floundered and it ended with the coach, Avery Johnson, being fired and the team being shaken up to it’s core. Lopez came back strong and has been much better on the defensive end with the way he alters shots, covers for the guards mistakes and that cannot be measured in stats.
The stats that do stick out are the fact that he has been in the Top 5 all year in PER (Player Efficiency Rating) and currently sits at number four (25.24) behind the likes of Lebron James, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul. If those numbers don’t tell the story of his season, I don’t know what stat the “coaches” are looking for.
One theory that has been bantered about by analysts and NBA circles is that the coaches that voted did not select a single Net this year because they felt that Avery Johnson did not deserved to be fired so unceremoniously. If that is indeed the truth, then the NBA coaching fraternity is a sham and the voting should be taken away from them once and for all.
Lopez IS an All-Star, and hopefully David Stern sees the light and adds him as an injury replacement for Rondo.