By Paul Sarconi
Since the NBA All-Star announcements were made recently, lets get into three questions centering on the Southeastern divisions participation in the All-Star game.
Does Kyle Korver deserve a spot in the All Star game?
If this question was asked last year the answer would be a firm and resounding NO. But 2015 Kyle Korver is 2014 Kyle Korver on shot making steroids. Korver’s shooting an absurd 53 percent (53!!) from three, 51 percent from the field, and 92 percent from the line. (Per ESPN.com) If he keeps this up he’d be the only player in NBA history to shoot 50-50-90 with as many attempts as he has taken. (Steve Kerr did it in 95’ and 96’ but didn’t qualify because he didn’t shoot enough free throws or field goals.) For a league that loves three’s as much as the NFL loves fining players for stupid shit, this is a crucial part of the argument for Korver making it. If three’s have become such a highly valuable stat, and he is arguably the MVP of that stat, shouldn’t he be in the All-Star game?
What it really comes down to is the question of whether or not Korver is a better choice than Dwyane Wade or Kyrie Irving. If team success is taken into consideration, Korver should be in this game. Wade’s team is below .500 and Irving has consistently shown that when LeBron isn’t on the floor, his team is too.
This argument might not matter because Wade is going to be out for 2-3 weeks and will likely rest his body, leaving Korver the chance to take his spot. Despite this, Korver should have been in the game in the first place because he’s played every game and is an integral part of the Hawks success.
Did anyone else from the Southeast get snubbed?
This division is full of fringe All-Stars, but there is no player other than Korver that has a real strong case. Nikola Vucevic is having a breakout season averaging, 19.5 points and 11.5 rebounds, but those stats aren’t gaudy enough to put him above Chris Bosh, Al Horford, or Paul Millsap. There could be a case made for him to get in over Carmelo Anthony, but when Anthony actually plays he’s putting up 24 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. That isn’t to say he’s having a great season, but those stats are good enough to warrant a Knick representative. Especially considering the game is being held in New York.
The only other player with an argument would be Kemba Walker, but his knee injury takes him out of the conversation completely.
The Southeast has 6 All-Stars, does that mean they are the best division in the East?
Seeing that the Southeast has two of the top three teams in the conference, the answer has to be yes, for now. If Cleveland and Chicago figure things out, the Central division will become the best, but until then the Southeast is superior. The bottom of the division is a mess, but the top two are elite.
It’ll be interesting to see which teams make it to the conference finals because it could easily be Atlanta vs. Washington. Obviously there is a lot of season left to play, but a bet on an all-Southeast conference final isn’t a bad one at this point.