Vinny’s All-Star Team, 2019 Edition

Let get down to brass tax: I take the All-Star Game too seriously, precisely because no one else does. Kobe Bryant during his glorified retirement tour accumulated 110,000 votes than Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker in his landslide re-election bid. Currently, Dwyane Wade is second only to Kyrie Irving riding the fumes of his retirement tour, blowing more deserving candidates like Ben Simmons decisively out of the water.

The point is, you may no longer care about the All-Star Game, but I do. I want to honor the best players. Give those lesser known players some crucial leverage going into free agency. “Marcus Morris was an All-Star this year, he isn’t worth six-figures?!”

Without further ado, my All-Star starters for both East and West…

Kyrie Irving
Kemba Walker
Giannis Antetokoumpo
Kawhi Leonard
Joel Embiid

James Harden
Stephen Curry
Kevin Durant
Paul George
Nikola Jokic

Notice the following:

• No LeBron (He’s on the reserves)

• Yes, I am one of those people who say Jokic is better than Anthony Davis – at least for this season.

I am not a LeBron Hater. That shit is an act. He’s been basically the same guy for the last decade, only variations statistically is the occasional bumps upward in offensive production. However, he’s missed nearly a month of time since straining his groin on Christmas against the Warriors and in that time the Lakers absolutely cratered, which should help his case, but doesn’t because the emergence of Paul George taking control of arguably a lesser roster in Oklahoma City to greater heights makes me want to reward such play rather than just penciling in LeBron because he’s simply LeBron.


Third in the western conference, the Thunder are seeing Russell Westbrook deteriorate before their eyes. An 0-4 start seemed to prematurely doom their season. Enter Paul George. Averaging a crazy 26 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals, playing lockdown defense on the opposite end as well.

According to Basketball-reference.com, George’s on-off numbers match Durant’s 2015-16 season. OKC is plus -9.7 for George when he’s on the floor, versus plus-9.8 with K.D.

And George is a better dance partner for Westbrook than Durant. Durant wants to be The Man. George, wants to be treated like The Man, but really doesn’t want the pressures that come with being the alpha.

While not the most talented, the Thunder this season have given the most ideal collection of players to compliment George. Russ garners the most attention. Steven Adams is basically what Roy Hibbert was supposed to be. Jerami Grant is the athletic dunker forward George never had before.

George is dragging OKC in a season they honestly shouldn’t even be in playoff contention. I have to reward that.


———

Why do we hate Jokic? Is it because his fan base is basically a bunch of pretentious nerds? Is Jokic the ‘Rick and Morty’ of the N.B.A? (Maybe that’s Luka Doncic, actually…)

We are quick to pile on Jokic, even as he enjoys his best season statistically with the worst talent he’s ever had around him, whilst making excuses for Anthony Davis who cannot get the Pelicans closer to a playoff birth despite having the best roster in his entire tenure since being drafted by New Orleans.

Davis is supposed to be the greatest big man of all-time. Has post moves like Kevin McHale. The physical ability of a more nimble Shaquille O’Neal.

Yet, he’s all stats, no substance. Stop blaming the coach. Alvin Gentry isn’t the problem. Don’t blame the talent around him either. I have Jrue Holiday in as a reserve, his two-way ability is underrated and it’s appalling I have to defend his honor like this. Holiday and former Laker Julius Randle are both averaging over 20 points, shooting over 50-percent from field, and E’Twaun Moore is shooting 42 percent from three-point land.

On the flip-side, this is the roster the cheap Denver Nuggets saddled the next Bill Walton with: an old Paul Millsap on a max contract and a bunch of scrubs having to fill the holes because their initial starters hit the injury list so cartoonishly fast.

• Will Barton’s played six-games.

• Garry Harris played 27-games.

This team is basically Jokic and Jamal Murray. Oh! And they drafted Michael Porter over Kevin Huerter and Aaron Holiday. M.P.J been D.N.P’ed for the entire season because his back is all fucked up. And the Nuggets knew that when they drafted him 14th!

Jokic is the best player on a M*A*S*H unit Nuggets team, 31-14. Davis is the best player on a team that’s enjoyed a clean bill of health and is three-games under .500 to show for it.


Reserves:

Ben Simmons, Marcus Morris, D’Angelo Russell, Myles Turner, Josh Richardson, Nikola Vucevic, Khris Middleton

Luka Doncic, LeBron James, De’Aaron Fox, Jrue Holiday, DeMar DeRozan, Anthony Davis, LaMarcus Aldridge

Yes! D’Angelo Russell bumps Victor Oladipo from the All-Star team. What’s come of the world?

Simple, Russell’s been the better player. He’s shot better than Vic and is 9th in assists percentage out of the entire N.B.A (37.6). No disrespect intended towards Oladipo. It’s just Russell transformed himself from a bust the Lakers didn’t even want, trading him in a salary dump of Timofey Mozgov, and transformed the Brooklyn Nets from laughingstock to playoff contender.

Author: sailboatstudios

Hack. Amateur. Professional quitter.

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