All-Star reserves: Snubs, surprises

Anthony Davis

With Thursday's additions of the NBA All-Star reserves, the rosters are now set for New Orleans. But are they right? Our own team of All-Stars weighs in on the snubs and surprises of this year's squads.

1. Who's the biggest All-Star snub in the East?

Tom Haberstroh, Kyle Lowry. That's easy. We complain that the fan vote is a popularity contest. Well, it appears the coach vote is one as well. That's the only explanation I can come up with for putting Joe Johnson in the game over the prickly Kyle Lowry, who has my vote for best point guard in the East.

Kevin Pelton, ESPN Insider: Kyle Lowry. The term "snub" is in danger of losing all meaning from overuse, but it might be appropriate with Lowry. The Raptors guard ranks third in the East in WARP (8.7), ahead of everyone who was chosen as a reserve. And with Toronto atop the Atlantic, team performance doesn't explain his omission.

Ethan Sherwood Strauss, Kyle Lowry, who likely missed the cut because he plays in Canada and he's notoriously salty. Setting aside how that description makes Lowry sound like poutine, the Raptors point guard clearly deserved to go based on merit. He's first among East point guards in player efficiency rating and, unlike so many other point men, he defends doggedly.

Justin Verrier, Kyle Lowry. DeMar DeRozan is actually the better player for this format, but Lowry is the more deserving player based on regular-season performance. He's sixth in PER at his position in a golden age for point guards, and his bulldoggedness is the driving force of this Toronto turnaround. But, hey, all those defensive centers will be fun in a shooting contest.

Michael Wallace, Al Jefferson. He's the most productive center in the East and has Charlotte in the playoff mix in his first season with the Bobcats. I certainly have no problem with Joakim Noah making the team, but Jefferson is the only thing Charlotte has going well on most nights.

2. Who's the biggest All-Star snub in the West?

Haberstroh: Anthony Davis. The guy is fifth in PER and plays for the host city, which was the biggest shocker for me. I get that he's not a Defensive Player of the Year candidate, but The Brow is everything the All-Star Game should be about.

Pelton:  DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins was the only player among my All-Star reserves that coaches didn't select, but it's hard to blame them for going with Tony Parker instead. Parker is perfectly deserving in his own right.

Strauss: Anthony Davis, by the length of his wingspan. Davis played some shoddy pick-and-roll defense this season, but I doubt that's why he missed the cut. The main reasons for the snub are that his teammates were either bad or hurt, his team is in a small market and he's still new on the scene. I'd still favor Davis on the team over Dwight Howard, based on AD's statistical edge.

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