All-Stars within the All-Stars

By Joe Osborne

The All-Star Game combines the most talented and popular players in the league which ironically results in a sloppy game with very little defense and lots of two on none fast breaks. It’s no secret that the game lacks any type of competitiveness and involves very little teamwork as most players are there to put on a show and display their individual talents. So, out of the 25 all-stars selected to play in this years game, who would form the best five man lineup? When building the best possible team, I aimed to have players who can fill specific roles, not necessarily the best player at the position. Here’s what I think.

CP3's passing and three point touch make him the choice for Point Guard.

Point Guard (Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook) – Of all the positions, this is probably the toughest call. When building a team like this, the primary goal for the point guard position would be to have the best play maker, aka a pass first player. That pretty much eliminates Derek Rose and Russell Westbrook from the conversation, who rank last and second last respectively among the all-star PG’s in assists per game. Of the three remaining PG’s, Rajon Rondo averages the most assist, but he’s ranks extremely low in the three point category, only making a surprising nine three point shots so far this season. Rondo also leads the PG’s in turnover’s per game, so he’s out. Paul and Williams are neck and neck in terms of assists, both averaging 9.7 per game. Paul, however, is averaging a steal more per game, one less turnover and has a much better three point shooting percentage (.439 to Williams’ .348). The stats don’t lie, that’s why Chris Paul makes the cut.

Shooting Guard (Dwayne Wade, Ray Allen, Joe Johnson, Manu Ginobili, Kobe Bryant) – The ideal shooting guard for this team should be a able to score from anywhere on the court and in a lot of cases should be able to defend the other teams best player. Given the fact that Kobe Bryant is the best finisher in the league and has made five straight NBA all-defense first teams and seven overall, he gets the nod, with Dwayne Wade coming in as runner up.

Small Forward (Lebron James, Paul Pierce, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony) – This position demands another all around talent, and there’s a few great candidates here. All four SF’s can score with ease, but Lebron’s 7.3 assist per game make him stand out from the rest. Lebron has proved that he can share the ball and play many different roles. That combined with two consecutive NBA all-defense first team selections makes Lebron James the choice. Being the best player in the league doesn’t hurt either.

Power Forward and Center *since the majority of these guys are listed as PF/C, I though it would be best to group them together and pick the top two. (Amar’e Stoudemire, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Kevin Garnett, Al Horford, Yao Ming, Tim Duncan, Pau Gassol, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Dirk Nowitzki) - Having Kobe and Lebron to take care of most of the scoring means that you’ll need your big men to do lots of the dirty work and they won’t be counted on as one of the teams top offensive threats. Amar’e Stoudemire and Disco Dirk get checked off due to their need to have the ball in their hands. The choice for power forward might come to as a surprise to some some, but I think it’s a no-brainer to plug Kevin Love into this slot. Love leads the league in rebounds and when needed can also score, as is evidence of his 21.1 points per game. Love can hang out under the net and clean up the boards and put the ball in the net when the opportunity presents itself. Choosing a center for the team is probably the easiest position to choose. The most athletic center in the league is Dwight Howard, and he gets the center spot due ridiculous rebounding and blocking capabilities as well as his ability to finish around net, plus he could be counted on to shut down the other team’s best big man.

To recap:

PG – Chris Paul

SG – Kobe Bryant

SF – Lebron James

PF – Kevin Love

C – Dwight Howard

Arguments could be made for most of this years selections to make my all-star team within the all-star teams, but I think the lineup I put together is the best possible team. You could easily make a great second team, third team and forth team. Wouldn’t it be fun if some type of event existed where you could could watch all of these superstars face off against each other? Maybe someday. Enjoy All-Star weekend!

- Follow Joe on Twitter @TheJoeOsborne or visit his blog - What Up Sports

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