2009 NBA All-Star Starters announced: my take

January 23, 2009 in NBA by pacejmiller

The starters for the 2009 NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix have been announced.  The starters are as follows (2 guards, 2 forwards and a center for each conference):

Eastern Conference
allen_iversondwyane_wadelebron_jameskevin_garnettdwight_howard

G – Allen Iverson – 17.8ppg, 5.3apg, 1.65spg

G – Dwayne Wade – 28.8ppg, 4.9rpg, 7.3apg, 2.27spg, 1.54bpg

F – Lebron James – 27.8ppg, 7.2rpg, 6.8apg, 2.03spg, 1.25bpg

F – Kevin Garnett – 16.1ppg, 9.1rpg, 2.6apg, 1.23spg, 1.25bpg

C – Dwight Howard – 19.9ppg, 14.0rpg, 3.2bpg

Western Conference

chris_paulkobe_bryanttim_duncanamare_stoudemireyao_ming

G – Chris Paul – 21.1ppg, 5.5rpg, 11.0apg, 2.72spg

G – Kobe Bryant – 26.4ppg, 5.6rpg, 5.2apg, 1.29spg

F – Tim Duncan – 20.4ppg, 10.2rpg, 3.5apg, 1.83bpg

F – Amare Stoudemire – 21.3ppg, 8.0rpg, 2.2apg, 1.08spg, 1.08bpg

C – Yao Ming – 19.9ppg, 9.6rpg, 1.69bpg

Comparing my picks

The line-ups were pretty similar to my picks.  However, my methodology was based more on merit (ie who I thought deserved it most), so there were a few differences.

In the East I had Devin Harris (21.8ppg, 3.0rpg, 6.4apg, 1.56spg)  instead of Iverson and Danny Granger (26.2ppg, 5.1rpg, 3.4apg, 1.03spg, 1.36bpg)  instead of Garnett.

In the West the only difference was that I picked Dirk Nowitzki (26.0ppg, 8.5rpg, 2.5apg) instead of Stoudemire.

I think the official line-ups are probably stronger teams than what I had, but as I said, my picks were based on who I believe deserved it the most as opposed to the best players.

My take

This is just a fan voting system so the results simply reflect the popularity of the players at their positions.  Hence I cannot say that the outcome was particularly surprising.

However, I was a little surprised by how popular Allen Iverson still is despite the rather significant drop-off in his numbers and the fact that you can argue that Detroit was much better off with Billups.  The same can be said for KG and Amare because they have not been as dominant as they used to be.  Just look at Vince Carter – he used to be the most popular player in the league, and even though he’s still producing decent numbers and highlight reels, his popularity has dipped substantially.

Another surprise is the fact that Dwight Howard was the leading vote-getter with 3,150,181 votes – a new NBA record.  I certainly did not expect the big man to be more popular than Lebron, Kobe and Yao Ming.  But I guess it really demonstrates that he is now definitely the pre-eminent Center in the league.

Other interesting facts that came out of the voting were: (1) Tracy McGrady had a small lead over Chris Paul towards the end; (2) Carmelo Anthony and Bruce Bowen (!!) almost beat Amare Stoudemire; and (3) KG almost lost his spot to Yi Jianlian!

Just recalling my post a few days ago on who I thought were the 12 players in each conference that deserved to be All-Stars this season – I would have thought that Chris Bosh would have given KG a run for one of the starting forward spots (rather than Yi Jianlian!); also, I thought the European vote would have meant that Dirk had an opportunity to unseat Amare (not Bruce Bowen!).  Just shows how unpredictable and fickle NBA fans are!

Who will win

The East won last year’s game in a thriller (134-128) and Lebron was named MVP for the second time.  This year, on paper, the West starters look slightly stronger (but they always do), but I think Lebron and D-Wade plus Dwight Howard will be too much for Kobe and Chris Paul to handle.  My prediction is another close game with the East coming out on top, and Dwayne Wade (almost said Dwight Howard) named MVP.  There – you read it here first!