The 2016 NBA All-Star rosters were completed last week with the announcement of the reserves.
Although the five starters are selected by fans’ votes, the 30 NBA coaches determine the other reserves.
Here are five things we learned from the complete NBA All-Star rosters.
Clippers still getting snubbed
Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin only played 30 games this season, but he was a MVP candidate with averages including 26 points, 9 rebounds and five assists.
Maybe 30 games was not enough to get Griffin into the game, or maybe it was the off-court incident that cost him votes from the 30 NBA coaches? Griffin will be hurt during the game, but he still deserves a selection.
Nonetheless, his front court counterpart Deandre Jordan could not get in either. Jordan averages 11 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks per night. This is a product of the league eliminating the center designation from the rosters.
Chis Paul will be the only member of the Clippers in the game, despite the team being in the middle of an eight-game winning streak.
Where is the foreign love?
Chicago Bulls forward Pau Gasol and Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol were both absent from their respective conference’s rosters. The Spaniards did not receive enough votes from the NBA coaches to become reserves.
Pau’s 16 ponts, 11 rebounds and two blocks should have gotten him into the game.
Marc’s 16 points and eight rebounds make less of a case in a stacked Western Conference. However, he is the leader of the fifth best team in the West, which should atleast put him in the conversation.
German-native and Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki should also make into the game. He is having a renaissance season with 17 points, seven rebounds and two assist.
Nowitzki’s stat-line gives him more of a reason to be in the game than Kobe Bryant, who lead in fans’ votes.
If the All-Star game is all about branding, why did the NBA not select their best stars with roots from Europe?
All-Star game is still all about branding
Leading up to the All-Star game, Los Angeles guard Kobe Bryant was shocked fans elected him into the starting spot on the Western Conference squad. His 15 points, four rebounds and three assist averages were among the worst of his career.
Yet, there was no way he was not going to play in his eighteenth All-Star game after he announced this was his final year. Kobe is too big of a brand to not play in the NBA All-Star game.
However, the aging guard eats up a space for a guard like the Portland Trailblazer star Damian Lillard. Lillard’s 23 points, six rebounds and two assists deserve recognition in the All-Star game. Then again, Lillard plays in one of the NBA’s smaller market.
Golden State Warriors are a historic team
It might be trivial to say the Warriors are a historically great team. They started the season by winning more consecutive games than any other team.
Now they add three all-stars for the first time in 40 years. Guards Steph Curry and Klay Thompson and forward Draymond Green all deserve to represent team on a stacked Western Conference team.
Besides, this team still has a chance to set the all-time wins record in a season.
Isaiah Thomas is an elite guard?
Boston Celtics forward Isaiah Thomas’ name appears as the last name on the Eastern Conference roster. Thomas is a big reason why the Boston Celtics are No. 5 in their conference. However, is he really an elite guard in the East?
Thomas’ stat-line is not much better than Detroit Pistons guard Reggie Jackson or Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker. Both players are having breakout seasons.
Jackson’s explosive play style would have looked the best in the All-Star game. However, Thomas now has an opportunity to prove he belongs among the NBA’s elite guards.
The NBA All-Star game tips-off February 14 in Toronto. This is the NBA’s first All-Star game outside of the United States.
You can view the full roster here.