Guard: Chauncey Billups
Guard Brandon Roy
Forward: Dirk Nowitzki
Forward: Pau Gasol
Center: Shaquille O’Neal
Wild Card: Tony Parker
Wild Card: Al Jefferson
Guard: Devin Harris
Guard: Joe Johnson
Forward: Danny Granger
Forward: Chris Bosh
Center: Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Wild Card: Rajon Rondo
Wild Card: Jameer Nelson
Most of my picks are self-explanatory, but a few of them need to be explained. I chose Jefferson over Paul Millsap because his numbers are superior and because he’s been more durable. I know there’s an unspoken rule against placing three centers on the All-Star team, but Jefferson is more than capable of playing power forward.
I have four point guards on the Eastern Conference team, so sue me. I don’t think Nelson or Rondo should be penalized because the fans voted for Allen Iverson. Both Nelson and Rondo have put up All-Star numbers and they’re more deserving than Paul Pierce or Vince Carter. Rondo has struggled at times offensively, but he’s played All-NBA caliber defense. Chris Paul will probably get the nod due to his steal totals, but it will be a travesty if Rondo is left off the All-NBA Defensive 1st team.
If the East gets in a pinch, they can always slide LeBron to power forward and move Bosh to the five spot.
I know that Zydrunas Ilgauskas has been out for nearly a month with a chip fracture in his left ankle. My selection of lgauskas boils down to a few factors:
1. Cleveland deserves more than one All-Star selection because they’re 35-8 on the season.
2. Mo Williams would be the next logical choice, but as a point guard, he hasn’t outplayed Rondo or Nelson.
3. I’m not impressed by anyone else. Boston doesn’t deserve three players. New Jersey doesn’t deserve two. Ilgauskas has accomplished more in 28 games than Emeka Okafor has in 46.
In 28 games this season, Big Z matched a career-best by shooting 51.8 percent from the field. With Z spacing the floor, the Cavs were first in offensive efficiency. I know what you’re thinking, it’s not as if the Cavs have experienced a huge dropoff since lgauskas was placed on the injured reserve. That’s true. But I think Cleveland is still riding the momentum from their fast start. The Cavs gained an unquantifiable amount of confidence over the first few weeks of the season. Ilgauskas was a big part of that.
I know that Z will be overlooked since he’s missed nearly a fourth of the season thus far, but all things considered, he would still receive my vote. Ilgauskas is questionable for tonight’s matchup with the Orlando Magic. It’s a shame that injury will keep him from playing in what should be his third All-Star game.