Mavericks All-Star Should be Tyson Chandler


Last night on TNT’s award winning pregame show the 2015 NBA All-Star Game Starters were announced. One of the most ludicrous things in sports –no, the world– is putting the voting for the first five participants in each conference up to the fans.

Fans are stupid. And is anyone going to like the NBA any less if they diminish the value of fan voting? Sigh.

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Regardless, Kobe Bryant made it in the West because of his worldwide popularity and cult of diehard supporters through thick and so many shots missed and thin.

On the other side, Carmelo Anthony, who has played in 33 games for the 7-36 New York Knicks was also selected by the fans. (In his defense, the Knicks have won two in a row and are streaking!)

Kobe’s torn rotator cuff will put someone deserving in but that’s not the point trying to be made here, or even discussed.

The Mavericks, to nobody’s surprise, did not get an All-Star starter voted in by the fans. Dirk Nowitzki is the only one of this bunch to do it and he’s accomplished that feat twice.

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

That leaves things up to the Western Conference coaches, as the benches –which will be announced next Thursday on the same channel (TNT)– are selected by the panel of 15 coaches in each conference, voting for their own.

Last season Dirk Nowitzki captured the final spot for his 12th trip to All-Star Weekend, although if he could have given the spot to Monta Ellis and watched the festitivites from home, he probably (definitely but I don’t know Dirk personally :() would have done it before you can say Brüskierung.

There’s a good chance Monta Ellis and his instrumental 20 points per game and clutch moment-filled first half of the season could be selected to the reserve unit, however we’ve all heard a billion and six times how deep the West is with guards.

James Harden will probably replace Kobe Bryant, but in the reserve nominations are Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook, Mike Conley, Chris Paul, Wesley Matthews, Eric Bledsoe and last year’s major snub Goran Dragic to compete with.

As for front court players competing to backup Blake Griffin, Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol, you could make cases for Kevin Durant (I would), Dwight Howard (I wouldn’t), Zach Randolph, Deandre Jordan, Tim Duncan and DeMarcus Cousins.

Then there’s Dirk, who’s numbers don’t scream worthy of passing up a lot of these guys, but his efficiency shouts, albeit a bit quieter, that they do.

Also, LaMarcus Aldridge will need replacing, out 6-8 weeks with a thumb injury.

After removing Aldridge, that’s now twice the names (14) for spots (7), which means several very, very worthy players are going to be deemed unworthy.

And I haven’t even mentioned Tyson Chandler.

Go back to that list above, there are just a handful of centers named. Howard, Deandre Jordan, Duncan and Boogie Cousins. This is exactly why the center spot in the starting lineup voting system has become obsolete.

To win All-Star games, you don’t necessarily need size, you don’t even need to win. But having a balanced roster can’t hurt, especially when the adrenaline kicks in mid 3rd quarter and players start trying.

“See you in New York?”

Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Tyson Chandler is having an absolute monster season in his return to Dallas. He’s averaging 10.7 points, 12.2 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and is throwing in over an assists and half a steal a night for good measure.

He’s fourth in the league in rebounding, second in field goal percentage with a remarkable 68% clip (Deandre Jordan leads both those categories).

Tyson also has 18 double doubles, and also shoots 73% from the free throw line, easily one of the better marks for a center in the Association.

Things you can’t measure like leadership, heart, toughness, passion, intelligence, etc. would not only ensure Tyson Chandler a spot in New York for All-Star Weekend, but would help recognize him as one of the best centers in the entire league. (Another time perhaps, loyal readers)

Is Dirk deserving? Is Monta? Heck yes to both, especially Monta, who –if selected– would finally grab a well earned All-Star appearance, shedding the designation of an all-time high 19.4 PPG average for a player never selected to an All-Star Game (entering this season).

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Unfortunately, the insane depth at point guard and shooting guard –aka the backcourt– could make Monta Ellis an All-Star Game casualty once again.

The Mavericks center was selected as a member of the Eastern Conference All-Star team in 2013 with the New York Knicks, but if we’re talking East, Monta is absolutely getting in over there. Alas, we are not.

So if it’s to be a fair game of seesaw compiling the Western Conference roster for the 64th NBA All-Star Game, Tyson Chandler should be on board an American Airlines flight come February 12th.

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