The AllStar game this year was lacking. For some reason the big name players did not bring their game. Allen Iverson, T-Mac, among others did not impress, and while Vince Carter’s missed dunks were hilarious, the game just dragged on mostly. Last years game was better and seemed more team oriented than this year’s game. It did however signal the changing of the guard from old-time players like A.I., Shaq, and T-Mac to the new stars like Lebron, Wade, and Marion. The East coming out with four Pistons, made up of Chauncey, Rasheed, Richard Hamilton, and Ben Wallace did impact the game and although Chauncey tried a couple of unneeded three-pointers, he did manage to impress and get props for being one of the best guards in today’s league.
It was strange to see Shaq and four Pistons playing together on the same team, but the best combination of front court power was when Lebron and Wallaces played together, they had length, speed, defense, and offense. It was an incredible combination. Surprisingly Lebron showed some defensive skills and his winning of the MVP award was definitely justified. He has a great game and it will only improve with time. Best offensive play goes to Lebron too, but a very close second would have to be Kobe’s fade away three point shot. Say whatever you want about Kobe, he is still one of the top five players in the game right now. I’ll even give Tony Parker some slack for his driving to paint score; he did drive through three defenders and somehow hoisted up the ball for a score. My favorite hustle play though goes to Wade for his tip in in the final minutes to put the East back up. Hey, we’re both from South Chicago, so I have to love Wade’s game, regardless.
As for the West, as usual they never integrated Yao into the game. Timmie was his usual dependable self and managed to get his shots in. Nash tried to integrate everyone, but timings were a little off for the other players, and some great passes became turnovers.
Now as to who I think are definite AllStars this year…. well my pick for number one player is Shawn Marion. I love his energy on the court and his attitude. You always see Marion having an effect on the game on both ends and he doesn’t quit at all. Definitely agree with Barkley that Marion is the most underrated player in the NBA right now. As to the best guards, my vote goes to Chauncey for his strength and Motown moves and to Nash for his incredible passing and vision of the game. For superstar talent, Lebron and Wade are developing each year more and more and they are definitely the face of the new NBA.
But not to leave out the great players that still dominate at the end of games, props would have to go to Jermaine O’Neal who is having a tough year with injuries, Rasheed Wallace who is having his best year ever and who is even better than Timmie, Carmelo Anthony who did not make the AllStar selection but who is flourishing this year, and of course Detroit’s Prince, who is an astute student of the game and the Piston’s best kept secret.
So now that the AllStar break is over, it’s time to get down to playing some real team basketball and hopefully some competitive games.