With the All-NBA teams released, the question that comes up every year, is “who got left out?”
Here are the All-NBA teams:
All-NBA First Team: Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Joakim Noah, James Harden, and Chris Paul
All-NBA Second Team: Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Dwight Howard, Stephen Curry, Tony Parker
All-NBA Third Team: Paul George, LaMarcus Aldridge, Al Jefferson, Goran Dragic, Damian Lillard
The only player that I can say that truly got snubbed was Russell Westbrook. Westbrook averaged 21.8 points, 6.9 assists, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.9 steals per game in the regular season. What’s crazy about Westbrook’s stat-sheet stuffing is that he did it in 30.7 minutes a game, as he was on a minutes limit for most of his season after coming back from right knee surgery.
Among point guards, Westbrook was top-three in points, rebounds, and steals per game. The reasoning behind Wesbrook’s absence from an All-NBA team has to be that he missed 36 games, which is nearly half a season. The point guard position has been as good as you will ever see with other point guards such as John Wall, Kyle Lowry, and Kyrie Irving missing the cut as well. If Goran Dragic would have never had the monster season he had, nearly carrying the Suns into the playoffs in a tough Western Conference with his running mate Eric Bledsoe out half the season, Westbrook might have squeezed in.
Carmelo Anthony, who had made an All-NBA team six of the last eight seasons didn’t make a team as well. Anthony was second in the league in scoring (27.4) and averaged 8.1 rebounds, but his numbers came on a New York Knicks team that didn’t make the playoffs in a poor Eastern Conference. As an individual, Anthony is as talented offensively as anyone but his lack of leadership and inconsistent effort on defense explains his absence from an All-NBA team.
Other players that you could make an argument for are Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, but both are on teams with losing records. Davis averaged 20.8 points, 10 rebounds, and led the league in blocks per game with 2.8. Cousins averaged 22.7 points, 11.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game. From a numbers standpoint, both of these extremely talented big men are at the top of the list, but not winning hurt them significantly.
As for the players that made the All-NBA teams, you can make the case that Al Jefferson, who made the third team could’ve been on the second team, instead of an inconsistent Dwight Howard. After the all-star break, in 29 games, Jefferson averaged 24.5 points and 11.4 rebounds on 53 percent shooting from the field, the best numbers for any center in that stretch.
Either Damian Lillard or Goran Dragic could’ve been selected to the second team over Tony Parker as these numbers suggest.
Tony Parker: 16.7 points, 5.7 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 0.5 steals, and 25 three-pointers.
Damian Lillard: 20.7 points, 5.6 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 0.8 steals, and 218 three-pointers.
Goran Dragic: 20.3 points, 5.9 assists, 3.2 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 122 three-pointers.
Yes, Parker was on the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs but being a good on a great team shouldn’t determine who is an All-NBA performer.