For the second time since reserves for the Western Conference All-Star team were announced, Warriors guard Monta Ellis has been passed over to join the team as an injury replacement.
The first all-star to bow out was Chris Paul. He was replaced with the Nuggets’ Chauncey Billups. With the news that Blazers guard Brandon Roy would miss the game, there was a chance Ellis, the sixth-leading scorer in the league, would be chosen as a replacement. But Monday, the NBA announced that Clippers center Chris Kaman would replace Roy, leaving Ellis on the outside looking in, again.
I think the choice of Billups was correct. Billups’ stats (19.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 2.45 TOs, 1.2 steals) aren’t as good as Ellis’ numbers (26.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 4.17 turnovers, 2.15 steals), but he plays for a much better team. The Nuggets are 34-17 while the Warriors are 13-36. That has to count for something.
I disagree with the selection of Kaman. His numbers are good (20.2 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.4 blocks), but Ellis’ stats are better. The argument I’ve heard most often for keeping Ellis out is that he’s on a terrible team, and on that basis, I disagree with the Kaman selection. The Clippers are 21-29 — better than the Warriors — but not enough to make the difference with this decision.
I’ve been critical recently of Ellis. But those arguments have been about the way he fits the Warriors and if the team can have success with him as its top player. That’s a separate issue from his performance this season and whether it merits all-star consideration. I didn’t think he was more deserving than the players who were originally selected to the team, and I didn’t think choosing Billups instead of Ellis was a mistake. But if the main reason Ellis has been snubbed is because he leads a lousy team, than where is the justification for selecting Kaman?
If the reason for selecting Kaman was the NBA wanted another big man instead of a guard, then I would have suggested the Lakers’ Andrew Bynum or even Minnesota’s Kevin Love as more deserving candidates than Kaman.
What do you think? Are you upset by this news? Do you think Ellis has been unfairly passed over, or are you OK with the NBA’s decision? Post your thoughts below.