Could the non-playoff All Stars win it all?

Published: April 15, 2011

Random thought, I know, but it is one that is fun to contimplate none the less. What if you were to make an All-Star team in each conference made up solely of players who did not make the postseason. Now, take that team and give them a three day training camp to work out some kinks and insert them into the playoffs. How would they fare? Wouldn’t you rather see those guys taking on the Bulls than the Inidana Pacers in round one, even if they still eventually fall to Chicago?

How about a young, but loaded Western Conference squad pushing the tanking Grizzlies out of their spot to face the Manu-less Spurs? Wouldn’t that be must see TV? First things first, however. Who exactly is on each team? Glad you asked. Let’s start in the East.

Eastern Conference Starting Five

Deron Williams, Stephen Jackson, T. Prince, A. Bargnani, J. McGee

I know that technically D Will would not be able to play, but in my scenario, Williams would know that he was going to be on the non-playoff All-Stars (NPAS) and he would have played through his injury. Andre Bogut, however, could not have done the same and that is why he is not a part of this squad. JaVale McGee got the nod over Brook Lopez because of the need to have a defensive presence next to “The Matador” Andrea Bargnani. The other tough call was Stephen Jackson over Demar DeRozan, who played excellent ball in the second half of the season. Jackson gets the start due to playoff experience, but Derozen might get more minutes.


DeRozan, Brook Lopez, Rodney Stuckey, JJ Hickson, John Wall, Ersan Ilyasova, Anthony Morrow

The first five guys make it based on talent and numbers, while the last two make it based on need. Ilysova and Morrow are not better players than a number of guys left off this list, but this team needs a gritty glue guy and a shooter who could spread the floor. The rest of the bench is chalk full of talent. How scary would it be to see Wall and Stuckey coming off the bench together just as your starters are beginning to get tired? Add the ultra athletic DeRozan to the mix and that bench can turn the tide of a game quickly.

Western Conference Starting Five

Steve Nash, Kevin Martin, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, Chris Kaman

The hardest decision here was the front court, as there are a bevy of options to consider. You have got to start both Griffin and Love, but do you start them at the 3 and 4 or the 4 and 5? The thinking is that Love can play on the perimeter on offense, while Griffin is athletic enough to cover another team’s SF. Kaman starts next to these two because he can hit the 18 footer, meaning that Blake or Love can work on the low block.


DeMarcus Cousins, Monta Ellis, Marcin Gortat, Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evens, Chuck Hayes, Kyle Lowry

Tough decisions here as there are some quality snubs on my list. Marcus Thornton, Al Jefferson, Stephen Curry, DeAndre Jordan, and Dorrell Wright all might have made the East squad, but they just weren’t good enough out West. As for what the West does have, they are loaded in the backcourt when it comes to scoring options and they have size to throw at anybody who gets in their way as well.


The Eastern Conference All-Stars would be fun to watch, but the thing that makes Chicago so good is their defense and their chemistry. These All-Stars have neither. The Bulls have this season’s MVP, but the crazy thing is that the All-Stars might still have the edge at point guard, considering Williams has led his team to playoff series victories in the past. In the end, however, Chicago would hold on in 7, giving us all a first round for the ages.

The Western Conference All-Stars, however, are stacked and would dispose of the Spurs fairly quickly. Next to these guys, Tim Duncan would look old and tired, while Manu’s injury would be a big blow to the Spurs and Kyle Lowry would give Tony Parker nightmares. The question is, how far could they go? Could Blake cover Durant in round 2? Probably not, but flip that matchup around and it is the same story. Could this team knock off the two-time defending Champs if the Lakers have the switch flipped by then?

What do you think? Do you even agree with the squads? If not, play GM for the NPAS squads. Who would you choose and how far would they go?


  1. Rocco

    April 15, 2011 at 10:00 am

    When do the playoff series tickets go on sale? ;). It isn’t that Bargnani plays matador defense, its just more enjoyable to have biscotti and an expresso at that end of the court. 😉

  2. jrmywlsn

    April 15, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Luis Scola has to be on the Western Bench.

  3. Chuck

    April 15, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    I actually think the West would lose. We’ve seen Steve Nash get destroyed by Tony Parker too many times. Love and Griffin are both horrible on defense, so while they might have fresh legs, I think Duncan and Blair would have their way down low. Duncan might be old but I think he was pacing himself for a deep playoff run, he still showed flashes of being the old Timmay.

    And that West bench is a disaster. Cousins is a rookie and a headcase. Ellis, Evans, and Gordon (to a lesser extent) are all chuckers. Hayes is undersized. I think if their main bench guys were Lowry, Gortat, and maybe one of those other guys, it would work, but that’s a lot of young players against a veteran Spurs team. Spurs in 6. Maybe 5 if we’re assuming a healthy Manu too. Pace slows down in the playoffs and the Spurs still remember how to play slow, even if they didn’t this year.

    That East team is just awful. I’m not hating on your selections, the East is just bad in general. Best team I could see them winning a playoff series against is the Hawks out East, maybe the Magic if last year’s Bogut was on the team. Bargnani is AWFUL, Tayshaun Prince seems to hate his life right now, and McGee isn’t allowed to play with 3 balls so he probably can’t do much against the Bulls

  4. Rufus

    April 15, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    Oh man, Monta Ellis really isn’t good. Don’t make the same mistake the Warriors do by thinking he is ever better than Curry.

  5. Nithenz

    April 15, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    What i would change is the subs from both NPAS should come from non playoffs benches. There would be less stars but more team players. But it was nice playing GM in my head for a while =P

  6. JCS

    April 15, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Excellent post Mac. You’re a very creative dude. All things considered, I believe the EAST would win, but if I were GM I would swap out Bargnani for Ryan Hollins, and Ilyasova for Ty Thomas on the EAST and out Ellis for Jamario Moon on the WEST. Either way, I think the EAST would take it to the top.


    April 15, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    I have to take the West with Nash, Love, Griffin, Martin and Kaman.

  8. AgentZiko

    April 15, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Nice article bro. This would actually be kinda fun if they did this. A Quazi-All-Star game after the season ends, before the playoffs start. It would be cool.

    I think the West has the upper hand in this. Nash and Blake Griffin together? That trumps Nash and Amare tenfold. When you add a guy like Kevin love to the mix, and a deadeye shooter like Martin, you’re setting yourself up for a really fun team to watch. And I think I’d start Tyreke Evans ahead of Kaman so that you could better accomodate Nash’s up tempo game.

    Chuck buddy, that East team wouldn’t stand a chance against the West team.

    • Chuck

      April 16, 2011 at 10:31 am

      Oh, I agree completely. I thought the premise was they were playing their own conference’s #1 seed, not each other. Also agree with Stephen Curry being on the West team instead of Monta. It’s times like this that make me wonder how the East is soooooo much worse than the West

  9. Monty'sDoghouse

    April 15, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Reke over Buckets? LOL…That in itself is a joke. Way to purposefully go out of your way to discredit the amazing season MT23 had in Sactown.

    • Stefan

      April 16, 2011 at 12:52 am

      We know you love MT5 (as do I), but Tyreke is a better player. Don’t be biased. The joke is on you.

      • Monty'sDoghouse

        April 16, 2011 at 11:07 pm

        Really? Please explain to me how Reke is a better player than Thornton. He’s less efficient, has less range, plays even crappier defense, and has an atrocious A/TO ratio for a PG who always has the ball in his hands. So what exactly is he better at? Yes, he could beat MT in a dunk contest. I’ll admit it. From mental attitude, to depth of game, to just being plain overrated, Reke is far inferior to Marcus. The joke is on you that you can only mimic what someone else spoon feeds you.

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