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?