Arron Afflalo's career season was not enough to get an invite to New Orleans for the NBA All-Star Game.
The NBA announced the reserves for the NBA's All-Star teams Thursday. The coaches for the Eastern Conference selected their reserves and took John Wall, DeMar DeRozan, Paul Millsap, Chris Bosh, Roy Hibbert, Joe Johnson and Joakim Noah.
— NBA All-Star (@NBAAllStar) January 31, 2014
That means no Arron Afflalo and no Kyle Lowry on the All-Star team.
I respect the coaches’ opinions. I’m sure every guy up there in some shape or form deserves to be there. So, I would never criticize the process. What I will say, though, is that next time around, I intend for there to be no debate about where I belong at my position and in the league for that matter. I’ll definitely put the necessary work in to make sure that happens.
Knowing how hard Afflalo works on his game and the fact that his scoring average has improved each season he has been in the league, it would not be a surprise to see him continue to make that jump.
Comparing the statistics of these three guards and it is hard to figure out exactly how Johnson got in over those two:
Cleary from those numbers — and those are some pretty strong numbers that capture their impact on their teams — Kyle Lowry and Arron Afflalo are the clear choice.
Obviously statistics do not make the complete argument. There is the eye test too — which Afflalo and Lowry pass over Johnson — and the standings test. Lowry wins that argument.
It is hard to figure out how the coaches made this decision other than simply picking the player they are most comfortable with and from the biggest market. Johnson gets more exposure and discussion on national media because he plays for the Nets. He also has the best teammates which helps him look good.
Lowry and Afflalo are obviously doing a lot more for their teams.
Afflalo though has slowed down some since the beginning of his season. He started off strong but has seen his scoring drop from well above 20 points per game to a shade better than 20 points per game now. He has not lost much of his shooting edge, just with teams focusing more on him defensively he has had to adjust his game to attack it. Nikola Vucevic's injury did not help either.
Afflalo will take this in stride and probably will not be as upset as fans will be about the snub. There is still the outside chance he gets the call from commissioner Adam Silver if someone on the team is unable to play in the game.
The fact the Magic had someone so close in the running this soon in their rebuild is also a good sign of the direction the team is headed in.
Now the reality sets in that this is a 12-win team with little to play for besides personal improvement and draft positioning. And that certainly hurt Afflalo's All-Star bid.
Victor Oladipo will be headed to New Orleans at the very least to participate in teh BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge.