Eastern Conference All-Star Reserves Power Rankings
Fighting for their Spot
The big debate in All-Star circles is whether to value the anecdotes that make a player an All-Star or whether to value stats and deeper analytics. A simmering debate is going on once again between Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors fans.
All the analytics love Scottie Barnes, and his raw numbers are comparable. And many people are taking those analytics as gospel and squeezing Barnes onto the roster without much other context or argument.
Arguments that work for Barnes are used against his competition, while they dismiss team-based arguments against his candidacy. This is the classic eye test for numbers argument, and nobody knows who will win.
Barnes is having an All-Star season. We should not be tearing players down. Paolo Banchero and Scottie Barnes are two young, dynamic players doing great things.
But the same people only looking at the analytics are missing that the Toronto Raptors are 16-28 and outside the playoff picture.
That probably matters and is keeping Barnes from the All-Star conversation, even if he might still make it in as a wild card.
Bam Adebayo has had a strong season. He has been the healthiest player for the Miami Heat and has carried the team into the playoff picture.
But everything feels off about the Heat. And that is why Miami may not even end up with an All-Star this year.
Adebayo's efficiency is way down this year even as he has averaged a career-high in scoring.
Adebayo is still one of the best defenders in the league. And he could be in place to compete for Defensive Player of the Year (everyone is fighting for second behind Rudy Gobert).
There is enough respect for the Heat and their culture to vote him in.
Jarrett Allen does not have the scoring numbers or stats to support an All-Star bid. But he is the exact kind of player who coaches appreciate but that fans would not.
While Allen is not a scorer, he has been a central figure in the Cleveland Cavaliers' revival.
Since Evan Mobley left the lineup, Allen has averaged 16.0 points and 11.9 rebounds per game. The Cavaliers have a 108.5 defensive rating with Allen on the floor with a 14-7 record, including a seven-game win streak that has settled the Cavaliers in the 4-seed and separated them from the playoff pack.
That is what coaches will really care bout.