Josh Smith should have been an All-Star. He has stepped up his play with Al Horford out and is giving the Hawks 15.9 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.1 blocks per game, and the Hawks are your four seed in the East at 18-10. Hard to look the other way.
But the reserve All-Star forwards in the East are Chris Bosh, Luol Deng, Andre Iguodala and Paul Pierce.
Smith is staying home and he’s not happy about it. This sums up his feelings, via the twitter of Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (via Eye on Basketball).
“I guess I don’t know the right people or kiss enough [butt].”
Or there is this from his story in the paper.
“You’ve got to factor in there is a lot of politics involved in the All-Star selection,” Smith said Friday.…
“I can’t really point a finger and blame anybody because, at the end of the day, when you leave it up to certain people that still have ties to their agents, [and] players in this game today probably [are] just putting in a bid over the phone, or however they do it,” he said. “You have to factor that in.”
I could make a case for why Smith should be in over Deng or Pierce, but the fact is those are not bad selections. I would have gone with Smith over Deng, but this isn’t a terrible decision. Just too many good players and not enough spots. It’s not all politics.
This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.
The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.
With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.
Emphasis on “almost.”
The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.
The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.
After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.
The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.
Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.
The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.