Later on Thursday the NBA All-Star Game reserves will be announced — and in the Western Conference frontcourt a couple deserving guys will get snubbed.
The fans voted in Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and Kevin Love as the starters. There likely will be four (maybe five) front court replacement players from a group including LaMarcus Aldridge (a lock to make it), Dwight Howard, Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, DeMarcus Cousins, Marc Gasol, David Lee, Serge Ibaka, Anthony Davis and Zach Randolph.
Notice that the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan wasn’t on that list. However in Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers’ ongoing efforts to boost the confidence of Jordan, he lobbied other coaches to get him on the team, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The Clippers coach said Wednesday he had lobbied his fellow Western Conference coaches to cast an All-Star vote for center DeAndre Jordan, who has become one of the game’s elite big men in his sixth NBA season.
“I got a great response,” Rivers said, “but that’s why you go under a curtain and you vote for real because [they say], ‘Yeah, I’m going to vote for him’ and then they [pull] that other lever.”
Jordan has improved as a player this season, particularly on the defensive end. Asked to protect the rim and quarterback a lot of the Clippers defense, Jordan has blocked 2.4 points a game and has a defensive rating against of 98 (which is improve a few points per 100 possessions over previous years. He leads the league averaging 13.9 rebounds a game and is second in total rebound percentage (he grabs 21.7 percent of the available rebounds when on the court).
But Jordan is not elite. Not at either end of the court.
And with all due respect, he’s not an All-Star. Not in front of the names listed above.