All Star Injustice Corrected
Player A: 18.2 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.72 steals, 1.42 blocks per game with a 1.11 assist-to-turnover ratio. Named an All Star by the coaches.
Player B: 19.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.25 steals, 0.95 blocks per game with a 1.04 assists-to-turnover ratio. Appointed an All Star by Commissioner David Stern only due to Carlos Boozer's injury.
You may say the two players are comparable and it'd be tough to pick one over the other. Yet, Player A plays in a high octane offense that generates far more possessions and shots per game. The stats show Player A gets far more chances to score (his team logs eight more possessions per game) and grab boards (his team's games average five more missed shots per game), than Player B's team.
Player A also plays alongside two legitimate All Stars, including a two-time MVP point guard, while Player B plays alongside one other All Star and doesn't have a true point guard on his team. You may say, well, maybe Player A is his team's third option. But he logs more minutes (three more per game than Player B) and more shots ( though Player B takes two more shots per game) that anyone on his team. Player B is second on his team in those categories.
In spite of all this, Player B surpasses Player A in all offensive categories except rebounds, is the second option on offense, and is his team's shut down defender, defending as many as four different positions, in the clutch.
Then, you must consider each player's performance when their team's best player is out or leaves the game early. Player A posts 14 points (4.2 fewer than overall) a game in that situation. Player B averages 23 points (3.3 points more than overall) when his best teammate is out. The rebound margin narrows ever so lightly in favor of Player B.
So I have no complaint with Carlos Boozer, with his 22.1 points and 11.3 rebounds per game, being selected by the coaches as an All Star, but choosing Shawn Marion over Josh Howard was an injustice that had to be corrected yesterday by the commissioner. Was it because Howard turned down an Olympic tryout to honor his commitment to kids' camps back home or a mere oversight on the coaches' part? Only the coaches know.