By Zagrieb Zano
If your reading this, then you already know how the west was won. What is most interesting about the east is how many prolific scorers are playing in the east. Those that get snubbed will have a reason to feel disrespected. Let’s jump right into it.
My top contenders are split into two groups, scores and playmakers. First off who can deny the excitement that one against just by watching DaRong Lyons take the floor. Nobody cares if the rest of the Liberty team joins him, he doesn’t need them. Before it is all said and done, DaRond may have the scoring title. It’s too bad we won’t see him in the post season except for in the stands. The all-star game will be his post season. 28.8 points a game, he doesn’t do much else. He doesn’t need too.
Shermar Mahara is the reason London is battling for 1st place in the Euro Division. But due to his injury, he won’t make get nominated. I felt he needed to be recognized regardless.
Omar Jefferson is a very old 26, his numbers have dropped from seasons past, he is starting to return to mortal player type stats. Normally, I would think that putting up 18 points and 7 assists a game would be a shoe in. But this isn’t your grandmas all-star game.
Javonte Bolk is nearly identical stats to Jefferson, but he’s doing it with half the talent. He may represent a changing of the guard for all-stars. Do the Raiders know how to stuff ballot boxes?
Now onto the playmakers who make everybody else look sexy. Jervon Timmons, only scores 7 points a game but with 10.9 assists a game combined with 2.5 steals, who is to say that a scoring point guard has more right than those who play the game to help their team lead the league in the only stat that matters. Wins.
Isaac Edmonson, leads the league with 11.2 assists a game, and similar to Timmons, he plays defense. Are his assists sexier than Jervon’s?
Tyler Kane, his +/- is among his team’s best at .5 Yeah, he’s THAT good.
Ok this is where things get a bit crazy, considering that in the East they have 7 shooting guards who all average 24 points or more a game. It just isn’t right.
Dave Williams recently coming off a severe shoulder injury is the league’s top scorer. But he also grabs nearly 6 boards with 2.6 dimes a game. Missing so many games could hurt his chances. Dave was built for all-star games. He may go down as the greatest scorer in the league before it is all said and done. Hopefully, not winning a title will put and asterisks by his name in the Hall of Fame or even getting to a league championship for that matter.
Mario Bailey has stepped up his scoring this year but at the sacrifice of less rebounds and assists. Regardless in any normal year there wouldn’t be any question if he was worthy of being an all-star. Of course he is, but does he benefit too much from having one of the best supporting casts in the league. Is he a “system” player?
Branko Filipovic continues to be an outsider looking in, but he can flat out play. Combine his nearly 25 points a game with 4 rebounds and 2 assists a game. He is the pride of Frankfurt, and they will be drinking many beers and eat many bratwursts in his honor if he gets voted in.
Long Island’s Danny Hainge continues to put up terrific numbers, which considering they are a 500 quality team. That is impressive. Like the others on the list 24 points a game, 3.8 rebounds, 4 assists plus some steals.
Honorable Mentions – Dave Troychak, Harry Jarvis, Bert Haug
Walt Jackson and Wayne Taylor.
Craig Bradshaw has spent his career with Cincinnati. While he may have lost his scoring touch slightly, he owns the boards. You don’t get a rebound without his permission. Are 13 points and 11 boards a game sexy enough to play during the WBA breaker?
Isaac Rice is back to how he was in the early years of his career. 18 points 7 rebounds a game. The east doesn’t have a lot of great power forwards, but Isaac can bang with any of the big boys in the west. Considering his max contract to player for the Highlanders, he better be among the best.
Another Liberty player makes the list that nobody has heard of. Tom Kinsey is in his 5th season and third with NY. His 17 points 7.90 rebounds and 1 block and steal a game make him about as complete of package as you can get.
Mr. Double-Double himself, Heiko Van Brandt from southern Toronto (Rochester) has been doing it all for years. Nobody can match his versatility. 16 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists for a power forward. Yeah, he’s pretty sick at the ripe old age of 32.
Jose Nobis has been a big part of the success for Miami. He is putting in a respectable 12 points 6 rebounds a game. If he could figure out how to get fouled more often, he is money from the line, making 100 out of 103 free throw attempts. Anybody would kill to make 97% of their charity stripe donations.
If you want big men who can run the court, look no further then Andorra’s Ellis Law. He has trived in the high octane, defense be damned style. With 21 points and 7 rebounds, he is shooting an astounding .589 percent from the field.
The rumor that former #1 pick Jay Vasquez has lost his dominance have been grossly exaggerated. While he isn’t scoring 25 points a game anymore, his 18 points 8 rebounds along with a block each game have proven he is still a force to be dealt with.
Al Herbert may benefit from the lack of big time centers in the east, the Brooklyn starter has put together a nice season thus far13 points 9 rebounds 2 steals and a block a game. Perhaps the biggest surprise is his ability to shoot from range, He is shooting 40% from beyond the arc. And I’m not talking about an occasional three pointers here and there, it is a core part of the offense as he has launched 166 so far.
As we have seen that the east has the best shooting guards and small forwards. It’s about a wash at the point guard spot. The west has the best big men what an interesting dynamic. That fact alone is going to make the finals very interesting. But this is only for the midseason break.
1. DaRond Lyons – New York
2. Jervon Timmons – Toronto
1. Dave Williams
2. Mario Bailey
1. Walt Jackson
2. Wayne Taylor
1. Isaac Rice – Andorra
2. Heiko Van Brandt – Rochester
1. Ellis Law
2. Jay Vasquez