The 2016 NBA All-Star reserves have been announced, so Today’s Fastbreak’s Jason Patt, Kelly Scaletta and Nekias Duncan got together again to talk about it. They’d previously talked about the early returns for the All-Star voting and the All-Star starters.
Jason: How did the coaches do with their picks? I think they did a pretty darn good job.
Nekias: They absolutely nailed it. The only potential gripe I could really see would be LaMarcus Aldridge making it over someone like Damian Lillard, but even that would boil down to if Aldridge made it as a big or one of the wild card spots.
Kelly: I’m in disbelief. How are they going to leave Tony Snell off like that?
Nekias: His shooting probably distracted the voters from their creative processes.
Jason: I can’t wait for the story to come out that it was actually Tony Snell’s terrible performance and not Wiz that distracted Kanye from his work.
Kelly: OK, but seriously, seems there’s controversy over Aldridge getting in. I suppose if that’s the biggest gripe there is, it’s not that bad.
Jason: Yep, he’s the only one who I wouldn’t have picked. I would’ve taken Dirk instead, with Damian Lillard close behind Dirk. I could probably make an argument for McCollum or Towns, but I get why they wanted two Spurs.
Oh, and Blake Griffin obviously goes over LMA if there wasn’t all this hubbub with him.
All this being said, would you have taken Duncan over LMA if you HAD to pick 2 Spurs?
Nekias: If Blake was healthy (and non-violent), we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion.
Kelly: I’d put Duncan in. If Kobe deserves a last game, Duncan sure as heck does too.
And I’m surprised Blake didn’t get in. I thought he still had a puncher’s chance.
Jason: TOO SOON! (It’s never too soon)
Kelly: But am I the only one a little sad that Duncan isn’t in? You could argue (and many would) that he’s the greatest player of the generation, not Kobe.
Jason: It is kind of a bummer, and like I said, you can make the argument that he deserves it over LMA. Aldridge’s numbers are fine this year, but they aren’t mind-blowing, and Duncan’s defensive impact can’t be denied. Highest DRPM in the league!
Kelly: By a lot. He would have been my choice.
Do you think there will be anyone who misses the game and needs to be replaced?
Jason: Well the way it’s going, who knows if Kobe’s still standing at that point, although I’m sure he’ll do all he can to play. Out of everybody else, I guess there’s no clear option for somebody missing right now. AD gets hurt all the time.
Kelly: OK. What about the other contests? I heard a rumor that Boogie might be in the Skills Challenge.
Jason: From stuff trickling out, Boogie in the Skills Challenge, and I gotta think Draymond is there as well. I think Stein mentioned Anthony Davis, too.
Also, Bosh in the three-point contest! Nekias can appreciate that one.
Kelly: Any guards gonna be in the Skills Challenge?
And I wish the dunk contest would be real this time.
Nekias: Chris Bosh was pretty much a guarantee for the three-point shootout since they canceled the other challenge. The name escapes me at the moment, but the one with the retired legend and WNBA player on a team with a current All-Star.
I think the dunk contest is going to be a bummer honestly. We may get Aaron Gordon and Larry Nance Jr., but I heard Andrew Wiggins doesn’t want to do it.
Kelly: I think that was the “it’s time to go get dinner” competition. Not sure if that’s official but pretty certain.
Nekias: Oh, come on. I enjoyed it, especially the suspense around the half-court shot. I’m sad we don’t get to see if Team Bosh could continue their dominance.
Kelly: I can’t say I didn’t like it. I was too busy getting dinner.
Jason: Team Bosh had won three years in a row! Also, I don’t think Nance is doing the dunk contest because of his recent injury. He was asked, though.
We need Porzingis in it! And Wiggins going against LaVine would be cool.
Kelly: Porzingis would be interesting in the dunk contest. I’d still love to see some guys like Russ in it to bring it back.
I remember the glory days of Jordan vs. ‘Nique, though.
Oooh!!! Cool idea. Since Russ only dunks on people, bring in a rim protector. Make the dunkers dunk on people. Imagine Rudy Gobert standing under the rim for the dunk contest!
Nekias: Please, no. I don’t want the pure awesomeness of Porzingis to be tainted like Serge’s was after his “appearance” in the dunk contest.
Jason: Ha, fair enough.
Here’s a question: who didn’t make it this year that you think will make it next year?
Kelly: So nothing on my rim protector idea? You’re just gonna leave me like that?
Nekias: To answer Kelly, I’m not sure how many bigs are going to willingly sign up to be dunked on.
As for Jason, the easy choice is Blake Griffin. I do think we could see Karl Towns if anyone besides Sam Mitchell is coaching that team next year.
Jason: Yeah, not counting Blake because d’uh, but I’m pretty convinced Towns will make it next year. He’s already a double-double guy who shoots efficiently and plays solid defense. He’s only going to get better, and like you said Nekias, hopefully with a coach who can coach in the 21st century.
I feel pretty decent about Dame’s chances next year as well.
In the East, I wouldn’t put it past Porzingis to challenge for a spot. In all likelihood he’s probably another few years away from All-Star status, but not ruling it out. How about Giannis?
Nekias: I need to see another leap in Giannis’s game before I can go there.
Kelly: In the West, Karl-Anthony Towns.
In the East, Kristaps Porzingis.
Jason: That’s what I like to see. All aboard the KAT and Zinger bandwagon.
Nekias: Speaking of KAT, apparently he’s gonna be in the Skills Challenge, too.
Jason: Yeah, that’s gonna be dope.
Kelly: Gonna be BIG!
Nekias: “And if you don’t like that, you don’t like NBA Basketball!”