Every year, two things happen: First, the NBA announces the winners of the NBA All star voting. If you use twitter, you've probably seen lots of folks voting with the #NBAVote hashtag. Second, everyone gets outraged at how stupid the fans are, how undeserving [insert ridiculous choice here] is of starting in the all star game, and how outrageous it is that [insert obvious MVP candidate here] wasn't voted to start.

I've been guilty of this outrage too, of course.

Kevin Love is second in scoring, first in rebounding, first 25/12/4 since, what, Barkley? But we're not voting him in? Really, NBA fans!?

— Patrick Minton (@nbageek) December 30, 2013

But I've since changed my stance about this. The NBA doesn't actually want the all star starters to be its ten best players. It wants them to be the ten players who the fans most want to see. The All-Star game is about ratings, not basketball. And fans want to see Kobe (because they know it's their last chance), and they want to see Melo because...well, actually, I'm really not sure why anyone wants to see Melo play; I've always found his game to be pretty boring to watch.

And that's before we even get into the game-rigging shenanigans like entire countries voting for that one player in the NBA. So...outrage is misplaced.

But, in case you feel the need to vent a little, here are the players that I think deserved to start.

Western Conference

Draymond Green

He's second in the West in wins produced, but leads all non-point-guards in assists per 48 (and second-place James Harden is pretty far behind), and is a leading candidate for defensive player of the year. He should quite obviously replace Kobe Bryant in the front court (speaking of which...WTF? Last I checked, Kobe plays guard, not forward?).

It's very hard to argue with the other 4 spots in the west, though. They are quite literally the top four MVP candidates right now.

Eastern Conference

Hassan Whiteside

Long-time readers of the site will know that I absolutely hate (hate HATE HATE) the "empty stats" argument. NBA Players are not playing fantasy basketball. Opponents don't just let Whiteside block ten shots a game. He's now done this three times in two years, and there are only about a dozen players who have done this at all since the NBA started tracking blocks. "Wiltside" is a better choice than Melo in the front court.

Jimmy Butler

Once upon a time, Dwayne Wade was the best shooting guard in the NBA, but those days are long past. He's still scoring a lot, but he's chucking lots of shots to do it. His shooting efficiency is at a career low, as are his steals. He's just not the same player he used to be.

Butler, on the other hand, is having a career year (which, since he already did that last season, is impressive). He's the Bulls' best scorer (in volume and efficiency), a great defender and passer.

Paul Millsap

Between Millsap and George, it is quite literally no contest which "Paul" is having the better season. Millsap has better per48 numbers in rebounds (both defensive and offensive), steals, turnovers (George is having a terrible year in this category), and blocks (Millsap is actually good at this, while George is about as effective as Kevin Love). Not all of this is George's fault; his numbers would actually look a lot better if he were playing small forward more.

This is a situation where the voters have a hard time looking beyond points per game (otherwise known as the "Yay! Points!" metric). George is scoring 23.7 points per game (a career high), while Millsap averages only 18.4 (coincidentally also a career high). But George's very poor turnover and block numbers, and his sub-par rebounding, really should matter when you're evaluating a guy who plays so much power forward in small-ball lineups.

 

So, that's my "outrage". What's got you riled up about this year's all-star voting?

This Week's Show

Dre, Patrick, and Brian celebrate show #100 with special guest Jenny Boucek, head coach of the WNBA's Seattle Storm, and get her thoughts on coaching, economics, and analytics in the WNBA.

Hosts

Sources

You can watch us live at twitch.tv/nerdnumbers; we usually go Tuesday or Wednesday at 9:30 pm EST. Follow us on Twitter and we'll keep you posted!

Please subscribe to Channel NerdNumbers on YouTube and like us on iTunes!

Video Show

Show Notes

This week we have an amazing special guest. Jenny Boucek, coach of the Seattle Storm. Needless to say, we were thrilled, and we didn't even get time on this week's show to discuss Jenny's impressive basketball resume which included a stellar four years with the Virginia Cavaliers and also being named the best player in Iceland.

We talk a little bit about Kevin Love and his defense before Jenny joined the call.

Patrick has a great interview with Coach Boucek that includes a fun set of topics. Tune in to hear them, and here's a quick rundown of them:

How important is the three point shot in the WNBA? We have a fun discussion about long twos versus three-pointers.

Why being a coach is a lot like being a good sales person.

How to deal with competing overseas contracts in the WNBA.

How WNBA players are underpaid, even adjusting for league size.

How weird it is to always compare the WNBA to the NBA when the same logic does not exist in other sports (e.g. tennis.)

Patrick asks a few Storm questions. Tune in if you want to hear who they'll draft!

Shout Outs

Brian shouts out Alan Rickman and Lemmy, who we both lost too soon to cancer.

Patrick shouts out Benjamin Morris (@skepticalsports) at 538 for the fantastic article: "NFL Coaches Are Getting Away With Crimes Against Middle-School Math."

This Week's Show

Dre, Patrick, and Brian celebrate show #100 with special guest Jenny Boucek, head coach of the WNBA's Seattle Storm, and get her thoughts on coaching, economics, and analytics in the WNBA.

Hosts

Sources

You can watch us live at twitch.tv/nerdnumbers; we usually go Tuesday or Wednesday at 9:30 pm EST. Follow us on Twitter and we'll keep you posted!

Please subscribe to Channel NerdNumbers on YouTube and like us on iTunes!

Video Show

Show Notes

This week we have an amazing special guest. Jenny Boucek, coach of the Seattle Storm. Needless to say, we were thrilled, and we didn't even get time on this week's show to discuss Jenny's impressive basketball resume which included a stellar four years with the Virginia Cavaliers and also being named the best player in Iceland.

We talk a little bit about Kevin Love and his defense before Jenny joined the call.

Patrick has a great interview with Coach Boucek that includes a fun set of topics. Tune in to hear them, and here's a quick rundown of them:

How important is the three point shot in the WNBA? We have a fun discussion about long twos versus three-pointers.

Why being a coach is a lot like being a good sales person.

How to deal with competing overseas contracts in the WNBA.

How WNBA players are underpaid, even adjusting for league size.

How weird it is to always compare the WNBA to the NBA when the same logic does not exist in other sports (e.g. tennis.)

Patrick asks a few Storm questions. Tune in if you want to hear who they'll draft!

Shout Outs

Brian shouts out Alan Rickman and Lemmy, who we both lost too soon to cancer.

Patrick shouts out Benjamin Morris (@skepticalsports) at 538 for the fantastic article: "NFL Coaches Are Getting Away With Crimes Against Middle-School Math."

The Spurs were predictably too much to handle but the Suns were unpredictably competitive in the 117-89 Phoenix loss.

      
 
 

The Spurs were predictably too much to handle but the Suns were unpredictably competitive in the 117-89 Phoenix loss.

      
 
 

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