Star-Gate: Western Conference

Earlier this week we looked at some questionable omissions from the All-Star ballot for the Eastern Conference. Today we’ll be doing the same thing but for the Western Conference.

For this examination we will be turning to Wins Produced and Wins Produced per 48 minutes. Below is a list of all the players appearing on the Eastern Conference’s All Star Ballot, showing the minutes they have played this season, their WP48 and their total Wins Produced.

Keep in mind that when looking at WP48, 0.300 is considered super-star performance, 0.200 is considered star performance, 0.100 is considered average performance and anything in the negative is considered atrocious and embarrassing.

Leaving out a few players who have played limited minutes we can put together some fun lineups. Using listed position designations here’s the most productive lineup for the Western Conference.

Point Guard – Chris Paul – WP48 0.445
Shooting Guard – Manu Ginobili – WP48 0.288
Small Forward – Carmelo Anthony – WP48 0.178
Power Forward – Kevin Love – WP48 0.430
Center – Marcus Camby – WP48 0.340

This lineup doesn’t like quite as powerful as the most productive lineup we put together for the Eastern Conference but there is a lot more position duplication in the Western Conference. Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol, Tim Duncan and Lamar Odom all play power forward and have a WP48 above 0.290 this season.

Here’s the least productive lineup I could put together.

Point Guard – Derek Fisher – WP48 0.001
Shooting Guard – Corey Brewer – WP48 -0.006
Small Forward – Hedo Turkoglu – WP48 0.004
Power Forward – Carl Landry – WP48 -0.086
Center – DeMarcus Cousins – WP48 -0.041

The frustrations of the Sacramento Kings early in the season manifest heavily in this lineup. Especially since Tyreke Evans is breathing down the necks of Brewer and Fisher with his WP48 of 0.030. Chauncey Billups, O.J. Mayo and Brandon Roy can also thanks Brewer and Fisher for stinking it up and keeping them out of this lineup.

Finally, here’s the most productive lineup I could create with players left off the All-Star ballot in the Western Conference.

Point Guard – Kyle Lowry – WP48 0.149
Shooting Guard – Arron Afflalo – WP48 0.153
Small Forward – Matt Barnes – WP48 0.251
Power Forward – Paul Millsap – WP48 0.229
Center – Tyson Chandler – WP48 0.306

If you don’t like this lineup feel free to switch in any of these players also left off the ballot.

Serge Ibaka – WP48 0.194
DeJuan Blair – WP48 0.182
Josh Childress – WP48 0.161
Shannon Brown – WP 0.155
DeAndre Jordan – WP48 0.152
Samuel Dalembert – WP48 0.150
Deshawn Stevenson – WP48 0.150
Richard Jefferson – WP48 0.147

Clearly there were several misfires with the All-Star ballot besides the omission of Paul Millsap. Hindsight is 20/20 but including Brendan Haywood and leaving off Tyson Chandler looks horrible at this point. Over the summer I’m sure there wasn’t another real obvious candidate at guard, but the inclusion of Derek Fisher is baffling.

A few commenters have shared the opinion that this examination is a waste of time as none of the player’s were are discussing would receive enough votes to be starters, and if their play deserves inclusion on the All-Star team then the coaches will include them when filling out the rosters. To me there is more to this entire All-Star undertaking then just the five players who received the most votes for each conference.

I think of being on the ballot as a way of giving recognition to players who are productive and work hard. Whether or not Reggie Evans deserves to make to the team, it has to be frustrating that Toronto fans don’t have an opportunity to say “Reggie, you’ve been kicking tail on the glass and doing everything you can to help the ream win and we appreciate it,” by voting for him.

Making the All-Star team is one level of recognition. Being on the ballot and having the opportunity for your fans to vote for you is another level of recognition. That’s the one that I think some of these players deserve.

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