Four Players More Deserving of an All-Star Nod Than Mike Conley
Recently, the NBA had to make a decision pertaining to the NBA All-Star Game, a game that Mike Conley one could argue has been snubbed from in the past. Well, Conley is now going to get to make this All-Star Game debut as he will be replacing the injured Devin Booker. Booker was also a replacement for the injured Anthony Davis. The problem is, is that there were many others more deserving of an All-Star nod than Conley this season.
It certainly feels as if this is a decision from the league where what you did in the past is being rewarded rather than for your work now. Not to mention, it feels as if this is also to reward the Utah Jazz for having the best record in the league despite the fact that an All-Star nomination is for your individual performance. This is not to say Conley has had a bad season. That is far from the case, but there were at least four other players more deserving of an All-Star appearance.
Four Players Who Deserved an All-Star Nomination Over Mike Conley
Forget what the Oklahoma City Thunder’s record looks like for a second and just focus on the season Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is having. Compared to Conley’s 16.1 points, 5.7 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game, SGA is tallying 23.2 points, 6.2 assists, and 5.1 rebounds per game. It’s pretty clear which numbers are better. SGA is also averaging a higher effective field goal percentage at 57.6 percent compared to Conley’s 55.5 percent. Sadly, it feels like the league snubbed Shai based on his team’s record.
2. The Blue Arrow
Jamal Murray probably gets dinged for his rocky start to the season. Ever since he got his nagging injuries under control, he has looked like what we witnessed in the NBA Bubble. Murray is averaging numbers of 21.8 points, 4.6 assists, and 4.2 rebounds per game. He is also shooting an effective field goal percentage of 56.7 percent. Not to mention, Murray has improved as a defender immensely. If you look beyond the basic defensive stats, he has held some of the league’s most notable names to poor nights when guarded by Murray himself. Jamal has held players such as Russell Westbrook, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Chris Paul to under 10 points when matched up with him. Unfortunately, his start of the season was not overlooked.
3. The Reigning Rookie of the Year
Once again, we seem to have a case of being penalized for team success. The Memphis Grizzlies may not be whirl-beaters in the competitive Western Conference, but Ja Morant is having anything but a sophomore slump. On the year, he is putting up totals of 19.8 points, 7.7 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game. This also goes along with an effective field goal percentage of 48.2 percent. If we are talking about the excitement of an All-Star contest, I would rather watch the explosiveness of a young Ja Morant over Mike Conley. A Mike Conley who is nothing but the third or fourth option on his own team. After all, some of Ja’s dunks have shown he may win a dunk contest or two in his career.
Last, but certainly not least, we have perhaps the biggest snub of them all. DeMar DeRozan has been having a solid, yet under-the-radar campaign. With that said, he even has the San Antonio Spurs in the middle of the Western Conference playoff picture. So, the league cannot use team success against him. With stats of 20.0 points, 7.2 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per game while shooting an effective field goal percentage of 50.4 percent, it is criminal that the league chose Conley over him.
The man who has massively increased his assists totals and is still one of the deadliest mid-range scorers in the league deserves better. In the month of February, DeRozan averaged 21.3 points to couple with 7.9 assists per game. With all due respect to Mike Conley, it is clear he did not deserve an All-Star selection over the likes of these players.
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