July 23, 2014

Is Mo Williams an All-Star This Year?

Celtics Cavaliers BasketballThis may come off as a bit reactive due to the shot that Mo Williams drained last night, but it is actually just perfect timing.  Last week, the first batch of NBA All-Star results came out, which means we get to see a few things: 1) Who is China voting for (A: Tracy McGrady), and 2) Who looks to be on the outside looking in?

Williams was named to his first All-Star team of his career last season in a year that was his first with the Cavaliers.  There are undoubtedly a strong number of guards in the Eastern conference pool, and Mo’s body of work has not declined from last season.  But what are the odds that he gets the nod yet again?  Let’s take a look at the current standings for guards in the East.

1. Dwyane Wade, MIA
2. Vince Carter, ORL
3. Gilbert Arenas, WAS
4. Ray Allen, BOS
5. Derrick Rose, CHI
6. Allen Iverson, PHI*
7. Joe Johnson, ATL
8. Rajon Rondo, BOS
9. Jose Calderon, TOR
10. Mike Bibby, ATL

Alas, Mo Williams is nowhere to be found.

Last year, then Pistons guard Allen Iverson was voted into the starting five by the fans next to Dwyane Wade.  This left few slots for admittedly more-deserving guards to become reserves.  This year, his candidacy was slated to be in the Western Conference until his recent contract agreement with the Philadelpha 76ers.  Thankfully, he is not among the top two this season.

Williams received a lot of support from fans and teammates last year when it came to the possible All-Star selection, which would be his first ever.  He was passed over through the first round, as Orlando’s Jameer Nelson and New Jersey’s Devin Harris were given the nod.  This led to Ben Wallace calling the decision a “Shamockery.”  When Nelson had to bow out due to injury, David Stern named Boston’s Ray Allen to the squad. 

Of course, this led to team owner Dan Gilbert sounding off, taking a play out of Wallace’s book, calling Stern’s decision “stupidiculous, idillogical and preposterageous.”

Finally, it was an injury to forward Chris Bosh that would ultimately give Williams the All-Star nod.  This then led to the Boston faithful claiming that Rajon Rondo was robbed of a bid, and was piled on when Williams had a postseason to forget.

But what about this season?

Pre All-Star game last year, Williams averaged 17.6 points (46.8 percent), 4.1 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 0.8 steals, and 2.0 three-pointers made. 

Thus far through the 2009-10 season, Williams is averaging 16.9 points (44.2 percent), 4.9 assists, 3.1 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 2.4 three-pointers made. 

Given this, we can likely agree that Mo is playing just as well (if not better on the defensive end) as he was last season. 

Assuming that Wade and Carter get the starting nod, who does he have to compete with for a reserve spot?

We can eliminate Nelson and Harris this season.  Nelson is out for a few more weeks with an injury and Harris is just coming back from one.  Iverson, like Harris, just started playing and will be omitted from this exercise.  The rest of the field?  Alphabetically…

Ray Allen: 15.4 ppg (46.0 FG%), 3.0 apg, 3.0 rpg, 1.0 spg, 1.5 3PM
Gilbert Arenas: 20.7 ppg (40.3 FG%), 6.8 apg, 4.0 rpg, 1.0 spg, 1.7 3PM
Mike Bibby: 9.8 ppg (43.6 FG%), 4.0 apg, 2.8 rpg, 0.8 spg, 1.8 3PM
Jose Calderon: 11.7 ppg (51.5FG%), 6.2 apg, 2.2 rpg, 0.7 spg, 1.0 3PM
Joe Johnson: 21 ppg (44.9 FG%), 5.1 apg, 5.2 rpg, 1.2 spg, 1.3 3PM
Rajon Rondo: 11.7 ppg (52.8 FG%), 9.5 apg, 4.2 rpg, 2.6 spg, 0.1 3PM
Derrick Rose: 16.1 ppg (44.9 FG%), 5.5 apg, 3.0 rpg, 0.9 spg, 0.1 3PM 

Another guy who will get some (a lot of?) consideration, though not among the top 10 in voting – as he was left off of the ballot - is Milwaukee’s rookie point guard Brandon Jennings.  Jennings is averaging a stellar 21.0 points per game to go with six assists, four rebounds and 2.3 three-point field goals a game.  Rookies are rarely apart of the actual All-Star game, but Jennings’ first-half performance is definitely worth the consideration to represent the East in Dallas.

With that said, we can eliminate Bibby from contention.  Calderon has been dinged up as of late and isn’t exactly putting up All-Star numbers.  Ray Allen is as solid as ever, but it is tough to argue that 15 points per game with little else is worth of a nod.  Derrick Rose’s slight decline from last season will likely also knock him out of consideration. 

On the flip side, Areanas’ return from knee injuries would provide a feel-good story as well as one of the more popular players to get back into the game that features the best of the best; Johnson continues to be one of the games best scoring options; and Rondo is averaging nearly a double-double per night with excellent defensive numbers. 

Figure in Jennings catching the eye of basketball fans all over the world (even though he plays in Milwaukee!!), and Williams will have his work cut out for him. 

There is no denying that Mo is one of the best point guards that Cleveland has had for quite some time, but it looks like last year’s numbers simply aren’t getting No. 2 lofted into the upper echelon of guards this season.  Who knows – there may be another flurry of injuries and players that simply prefer to take the weekend off.  However, as it stands now, it will be pretty surprising if Williams finds himself named among the two or three guards that get selected to be reserves in the 2010 All-Star game.

(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

  • Tron

    Mo won’t make it this year. Allen will get in because he’s from Boston, and the league likes Boston better than Cleveland. Arenas will get in because he’s a “superstar” or at least still carries that status. There’s just not enough room for Mo on the roster. Not that he’s not playing well, actually he’s pretty vital to the Cavs success. It’s just how that crap works.

  • mike

    for whatever reason, people like to pile on mo. he had the same numbers in Mil before playing with lebron. hes an excellent PG. for whatever reason, harris gets elevated to the level of being the next isiah thomas. maybe its because he got traded for jason kidd and/or plays in a NYC market? i feel like if Mo played for a bad team in a nyc market, he’d be getting alot more respect. rondo is solid too, but is he THAT good? seems like he gets elevated as well due to the media infatuation with the celtics. rondo is good, but is an inferior shooter than Mo.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    FWIW, I’m forecasting that the reserves will be Arenas and Joe Johnson. Rondo will get the nod in the event of an injury as he is the only true point guard of the entire bunch.

  • Illmatic8

    I love Mo Williams and believe he’s a huge asset to the Cavs, but I’m not so sure he’s deserving of All-Star status. And yes, Rondo is THAT good.

  • ben

    Mo is awesome and I love him and the way he plays, but I don’t really know if he’s an “All-Star.” To be fair, I don’t know if anyone on that list after DWade or VC are either.

    They are all great players to be sure, and ones that any team would be happy to have. But that whole second tier of guys are almost interchangeable in my mind.

  • ben

    Also, I should probably toss Rondo into that DWade/VC tier. He’s pretty great. I just hate him.

  • http://farmersonly.com Jordan

    Mo should get snubbed, even though I wouldn’t consider it as such, so as to light a fire under his arse. His D is way down this year, and he’s so inconsistent. Perhaps an extra weekend to get his body and mind rested will do wonders for #2.

  • http://shakesthesnowglobe.blogspot.com EZ

    I honestly think, of that current top ten list, that Joe Johnson is the second best player listed. VC will probably get the voting nod as the second guard, though.

    I’m guessing the coaches pick Johnson and either Rondo or Allen.

  • mike

    i like rondo alot. i dont have any problem with him being in the all-star game. i just take his “greatness” with a grain of salt. hes got KG, ray allen and paul pierce as teammates. its alot easier to perform when youre looked upon as being the #4 guy rather than the #2 guy. im sorry, but for me to call a PG “great,” hes got to shoot better than 12% from three’s and 50% from free throw line. his threes are down this year, but hes still only 25% for his career from three. granted, his FG% is about 50% which is fantastic. he scores mostly in the lane and with drives. however, if you take him off that team with those other weapons and he was playing on a team where he was supposed to be the #2, he wouldnt get nearly as many open drives for easy buckets. i think rondo is very good. i think Mo is very good. they are different kinds of players with different strengths and weaknesses. rondo is a good fit for boston but would be terrible on cleveland (since he cant shoot). mo is probably a better fit for cleveland since he is such a fantastic shooter, which is needed at the PG position next to lebron.

  • mike

    ok – maybe not terrible on cleveland. thats too harsh. but he wouldnt be as good of a fit in cleveland as Mo is. rondo wouldnt be as effective as he is in boston.

  • Fursdon

    Joe Johnson definitely deserves a spot (probably more then the chuck artist Wince Carter) leading an excellent Atlanta team.

    I dunno, Mo has been a little too hot/cold for my tastes this season. If he can elevate his play this upcoming road trip and into January, I think he’ll have a good shot at making the All-star game (remember, some assistant gets to pick players after the head coach says ‘here, fill this out’).

  • http://www.twitter.com/osuadamr Adam

    I think mo will be left out. Joe Johnson and Gilbert Arenas deserve the spots. I think Mo should get in over Allen, but its tough to put him in over Rondo. But then again I thought Mo shouldve been chosen over Allen last year…

  • JM

    mike I see what your saying but rondo really emerged in the playoffs last year. The Celtics didnt’ have KG and rondo had the 7 game classic with the Bulls. I’m just fine with Mo here as well. I say let LeBron in and thats it maybe it will get the team motivated.

  • mike

    maybe im being nit picky. i feel like if rondo put up solid numbers for milwaukee or indiana, he wouldnt be getting the same level of publicity. like i said, i like rondo and think he’s a “borderline” all-star. one of those guys on the fringe but isnt really a perennial all star. i feel like Mo should be in the same category.
    rondo was excellent for boston last year in the playoffs. i agree completely.

  • Alex

    JM, Rondo emerged I guess last year, but he’s been very good this year. He’s actually a true PG, not a small SG playing the position. He destroys the field in assists and steals – really, what do you want from a PG? Points and rebounds or assists/steals? Rondo’s a great court general this year who, it turns out, rebounds well and scores decently. He’s played really well this year.

  • S-Dub

    VC doesn’t deserve to be an all-star and hasn’t really deserved it for the past 4 years at least. He is living off rep alone and the fact that the best thing he’s done in his career is dunk over a 7 footer in an exhibition game. BUT, he will make it obviously.

    Arenas will make it even though I don’t think he should based on the fact that he is probably the soul reason the Wizards will forever be terrible. He plays no D and takes his team out of offensive rhythm because he has to get his numbers.

    The East guards this year should be Wade and Rondo starting with Johnson and Mo as the back ups. Won’t happen, but it’s what it should be.

    If LBJ couldn’t make it in his 1st year then there’s no way Jennings should, and I love Jennings. Got him in the 8th round of my fantasy draft and got laughed at by my guys in my league.