Tonight on TNT the NBA All-Star reserves will be announced. Cleveland fans have been hoping to see Anderson Varejao get a shot to represent the CLE in Orlando, and possibly even rookie Kyrie Irving. I’m sorry to have to say it, but it isn’t happening.
Clevelanders weren’t so crazy as to insist that Varejao should be voted in as an All-Star starter at center. Clearly, Howard is the more talented player. As the season has worn on however, Andy has held his own with the second tier of players at the position. His 11.0 points per game put him 8th in the Eastern Conference for centers. He is second in overall rebounding, and first in offensive rebounds. Stats have long been Anderson’s foe when it comes to making an All-Star roster, so why not this year when his numbers are comparable?
His primary competition for an All-Star spot are Roy Hibbert and Tyson Chandler. Hibbert will likely get the back-up center spot. He is averaging a couple more points than Andy and he plays for 17-8 Indiana. Chandler also has the points edge on Varejao and plays for the Knicks.
So much of what Varejao brings night in and night out are immeasurable. His energy, hustle and heart not to mention his defensive skill set make him “invaluable” as Austin Carr would say. Those characteristics, along with his great attitude make me wish we could somehow vote him onto the All-Star team if for nothing else than a reward. But it is highly unlikely to happen this year for Varejao.
Pick your NBA expert. I’m not seeing one that says Varejao should, or will get the nod. Not Hollinger. Not Stein. Not Spears. Not Aschburner (NBA.com). Not a single writer out of five from HoopsWorld.com. Not Sheridan. Not ProBasketballTalk.com. In fact, I can’t find one, remotely legitimate, or at least published site with Varejao on the roster. Not even Bleacher Report.
The rest of the world is trying to tell us something. Andy isn’t going to make the squad. Yes, technically the coaches decide who the reserves are, and not analysts. It would certainly be a collective statement for the Eastern Conference coaches to say “this is the kind of effort we want from our players” by selecting Varejao. I just don’t think it is going to happen.
Kyrie Irving is getting some love. He has made several people’s ‘snubbed’ or ‘just missed the cut’ lists. The general consensus is that he is talented enough, but he’s only 19 and nobody is in a real rush to make him an All-Star. I can live with that. No problem.
It is too bad we won’t get to see Andy launch himself towards the sidelines to get a loose ball, or try to take a charge on a dunk attempt in Orlando. We still love you Andy.