2008 Ballot Breakdown: West Guards
Posted Dec 17 2007 1:43PM
Dec. 17, 2007 -- Balloting for NBA All-Star 2008 is under way and to keep you abreast of who you might want to send to NOLA in February, NBA.com will break down all six positions -- East guards, forwards and centers, and West guards, forwards and centers -- over the coming weeks.
Today's Ballot Breakdown covers the Western Conference guards, ranked statistically (by the sum total of their scoring, rebounding and assist averages). The stalwarts (Kobe, A.I., T-Mac, Nash) might have to make room for some newbies (CP3, D-Will, K-Mart) as the competition is looking tough. You can control the outcome by voting daily to select the starters for the 2008 All-Star Game on February 17. (Note: All statistics are through games played on December 16.)
Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers
Averages: 27.2 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 4.9 APG; Total PRA: 38.3
Breakdown: A trip to New Orleans would signify All-Star bid No. 10 for KB24. His scoring has dipped slightly, but the real number that matters is the Lakers' 14-9 record. The fans have noticed his success, as he was the leading vote-getter in the West through the All-Star ballot first returns.
Allen Iverson, Denver
Averages: 25.9 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 7.5 APG; Total PRA: 36.3
Breakdown: Iverson's points, assists, steals and field goal percentage are up this season and his turnovers are down. On back-to-back nights in December, A.I. showed he still has "The Answer" to whatever opposing defenses throw at him as he put up an NBA season-high 51 points against the Lakers and followed that up with 35 points and 12 vs. Dallas.
Baron Davis, Golden State
Averages: 21.9 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 8.0 APG; Total PRA: 35.0
Breakdown: If last year's playoffs and the beginning of this season have taught us anything, it's that the Warriors are streaky. After starting off 0-6, Golden State is 13-11 and Davis is the maestro running the show. B-Diddy has already reached double-digits assists seven times and his scoring average is the highest it's been since the 2003-04 season.
Chris Paul, New Orleans
Averages: 21.5 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 9.6 APG; Total PRA: 35.0
Breakdown: With the Hornets coming home to New Orleans this season and serving as the host city for the All-Star Game, it's only fitting that Paul receive his first All-Star selection in front of the hometown fans. CP3 is averaging career highs in points and assists.
Tracy McGrady, Houston
Averages: 24.2 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 5.4 APG; Total PRA: 34.6
Breakdown: As in the case of Bryant, the most important number when it comes to McGrady is the Rockets' underwhelming 12-12 record. T-Mac's all-around averages still shine, but the Houston guard might have a problem getting to New Orleans unless his team improves.
Steve Nash, Phoenix
Averages: 17.8 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 12.1 APG; Total PRA: 33.5
Breakdown: For Steve Nash, 33-years old with a bothersome back, this season should have involved Father Time escorting him towards retirement's door. Instead, the former two-time MVP is averaging the most assists per game of his 12-year career. Great point guards + All-Star Game = Fun.
Deron Williams, Utah
Averages: 20.2 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 8.9 APG; Total PRA: 32.2
Breakdown: What would Fric be without Frac? If Chris Paul makes his first All-Star Game this season, then Williams, tied to Paul forever since being picked one spot ahead of him in the 2005 Draft, should be there as well.
Kevin Martin, Sacramento
Averages: 24.5 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 2.1 APG; Total PRA: 31.6
Breakdown: Martin has continued his upward scoring trend of averaging more points per game than his previous season every year he's been in the league (2.9 in 2004-05; 10.8 in '05-06; 20.2 in '06-07; 24.9 in '07-08). Unfortunately, a strained groin might dash his All-Star hopes.
Tony Parker, San Antonio
Averages: 20.1 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 6.8 APG; Total PRA: 30.4
Breakdown: San Antonio basketball has transitioned very nicely over the last 20 seasons as David Robinson passed the torch to Tim Duncan and now Duncan has Tony Parker to take the reigns when his days are done. Fresh off the 2007 Finals MVP, Parker is shooting better than .500 from the field for the third straight season, unheard of for a 6-2 guard.
The Next Five
Manu Ginobili, San Antonio
Stephen Jackson, Golden State
Brandon Roy, Portland
Monta Ellis, Golden State
Jason Terry, Dallas
Top Write-In Candidates
Mike Miller, Memphis
Averages: 15.5 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 3.8 APG; Total PRA: 26.6
Breakdown: Miller is an All-Star weekend veteran, having already participated in the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout in 2007 and the Rookie Challenge in 2002 and 2001. His career-high 7.3 boards per game average and .504 shooting could earn him a spot as a Sunday competitor.
Kevin Durant, Seattle
Averages: 19.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.9 APG; Total PRA: 26.0
Breakdown: There are bound to be several All-Star appearances in Durant's future, so there's no need to rush things this year. Regardless, being the top rookie in your class is always a solid bullet on your All-Star résumé.
Other Guards on the Ballot
Raja Bell, Phoenix; Mike Bibby, Sacramento; Michael Finley, San Antonio; Randy Foye, Minnesota; Jarrett Jack, Portland; Cuttino Mobley, L.A. Clippers; Luke Ridnour, Seattle; Jerry Stackhouse, Dallas; Antoine Walker, Minnesota