Lauer Sounds Off: Big Al Deserves to be an All-Star
By Scott Lauer
January 30, 2014
Scott Lauer is the radio play-by-play voice of the Charlotte Bobcats. His column will appear on bobcats.com on Thursdays throughout the season. The opinions expressed here are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Bobcats organization.
It’s Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, and the Bobcats are now in Los Angeles, CA, getting prepared for the Lakers game tomorrow night. The Cats began their four-game road trip with a win in Denver last night, boosting their record to 20-27, so with their next triumph, they will equal their win total from all of last season with likely around 30+ games left on the schedule!
Last night, they earned a close win over the Nuggets, 101-98, making that their 12th win by six points or fewer, which leads the NBA. Al Jefferson authored the victory, matching a season-high with 35 points and continuing the best stretch of individual play in franchise history. He tied Jason Richardson’s mark for most consecutive games (10) with at least 20 points, and in his last nine, is averaging 28 points with 12 rebounds!
Later tonight, the league will announce its all star reserves, and Al Jefferson deserves to be recognized as one. Of course, every year a few deserving players are left off the team because there are only so many spots available (see Stephen Curry last year). Jefferson has been a perennial “fringe” all star at the very least, and in some cases it’s been an egregious mistake for him to have been snubbed. In 2007-08 with Minnesota, he logged 21 points and 11 rebounds. The next year, he produced 23 and 11 respectively with the Timberwolves!
This season he’s scoring 19 points with 11 boards, guiding this team to competitiveness on a near daily basis. So who’s his main competition amongst the Eastern Conference bigs to make the all star team? Joakim Noah of the Bulls averages 12 points, 11 rebounds and four assists. He plays great defense for Chicago, and that’s not measured statistically. Paul Millsap of Atlanta (Jefferson’s former teammate in Utah), is at 18 points, eight rebounds and nearly two steals. Chris Bosh of Miami checks in at 17 points and seven rebounds, Roy Hibbert of Indiana 12 points, eight rebounds and nearly three blocks, and Andre Drummond of Detroit is at 13 points, 13 rebounds and nearly two blocks. This is a nice group of bigs, but none are posting the numbers of our post dominator.
So we’ll find out tonight if Jefferson will receive his first All-Star entrance or continue to be in the mix for the best NBA player never to have made the team, along with players such as Andre Iguodala, Ty Lawson, Mike Bibby, Damon Stoudemire, Marcus Camby, Josh Smith and Andre Miller to name a few.
Tomorrow night, they’ll face the Lakers without Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and possibly Pau Gasol (groin injury). Former Tar Heel Kendall Marshall is their current starting point guard and is playing very well, proving to be a wonderful free agent pick up this winter, starting 14 games, averaging 12 points with 12 assists and leads the NBA shooting 47 percent from beyond the arc! He started the season in the D-League with Delaware, and has quickly ascended to this point with the Lakers.
Lauer Blog Archive:
1/9/14: VIDEO: Ramon Sessions
1/9/14: VIDEO: Catching Up with Al Jefferson
12/26/13: Cats Focused on What's Ahead
12/19/13: Great December for Cats
12/12/13: VIDEO: Catching Up with Stephen Silas
12/5/13: VIDEO: Catching Up with Southerland
11/21/13: VIDEO: Catching Up with Adrien
11/14/13: Jefferson Returning to Form
11/7/13: Unsung Heroes Helping Early Success
11/1/13: Ready for Home Opener
10/2/13: Bench Will Be a Difference Maker
10/1/13: Jefferson Will Make an Impact