Reminiscing With Ratke: The 2013-14 Ratke All-Star Team Part 2
This is the second part of Ratke’s All-Star Team. To view his Western Conference All-Stars, click here.
The 2013-14 Eastern Conference Kyle Ratke All-Stars
Point Guard: Michael Carter-Williams, 76ers
I’m a sucker for rookies. MCW’s numbers are deceiving. Sure, he’s averaging 17.4 points, 6.7 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game. That’s all very impressive.
The not so impressive? He’s shooting just 40.4 percent from the field, 29.9 percent from the 3-point line (ouch) and 70.8 percent from the free-throw line (a bit low for point guards).
Still, the dude was on my MVP ballot (I don’t have one, but if I did, you know…) after he started off the season rattling off three wins against the Heat, Wizards and Bulls. His averages in those three games?
20.6 points, 9 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 4.3 steals per game. Plus, he had NINE STEALS IN ONE GAME!!!!!!!! NINE! 9! NI9E!
Since then, he’s shown some flashes of brilliance. He’s had 10 double-doubles and he actually benefits in a way from his team's lack of talent. The guy is playing 34.8 minutes per game, ranking 31st in the NBA. No other rookie ranks in the top 63.
I’m playing MCW all game. Ten steals? That’s the goal.
Shooting Guard: Lance Stephenson, Pacers
He made this. He probably won’t get into the NBA All-Star Team. That’s fine, Lance. The Kyle Ratke All-Star Team welcomes you with open arms. Plus, Swaggy P vs. Sir Lancealot?! Am I in heaven?
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) January 17, 2014
Small Forward: LeBron James, Heat
Slim Reaper… Bla, bla, bla. Kevin Durant, real original nickname. Girls in high school called me the Slim Creeper. Your style points are decreasing in my book, Kevin.
In all seriousness, Durant has been unbelievable lately and he’s making a real case for the title of best basketball player alive, but… I’d still go to battle with LBJ in my corner.
I feel like people still want to hate LeBron. That’s easy. He “failed” in Cleveland. Teamed up with D-Wade and Bosh in Miami and had a PR failure with “The Decision”. He “failed” in his first season in Miami.
I know that Durant and James play in difference conferences. Durant’s won five straight scoring titles, but James has won the last two NBA titles. I’m not ready to jump off any bandwagon just yet.
Power Forward: Kelly Olynyk, Celtics
Because I have this card hanging at my desk. The Olynyk Clinic is always watching me.
In Olynyk We Trust. pic.twitter.com/NUpQtawJzH
— Kyle Ratke (@Kyle_Ratke) January 28, 2014
Olynyk was one of my favorites during pre-draft workouts when he was in Minnesota. He had the hair of Zeus and had that “whatever dude” attitude. I’ve always wanted to have that “whatever dude” attitude. Instead I have the “I’m tired” or “I just want to watch The Bachelor” attitude.
The former Gonzaga star tore up the summer league, but it hasn’t exactly translated to the NBA. Olynyk is averaging 6.6 points per game in about 18.3 minutes per game. He’ll contribute for the Celtics in the future. I hope. That card is only valued at 50 cents right now. That won’t pay the bills, folks.
Center: Coler Zeller, Cleveland Bobcats
“Coler? The Cleveland Bobcats? Have you been stealing helium balloons from the grocery store again, Kyle?”
Oh, imaginary reader. You see, what I did was combine Cody and Tyler Zeller. We accomplish a few things here. We get two cities represented instead of one. That’s always a big goal in the Kyle Ratke All-Star Game. We also get some brotherly bonding.
The two players aren’t going to wow you on the court. Combined, they are averaging nine points and 7.2 points per game. But I can confirm that Cody Zeller sweats like nobody I’ve ever seen. At draft workouts last summer, I was forced to wear water shoes while interviewing him. Real nice guy, though. Just saying, if he had the ball inside and he was dripping off pounds of sweat, my post defense would be pretty nonexistent.
Another positive is that Tyler Zeller can try to convince James to go back to Cleveland. As long as he doesn’t bring Dan Gilbert with.
6th Man: Nate Wolters, Bucks
Wolters graduated high school from St. Cloud Tech. I graduated from ROCORI, about 15 minutes from St. Cloud. Who would have thought that TWO kids from central Minnesota would make it all the way to the NBA? Glad to have you along for the ride, Nate.
Coach: Brett Brown, 76ers
I know, having two 76ers on my team (Philly is 14-31, third to last in the East) might not be the smartest thing from a winning standpoint, but I can assure you that the 76ers aren’t losing because of Brown.
Brown was awesome when he was in Minnesota, calling Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Love “lumberjacks” during his media availability. The only thing I could think of for the next four hours was Pekovic and Babe the Blue Ox.
Plus, the Western Conference coach is Gregg Popovich. If anyone can out-Pop Popovich, it’s Brown. Brown was an assistant coach with the Spurs from 2007-2013 before joining the 76ers.
Mascot: Anything but Pierre the Pelican
I just read an article about the end of mankind being eventual, and that makes me very sad. They’re my favorite snack pic.twitter.com/f5BSNMejE2
— Pierre The Pelican (@PelicanPierre) January 16, 2014
Well, folks. That’s all I’ve got this week. As always, thanks for reading. Enjoy your week. Check back in on Saturday for a new column.