In the year 2013, it should be a clear understanding among true NBA fans that the voting system for the NBA All-Star game is completely flawed. Sure, a couple of inappropriate choices slide in under the radar every season, but that doesn’t mean that the coaches have to screw it up to.
Which is the likely scenario this season with the Nets’ Deron Williams and Sixers’ Jrue Holiday. The higher-ups are likely to send Deron Williams to Houston over Holiday because of his past performance, name recognition and exciting style of play (comparable and arguable). The fact remains that Williams is having his worst season in years, and almost his whole career.
Of course, where the debate gets sticky is the “team success” factor. While the Nets are currently riding a 7-game win streak and sit at 23-15 (slightly out of 2nd place in the East), the Sixers have fallen apart and at 16-23, are not currently a playoff team. Does that all rest on each one of these players individually? Certainly not. One could always toss in the counter argument that Williams has a much better team around him (true) and the Nets should be this good. You can call the Sixers a bad team, but without Holiday, they would be an ever bigger mess. When we go down the “value to their team” avenue, Brooklyn has enough to stay afloat while Philly would be lottery bound. That’s at least true for this particular season.
Besides, are we not rewarding outstanding individual behavior with the All-Star labeling? In 10 years, nobody will remember that the Nets were a mid-tier Eastern Conference playoff team and the Sixers missed the playoffs. We will however, see the “X”-time All-Star on each player’s career resume. Personally, I want to be able to see that Jrue Holiday made at least ONE All-Star team, while Deron Williams will have more than a few under his belt.
When we look at numbers (because sometimes that’s the bottom line), Holiday has been better, with less talent around him, and far more consistent:
37 GP, 16.8 pts, 7.7 asts, 3.2 rebs, 1.0 stls, 40.6 FG%, 32.0 3PT%, 85.7FT%
35 GP, 19.0 pts, 8.8 asts, 4.2 rebs, 1.37 stls, 45.8 FG%, 37.5 3PT%, 78.3 FT%
Even though Williams has the undoubtedly more talented nucleus around him, Holiday has been superior (and some significantly) in every major category except free throw percentage and he does average more turnovers per game. If you used the anonymous “Player A-B” comparison approach, you’d have to agree that Holiday has been an All-Star caliber player.
The coaches need to do the right thing with their votes and get Holiday in the game. Even Deron Williams agrees.