Posted: Thursday February 2, 2006 12:00PM; Updated: Thursday February 2, 2006 11:42PM
Who's missing?Allen Iverson, Philadelphia; GilbertArenas, Washington; Jason Kidd, New Jersey; Rip Hamilton, Detroit.
Iverson is scoring more points than anyone in the East but is doing it on many more shots and has not lifted his 76ers into the upper echelon. It's more or less the same story for Arenas. Kidd is still really good, just not what he used to be. Hamilton is having a splendid season, and he and Billups comprise the league's best backcourt, but that doesn't vault him past Wade.
CENTER: Chris Bosh, Toronto.
The solid southpaw star is an ironman (39 minutes per game) whose play this season has been overlooked since the Raptors are so bad. He's also listed as a forward; on my team, he's a center.
Who's missing?Shaq, obviously.
He has missed 18 games and plays only 29 minutes per game when he's in there. I would use him the same way as the Heat is using him to save him for the postseason, but that doesn't mean he should start. I love the Big Quote, though, and I want him in Houston, especially for the interview sessions.
FORWARDS: LeBron James, Cleveland, and Rasheed Wallace, Detroit.
James is a no-brainer, though it might be wise if sometime soon he stops worrying about whether he might miss the last shot of the game. Bronnie, fans like it when you take the shot -- making it (and you will make a few) is almost beside the point. 'Sheed, obviously, will never make it via fan vote. But in case you haven't looked, the man is rebounding like a fool, plays some of the best defense in the league and has made almost as many 3-point shots as Billups, one of the most feared shooters in the league.
Redd is not enough of an all-around player, Prince could've made it if not for Wallace's shooting, and Carter has been too inconsistent.
GUARDS: Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers and Steve Nash, Phoenix.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, you don't like Kobe -- so don't buy his Nike sneakers. Just know that he belongs as a starter in Houston. It will be interesting to see if Nash, last year's MVP, gets even better when Amaré Stoudemire makes his expected return after the All-Star Game.
Who's missing?Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, San Antonio; Ray Allen, Seattle; Mike Bibby, Sacramento.
Parker is having a splendid season -- just not quite as splendid as Nash. Ginobili has been injured. Allen would have a better shot if his team was better. Bibby, a deadly shooter, lacks the floor game to make it as a starter.
CENTER: Tim Duncan, San Antonio.
He's not a center? Sue me. The All-Star game should be about players playing basketball.
Who's missing? Yao, Houston; Marcus Camby, Denver.
Too many injuries for both of them. And they shouldn't displace forwards in any case -- that's the most loaded position in the league.
FORWARDS: Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas, and Elton Brand, Los Angeles Clippers.
Nowitzki is the ace of a team that, ever so quietly, has caught the Spurs, the consensus fave in the West. Night after night, Brand, as active a low-post presence as anyone in the game, puts the Clips on his back -- that's why they're hot on Phoenix's back in the Pacific Division