Friday, January 30, 2009

Did JT and Hawes Get Snubbed?

Let's be honest for a minute. The Kings don't have much going for them these days. But Kings fans have convinced themselves that the one bright spot we have is the new "Youth Movement." But it is pretty pathetic when your so called Youth Movement isn't invited to the youth showcase.

I don't think anyone expected a King to make the All-Star roster. K-Mart is putting up All-Star type numbers. Technically he is 7th in the league in scoring with 23.8 points a game. But he also missed a ton of time and doesn't even qualify for league leadership.

But while there was no hope for the real game, we were hoping that Spencer and Thompson would get an invite to the Rookie-Sophmore Challenge. Of course, that didn't happen.

But did they get snubbed? Well, let's look at each case. First, Hawes.

I'm actually surprised by the play of Hawes this year. I saw him play once last year and he look utterly lost on the court. This year is a different story. He looks much more confident and his numbers are pretty decent at 10/6 in 26 minutes of action.

But who is his competition? You have Al Horford, who has comparable, but slightly better stats at 10.8/8.7 in 33 minutes a game. But then again, he doesn't have Brad "Permapout" Miller taking time from him. But more importantly, he is getting great playing time while on an above average Hawks team. So I think Horford gets the nod over Hawes.

But here is the problem. The other guy who beat Hawes out is Luis Scola. Yeah, Scola has better stats. But isn't this game supposed to highlight up and coming stars? The only reason Scola should be here is if All-Star weekend has that stupid 3 man competition with a "legend," a current player and a WNBA player, with Scola being the Rockets legend. It's crap that Scola gets to be in this game while Hawes sits at home.

On to Mr. Thompson. He has very comparable stats to Hawes this season (10 and 7, in 25 minutes per game), including that amazing 21/11 performance this week against the Celtics. There are two people who Thompson could have replaced and both are members of the Portland Trailblazers.

First, you got Rudy Fernandez. The Rookie roster is guard heavy with Fernandez coming in as a G/F, with the team already sporting 4 guards. It's not like they needed Fernandez on this team. He is averaging 11/3/2. Nothing to write home about. But I'll let it slide. My bigger beef is with Greg Oden on the roster.

The Rookie team is already sporting two centers, with Brook Lopez and Marc Gasol. Why a need for a 3rd center averaging 9/7? Name brand. That's why.

Don't get me wrong. Oden is a beast. He changes the offense of any opposing team just by standing down low. But we're talking about the Rookie game here. Defense is not the name of the game.

But Oden is so hyped that you can't NOT put him in the game. He is supposed to be the face of the new stars. So far he hasn't done that and this is an opportunity for the NBA to show him off. Sadly, it means that Jason Thompson has to sit at home.

Or maybe Oden is in the game for the same reasons Scola is there. An old vet imparting his wisdom on the younger generation. If that is the case, Clyde Drexler should be offended. Twice.

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