A few days are left before the 2014 NBA All-Star teams are announced and speculation runs amok about who will make the roster and who will be left off. Unfortunately for many players, the NBA All-Star voting procedure amounts to that of a popularity contest which leaves a number of deserving names watching from home. This year that story will continue and here are some athletes that deserve a chance in the limelight but may still be left off of the East and West roster.
Starting with the Eastern Conference back court the recent voting results show some names that shouldn't even be in consideration. Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose have spent much of the past two seasons on the injured reserve, yet they can be found within the top five players to currently receive votes at this point in time. Coach Frank Vogel has the power to add players after the fans vote. As names such as John Wall, DeMar DeRozan and Kemba Walker continue to play very well at this point of the year; someone is going to be left off of the team.
LeBron James is basically a lock for the NBA All-Star team as long as he's healthy. Emerging star Paul George is beating out multiple time All-Star Carmelo Anthony for one of the starting front court positions. Kevin Garnett, who's currently suffering through one of his worst statistical seasons in the NBA, is still ranked above Andre Drummond, David West, Joakim Noah and others who should be considered more deserving. Just as with the back court roster that will be selected; the list of players that are left out of the front court for the East will have a good argument for crying “snub.”
Out in the Western Conference Kobe Bryant sits atop the list of back court players even though he's appeared in only six games this year. Jeremy Lin is benefiting from the large number of fans that he has around the world as he's in the fourth position of Western back court players; even above his teammate James Harden who out performs him. Damian Lillard has continued his rise to become one of the top point guards in the league; even though he's only in his second year as a professional. He's a big reason why the Portland Trail Blazers have the second best record in the West and are a surprise team to watch as the season continues. Still, he sits in the tenth spot of all votes which will keep him off of the All-Star roster.
Lillard's teammate LaMarcus Aldridge faces a similar struggle to making the team even though his numbers of 24.1 points and 11.3 rebounds are career highs. Dwight Howard is second in Western Conference front court voting even though his numbers aren't as good as those brought in by Aldridge, Kevin Love or Blake Griffin. DaMarcus Cousins is another player that has put up strong numbers throughout this season and has a very slim chance of making the roster.
Since 1951 the National Basketball Association has brought together the best players from that year to represent the Eastern and Western Conference for their All-Star game. Each year there are arguments about who was left off and who shouldn't have been included. The 2014 All-Star game will continue that trend as there are already debates raging around who should be in and who should be left out from the 2014 festivities.