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Age of the All-Star Part 2

All-Star Game 2011 logoClick here to read Part 1

Now that we know the official All-Stars for the 2010-11 season, it’s time to apply what we discovered in Part 1.  If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you click the link above so you know what’s going on.

Based on the guidelines in Part 1, here are the All-Star point totals for this season (even though Wade and LeBron were in the top four vote-getters, I didn’t give them the extra points because they play on the same team and cancel each other out; I instead gave them to the next highest, D-Rose and Kevin Durant):

Lakers vs. Celtics

Will we see another Lakers-Celtics Finals?

Eastern Conference
Boston: 8
Miami: 8
Orlando: 4
Atlanta: 4
Chicago: 4
New York: 3

Western Conference
Oklahoma City: 6
Los Angeles Lakers: 6
San Antonio: 4
Denver: 3
New Orleans: 3
Los Angeles Clippers: 2
Utah: 2
Dallas: 2
Minnesota: 2

Based on those numbers, it looks like we have ties in both conferences: our Western Conference Champs will be either the Lakers or the Thunder, and the Eastern Conference Champs will be the Celtics or the Heat. The East team will then defeat the West team, 8-6. Should make for an interesting playoffs, as I’m sure most people expected with all the “Super Teams” this year.

Which leads me to my next topic: we’ve seen the NBA moving towards these Super Teams the last couple of years. Here’s the list of current Super Teams (a.k.a. teams with two or more All-Stars): Boston, Miami, L.A. Lakers, Oklahoma City, Atlanta, and San Antonio. I would also include Chicago, because I believe if Boozer was healthy he would have made the All-Star team.

Is there any other team that has a shot at the championship this year? Proves the theory that to be a title contender you need at least two All-Stars on your team. And most teams and players realize that, which means we need to ask this question: which All-Stars will be teaming up in the near future and where?

Eight of this year’s All-Stars are flying solo right now: Dwight Howard, Dirk Nowitzki, Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Love, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and Deron Williams. For my simulation, I am also going to include the three biggest snubs of this year’s All-Star game: Steve Nash, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Monta Ellis.

Here is what I have come up with for Super Teams of the future:

New York Knicks: I still think Carmelo Anthony ends up here, whether it’s through a trade or free agency. If he would’ve settled for somewhere else, he’d be gone already. And I also think Miami’s worst nightmare happens – Chris Paul joins Carmelo and Amare in 2012. With Boston too old to compete by then, the Heat and the Knicks will be the superpowers in the East.

Dallas Mavericks: I know, Mark Cuban, the Mavs are doing fine and don’t need any help. That’s what they said in 2007 as a #1-seed before they lost to the 8th-seeded Warriors. And what they said in 2010 as a #2-seed before losing to the #7 Spurs. Truth is, they need someone alongside Dirk if they want to succeed in the playoffs. My guess? Deron Williams. He becomes a free agent in 2012, at the same time Jason Kidd’s contract expires (retirement, anyone?). With the Mavs looking for a point guard and D-Will looking for a new crowd, this is a perfect match.

Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry

These two can score, they just need a little help on the defensive end.

Golden State Warriors: They already have two borderline All-Stars in Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry (who, by the way, is still being paid on the rookie scale through 2013, leaving room to sign another big name). The problem is the team’s defense. Who better to pick up then the defending two-time Defensive Player of the Year? That’s right, Dwight Howard is looking to get out of Orlando if they can’t get him a ring before his contract ends in 2012 (which won’t happen, according to Super Team Theory). He would make their defense respectable, while joining in on the scoring frenzies put on by Ellis and Curry. P.S.: For this to work, Golden State is going to have to find a taker for David Lee and his contract – not easy, considering his drop in production this year.

Los Angeles Clippers: Wait a second, before you start laughing, listen to this starting lineup: DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin, (insert SF here), Eric Gordon, and . . . Steve Nash. It could happen. Even if Phoenix won’t trade him this season, he becomes a free agent in 2012. Can you picture Nash and Griffin running the pick-and-roll every night? With Gordon as scoring option number two? It would be the 2007 Suns (would have run the championship if it wasn’t for Horry) version 2.0. Please let this happen.

The only ones left out are Aldridge (hopes Brandon Roy comes back soon because his contract goes until 2015) and Love (wild-card free agent in 2012 – he could fit in almost anywhere, but nothing really stands out).

The sad thing is, with all the league’s best players teaming up, there may not be enough talent to trickle down to the bottom half of the league (see: Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors). But one thing is for sure: the playoffs are going to be amazing. Imagine All-Star games, except with plays, defense, and rings for the winners.

I know you’ve got an opinion, share it below.

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