Good teams tend to get rewarded for the first half of their seasons with multiple All-Star selections.
In the case of the New York Knicks, that should mean two, maybe three All-Star’s from a team that is currently 25-13, only one game behind the Miami Heat for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Knicks’ superstar Carmelo Anthony has already been voted in as an Eastern Conference starter, but the question remains of how many Knicks players will join ‘Melo in Houston on February 17?
There are really only two candidates in Tyson Chandler and J.R. Smith and you can make a case that both belong on the team, when the coaches vote in the reserves.
As far as Chandler is concerned, you can make a legitimate case that he is the best center in the Eastern Conference at the moment.
His numbers speak for themself as he is leading the NBA in field goal percentage (67 percent) and averaging 12.4 points, 11 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.
The reigning Defensive Player of the Year has never made an All-Star team and this year should be his first.
The only way Chandler doesn’t make his first All-Star appearance is if it is decided that only one backup center is needed. If that is the case, his only competition realistically is Chicago’s Joakim Noah. But Chandler’s resume is more impressive so I have a hard time seeing him not making the team.
That brings me to Smith, who is having a big season of his own.
Despite coming off the bench, he is having the best year of his career, averaging 16.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.3 steals per game in 33.6 minutes per game.
His resume stacks up comparable to other shooting guards in the league, but there are other point guards in the NBA with impressive resumes. Guys like Jrue Holiday and Kyrie Irving could get the nod despite playing on poor teams.
Smith most certainly deserves to be an All-Star. He very well could be the second most valuable player on a team in contention.
But ultimately the fact that he comes off the bench will hurt him.
When the reserves are announced on January 24, the Knicks will deserve to have three All-Stars, but at the end of the day, chances are they only get two.
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