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NBA All-Star Game

MAMBINO’S Western Conference NBA All-Stars

Saturday, we laid out our picks for the Eastern Conference All-Stars stamped with the iron-clad MAMBINO seal of approval. Once you’ve peeped that, feast your eyes on our Western Conference selections:
Starting Guards: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder (Unanimous) & Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
Westbrook is one of four (!) unanimous selections from this glorious forum, and really, is there any doubt? After a somewhat reckless start, Russ has gone back to his world destroying ways, shooting just 41% (very close to his career mark), but getting to the line nearly 8 times a game, a number identically matched to the number of dimes he doles out every night. Statistically, Westbrook’s 2012-2013 isn’t as impressive as last year, but all expectations have to be deviated when taking into account the massive team-wide upheaval in the wake of the James Harden deal. Chris Paul surprisingly wasn’t a unanimous selection, as one of our panel gave the starting nod to James Harden…somehow. CP3 is in the midst of a MVP-caliber year, in which he should finish no worse than third in the voting by the time April rolls around. His availability for the actual All-Star game is in doubt with a bone bruise in his knee, a horrifying proposition for any Clips fan. Wherever you are.

MAMBINO’s Eastern Conference 2013 NBA All-Star Selections

Every year, the NBA grants voting power to the people and allows the fan base to vote for the starters in it’s annual All-Star game. It seems that this year, like all other years, we here at MAMBINO have looked at the selections and determined that the people don’t know shit.
The NBA All-Star game amounts to a gigantic popularity contest, in which fans vote for both conference’s starters, which in turn affects the seven reserves selected by the 30 head coaches. After a quick poll between some of MAMBINO’s finest, we’ve combed our collective roundball consciousness and determined which players were most deserving of this prestigious honor.
Unlike the bogus MLB All-Star game, the NBA holds no premises like mandatory representatives from every team or a 34-man roster which is 9 players larger than the standard 25-man. It’s extremely difficult to be selected to an All-Star team in basketball, as great players on poor teams are routinely–and perhaps righty–penalized for playing on a terrible squad. Until Thursday night, the Golden State Warriors haven’t had an All-Star since 1997, when Latrell Sprewell laughed at $21 million dollar contracts and played at a high level. The reason? The Warriors have made the postseason just once in that span.
We’ve put together our rosters according to NBA standards, which means two guards and three “bigs” (there is no “Center” position on the ballot this year, a telling sign of the direction the league is going. The Lakers are even getting beaten down subliminally on nomination sheets), as well as seven reserve players. We tried our best to reward players who are not just playing great, but doing the most to elevate their teams into playoff, or close to playoff contention. Here are the MAMBINO Eastern Conference All-Stars, with select commentary. Western Conference coming tomorrow!
Starting Guards: Jrue Holiday, Philadelphia 76ers (Unanimous) & Paul George, Indiana Pacers
In a tough year for the Eastern Conference guards, Holiday and George surprisingly pick up the nods here. The Sixers’ starting point guard has been the bright spot of an otherwise extremely disappointing season in Philly. Holiday has been the biggest reason why a Andrew Bynum-less team is even staying on the fringes of a under-competitive Eastern Conference playoff race, ranking 8th in scoring, 4th in assists and 12th in rebounds per game for guards. The biggest knock on him has to be his league-leading 4 turnovers a game, but it’s his willingness to take the lead dog spot for a Philly team that’s had it’s trajectory radically changed that’s most impressive.
Most casual NBA fans won’t know the name “Paul George”, and if they did, they’re either from Indianapolis or think that he’s a Revolutionary War general. Like Holiday, George’s ability to step into a leading role for the injured Danny Granger has been inspiring. The former Fresno State Bulldog is registering career-highs in almost every category, including a massive 7.8 boards per game as well as throwing in 17 points and nearly 4 assists a contest. More importantly, his defense has been fantastic and thus providing more overall value than the max contract man in Granger.
Snubbing Dwyane Wade …