For the second straight year, the Denver Nuggets are without a representative in the NBA All-Star game. On the ballot were Andre Iguodala, Kenneth Faried and Danilo Gallinari.
The Western Conference roster shapes up like this:
* Chris Paul – Los Angeles Clippers
* Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles Lakers
* Kevin Durant – Oklahoma City Thunder
* Blake Griffin – Los Angeles Clippers
* Dwight Howard – Los Angeles Lakers
Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City Thunder
James Harden – Houston Rockets
Zach Randolph – Memphis Grizzlies
LaMarcus Aldridge – Portland Trailblazers
Tim Duncan – San Antonio Spurs
David Lee – Golden State Warriors
Tony Parker – San Antonio Spurs
The West was harder to put together than the East was to me. Players like Serge Ibaka, Damien Lillard, Jamal Crawford, Rudy Gay, Stephen Curry, Jeremy Lin and others deserved to be considered for the team.
Three weeks ago, I asked which Nuggets player most deserves to make the All-Star team. Faried took home 53 percent of the vote. Gallinari took home 27 percent while Iggy received 20 percent.
For my dollar, Faried is the most deserving Nugget to make the team. The Manimal is averaging a double-double on the season so far with 10 rebounds per game and 12.3 points per game. Faried has improved his game in the paint and brings excitement each time he touches the court.
Gallinari has had huge shots at the end of games (seven big three-pointers) this season, but it’s the consistency that he is lacking. Gallo is the Nuggets leading scorer at 16.6 points per game and is shooting .355 percent from behind the arc.
Iguodala was the team’s prized acquisition this offseason in the four-team trade with Los Angeles, Orlando and Philadelphia. Iguodala is putting up similar numbers to last year with 13.6 points, 4.5 assists, 5.6 rebounds and shooting .435 percent from the field.
The Nuggets don’t have a true superstar on their team as they have six players scoring in double-figures each game. While the Nuggets will once again be lacking an All-Star, their record speaks for itself. Head Coach George Karl is working with what he has and doing it in typical Karl fashion — winning.
The participants for All-Star weekend challenges have not been announced yet, but don’t anticipate any Nuggets on the team. However, look for Gallinari in the three-point contest and Ty Lawson as a possibility for the skills challenge.