Lately, everyone and their dog has been posting their All-Star squads. Magic, MJ, Lebron, you name it…and the social media world has offered their resounding feedback.
When you look at the recent influx of talent that the Northwest has produced over the recent years, there is no reason why we cant throw in our two cents as well. A lot of All-Star teams can debate whether a player is really a guard or a small forward, a 4-man or a 5.
My goal is to pigeon hole the Northwest talent a little more.
This may be the toughest position to declare when you consider the guard-heavy pool from the West Coast. Ideally, I would love to put future HOF member Steve Nash here, even at his current age, but injuries have taken their toll.
Running the show for the NW squad will be the underrated Isaiah Thomas, who has taken over the Sacramento Kings lead guard role.
While the Kings have had their struggles, it cannot be blamed on Thomas’ play, as he’s posting averages of 13.6 PPG and 4.2 APG over the last two years.
Thomas has had to deal with fellow Seattle native Aaron Brooks last season — and through the start of the season, Grevais Vasquez — as roadblocks to the inevitable. Since Vasquez’s relocation to the Raptors, Thomas has seen his mintues jump to 38 per game and his production skyrocket to 23 PPG and 7.4 APG.
Some may say that Jamal Crawford is an overrated jacker, whereas others praise his ability to light up the scoreboard in his role off the bench. Either way you look at it, you cannot question his impact on the Clippers’ game.
With his ability to backup Chris Paul or JJ Reddick at either guard spot — or slide into the small forward — Jamal is making a push at another sixth man award. Following an off year in Portland two seasons ago, which unfortunately did not work out for either party, Crawford has now found success in LA — his sixth team in his thirteen-year career.
Dropping 16 points a game in just under 30 minutes, mostly as the first substitution for Doc Rivers, Jamal recorded a season-high 31 points and 11 dimes in a November victory over the Kings.
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) November 30, 2013
There aren’t many natural small forwards in the L from the Northwest; at least ones that you could list on the NBA elite level. However, credit Martell Webster, who has started to handle his own in Washington DC, following a few years of struggling in Portland and Minnesota.
With their first-round pick last summer on the mend, Webster has filled in nicely for Otto Porter Jr. as the Wizards’ small forward. With back-to-back years of hitting double digits, albeit just over 10 PPG on a consistent basis, Webster has the ability to help the Northwest All-Star team by spreading the floor and combining with Crawford to nail the long ball.
If you asked at the beginning of the season, who is the best Northwest PF in the league today, many would be left scratching their heads, with few to none naming Terrence Jones as the cream of the crop. Now reality is, Jones shouldn’t be on any All-Star list when it comes down to the truest sense of the title; however, there really aren’t many other choices as of right now (look for Kelly Olynyk to fill this role in a year or two).
Honestly speaking, it looks as though Jones has started to find his place alongside Dwight Howard in the Houston frontcourt, improving his numbers from last season.
After a couple of mediocore season in Philadelphia, Spencer Hawes has started to come into his own. Last season, the thought was to team Hawes with Andrew Bynum and create an East Coast twin towers. However, Bynum became more known for his hair styles than anything involving a basketball.
Meanwhile, Hawes was quietly putting together his best statistical season. Even though the “experts” pegged them for dead last, the Sixers took the league and fans by surprise to start the season with a three-game winning streak, including a victory over the defending champion Miami Heat to kick off the year.
This past summer there were some questions as to the value of Hawes after the team traded for a big man of the future in Nerlens Noel. Once again brushing off the perceived afterthought, Hawes has continued to be a workhorse on both ends with 15.0 ppg and 8.9 rpg.
JCrossover should be a lock for his natural sixth man spot, but since he has been slotted in as a starter, second-year guard Tony Wroten fills in off the bench.
After struggling all last season to get any kind of consistent burn off the Memphis Grizzlies’ bench, Wroten has been the complete opposite for the 76ers. In the first twenty-five games of 2013-14, he has done everything he possibly can to erase the horrific memory of his rookie year.
While Michael Carter-Williams has received most of the headlines for anything positive from the 76ers this season, those who have followed any of Wroten’s career know that he is deserving of some rightfully deserving accolades.