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3-on-3: All Star Edition

Modeled after ESPN’s 5-on-5, three of us will answer three questions about a Pistons-related topic. Please add your responses in the comments.

1. The All Star reserves will be announced tonight on TNT. The Pistons haven’t had an All Star since Allen Iverson in 2009. Is there any chance that changes this year?

Dan Feldman: Only Andre Drummond has the slightest chance, and I’d be very surprised if he’s selected. Since Drumond’s stock was relatively highest, Roy Hibbert, Chris Bosh and Joakim Noah have come around strong. Hibbert is a lock, and the other two will likely get more votes than Drummond, too.

Patrick Hayes: No chance. It’s a popularity contest where wins, name recognition and national TV appearances matter more than merit (and that goes for both fans and coaches making selections). The Pistons aren’t exactly doing well in those categories.

Tim Thielke: Definitely a chance, but I wouldn’t bank on it. Even in the East, there are 12 players more deserving than Drummond (the only realistic option in Detroit). But never count out the possibility of injuries forcing the pool to stretch a bit deeper.

2. Which Piston, if any, should be selected for the game this season?

Dan Feldman: Drummond. Hibbert, Bosh and Noah should snag the three backup frontcourt positions. If Kyle Lowry and John Wall are the backup guards, as they should be, Drummond should get one of the two wildcard slots. I’d take Drummond over Arron Afflalo, Lance Stephenson, Paul Millsap, DeMar DeRozan or any other contender.

Patrick Hayes: Drummond. He’s leading the league in total rebounding percentage, averaging a double-double and he’s even improved his free throw shooting this season (OK, so it’s only improved from 37 to 40 percent … but still, progress!). Drummond won’t make it because the Pistons continue to be their irrelevant selves, but he’s having a brilliant second season in the league and he’ll be a fixture in All-Star Games when his basketball IQ catches up to his immense physical talents.

Tim Thielke: If any, it’s obviously Drummond. He has easily been the best Piston this season. Should he be selected? Probably not, but he’s so much more fun than more worthy candidates like Noah.

3. They’re always a polarizing topic, but do All Star games serve a purpose in professional sports or are they just a simple popularity contest that yields a half-hearted game?

Dan Feldman: They should serve a purpose – honoring the NBA’s “best” players at that given moment. After that, let the players turn the game itself into whatever they want. The best measure of who’s had the best season, what many purport All-Star Game selections to be, are really All-NBA teams.

Patrick Hayes: Does anything in professional sports really serve a purpose? Let’s face it, following sports (and I’m as guilty as anyone) is an extreme waste of time that, more often than not, leads to misery. You watch for the handful of times in your lifetime that the teams you love provide incredible moments like the 2004 Pistons championship. Those moments are few and far between though. The rest of the time you’re spending time debating whether or not Mark West should start over Oliver Miller. I don’t like to label, but I would be highly suspicious that someone who is anti-All-Star Games is probably a fascist. Who doesn’t love blocks and dunks? Or even the occasional iconic moment (like Magic getting the MVP in 1992)? All-Star Games are light-hearted fun. Even the NFL Pro Bowl, by far the worst of all pro sports all-star games, occasionally provides you with highlights like this. Anyone who gets bent out of shape about an exhibition game meant for laid back enjoyment is way too into sports. Relax.

Tim Thielke: The fan vote tends to be a popularity contest, but rarely do you get some one egregiously voted in (it does happen, I know, I remember Iverson). By and large, it’s at least debatable that everyone who gets in is a top 30 player in the league at that point for that season. That’s why we use terms like “six time all-star” when discussing how good a player’s career was.

20 Comments

  • Jan 30, 201410:17 am
    by Huddy

    Reply

    The NBA all star game is relatively more interesting than other major sports because of the opportunity for individuals to shine based on the nature of the sport, but it is still pretty useless.  Being chosen is nice, but watching all star weekend is pretty boring.  Does anyone care that much to root for your conference even though it is also full of the teams closest rivals? 

  • Jan 30, 201410:41 am
    by pt

    Reply

    To reiterate Patrick’s perspective … Peter Seeger on sports: 
     
    When I called, he was late coming to the phone because he was out chopping wood. He was in his late 70s then, but an exercise fanatic. We had a great interview about music, politics, history, life. And when it was over, he asked me whether I enjoyed working in journalism. I said I did. And then he scolded me.
    “Worst damn thing that ever happened to America was the invention of the Sports pages!,” he said. “Turned us all into a nation of watchers and couch potatoes!”

  • Jan 30, 201410:42 am
    by Huddy

    Reply

    Unrelated note, Insider posted that Charlotte is looking to be a buyer at the trade deadline and they probably have no greater need than PF.  I honestly don’t know who they have to offer that I would be that interested in for the Pistons, but our pick back or a combination with their pick this year would be nice.  Josh Smith would be a pretty good pick up for them IMO.  Help out their defense down low and run the floor.  My negative feelings about Smith do offer up reasons why they wouldn’t want him, but objectively I think he is a good player for them.  I don’t think they have the assets to put together a strong enough proposal for Greg.

    • Jan 30, 201411:08 am
      by Tim Thielke

      Reply

      Monroe for MKG and the Pistons’ pick; Smith for Gordon and the Bobcats’ pick. I’d take either of those.

      • Jan 30, 201411:23 am
        by Huddy

        Reply

        MKG, Walker and Jefferson were mentioned as “difficult to pry away”, but IMO I don’t see how any are untouchable if they really want to make a push.  I mostly don’t like MKG because of his fit on the Pistons, not because I think he is unlikely to be moved by Charlotte.  He just has no range.  Smith at PF and MKG at SF with Drummond and KCP might make a pretty formidable defensive squad though. 

      • Jan 30, 201411:51 am
        by gtg2013

        Reply

        “…Smith for Gordon and the Bobcats’ pick…”
         
        I’d take it, too, but no way Dumars makes such an admission of failure.

  • Jan 30, 201411:49 am
    by Smitty

    Reply

    Broussard detects a strong sense around the league that the Pistons are eager to tradeJosh Smith.

  • Jan 30, 201411:55 am
    by Jake

    Reply

    Smith for Gordon and our pick.

    • Jan 30, 201412:36 pm
      by Tim Thielke

      Reply

      I’d like that, but I don’t see why the Bobcats accept. It’s clear by now that they won the Gordon trade. Why would they essentially undo it?

      If it’s Charlotte’s pick, then the Pistons can cut their losses and the Bobcats walk away from the pair of deals knowing they came out ahead.

      • Jan 30, 20141:04 pm
        by Huddy

        Reply

        it depends on their other options, but things change.  They drafted Zeller expecting to get more out of him at PF than they are and if they really want to be more competitive and have 20 days to change that I don’t think its too crazy. 
         
        Personally I question how much of a difference it makes.  Is adding Smith to a new line up lacking outside shooting at this point in the season going to transition smoothly into a nice run of wins?  maybe, but the other question is are the Pistons going to get considerably worse and improve their draft position that much?  I don’t really see either being firmly a better pick.

  • Jan 30, 201412:54 pm
    by Jake

    Reply

    I mean it doesn’t really matter who’s pick it is. But I f they really want to win now, Smith would definitely help.

  • Jan 30, 20141:07 pm
    by MrBlockedShot

    Reply

    When are we going to have an All-Star featuring a game between the best NBA players born in the USA against the best NBA foreign players? I think that would be a more interesting and competitive game than the neverending West against East supossed rivalry (well, actually this rivalry doesn’t exist at all in the regular season cos it’s almost all-West) What do you think guys?

    • Jan 30, 20141:57 pm
      by Josh

      Reply

      I don’t know it sounds cool in theory, but most the really good European guys I can think of off the top of my head are pretty old these days.  I don’t think it would be much of a contest.  Maybe I’m missing some guys?

      • Jan 30, 20142:25 pm
        by Tim Thielke

        Reply

        Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, and Tony Parker aren’t that old. Plus, starting next year, there will be Wiggins. Although he wouldn’t make up for the decline of Nowitzki, Pau, and Ginobili.

        But yeah, USA would wipe the floor with the internationals. I think this format is much better.

        Also, what would you do with Kobe and Duncan? The Virgin Islands are kinda sorta part of the US, but not exactly. And Kobe is neither a foreign player (he’s an American citizen) nor was he born in the USA. Does he not get to play? China and LA might revolt…

        • Jan 30, 20142:51 pm
          by MrBlockedShot

          Reply

          Well, Duncan is listed as a foreign player by the NBA. About Kobe there should not be any discussion about his status, USA’s side. Add Horford, Batum, Deng, Dragic, Rubio, K. Irving (he has dual citizenship) , Calderon to the mix and it looks like a more competitive team….

          • Jan 30, 20143:30 pm
            by Tim Thielke

            re:Kobe

            Hey, you’re the one who said “NBA players born in the USA”

  • Jan 30, 20142:28 pm
    by Vic

    Reply

    Smith for Gordon and the Bobcats pick sounds amazing
    JD fieldhouse gets addition by subtraction
    Bobcats get a strong player and motivation to make the playoffs. They probably have a better coach that would use Smith right. Plus the Rudy Gay effect would finally get Smith to stop doing it wrong.
    Mj feels like he beats Dumars at trading
    Dumars cuts his losses, gets to draft Kyle Anderson or Doug McDermott, doesn’t have to worry about not having a pick.
    I love it, I’d Immediately start referring to them as the Pistons again
     

  • Jan 30, 20143:18 pm
    by Steve K

    Reply

    Man, it’s good to have Patrick writing on the blog again:
     
    “The rest of the time you’re spending time debating whether or not Mark West should start over Oliver Miller”

    Love it.

  • Jan 30, 20143:34 pm
    by greg

    Reply

    another possibility would be a trade with phoenix…they are on course to make the playoffs and smith fits their fast paced style even though he’s not a shooter…swapping him for okafor and one of the 4 picks phoenix has would be an option too….or straight up for eric gordon with the pelicans…another unlikely deal would be to package smith with jerebko for memphis’ zach randolph…thats pretty much all scenarios

    • Jan 30, 20143:58 pm
      by Steve K

      Reply

      I guess the question at this point is whether Smith is viewed as a “negative value” player, a la Ben Gordon.
       
      With his contract and crap season to date, he might just be. If the Pistons want to move Smith, they’d be better served benching Drummond or Monroe, and letting Smith’s stats improve as the 4.

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