No soup, I mean, All-Star Game reserves for the Bulls

The NBA has announced the All-Star Game reserves. For the East:

Kevin Garnett
Paul Pierce
Rajon Rondo
Ray Allen
Al Horford
Joe Johnson
Chris Bosh

You’ll note that none of these men play for the Chicago Bulls. You’ll also note that, except for Horford, they all rank below Carlos Boozer in Player Efficiency Rating (and Big Al is only two spots up on Boozington).

Now, you could talk stats, like 19.8 PPG and 10.2 RPG, or the fact that Carlos ranks 8th in FGP (54.4) and a shocking 5th in Defensive Rating (97.2). But, for my money, the most telling numbers are these: 11-7 and 23-7.

Those are Chicago’s win-loss records without Boozer and with him. In the 18 games he’s missed, the Bulls have won 61 percent of their games. In the 30 games he’s played, the team has a winning percentage of nearly 77 percent.

I’d say that’s meaningful. But, then, I didn’t get a vote.

The bottom line seems to be that Boozer has missed too many games this season to earn an All-Star selection. Of course, missing games didn’t seem to hurt Kevin Garnett’s case, but whatever.

As for Luol Deng, well, he’s had a fantastic season and his impact on the team is without question. But his stats — particularly his PER of 15.2, which rates him as a “pretty good player” — just don’t meet the standard All-Star criteria (even if Tim Duncan made it in despite averaging a career-low 13.5 PPG on 48 percent shooting).

Anyway, here’s a smattering of other thoughts on the subject:

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune: “On Thursday, when the Bulls failed to land further All-Star recognition, Derrick Rose’s most valuable player candidacy received more legitimacy. That’s at least one rationalization for how the 31-18 Hawks placed Joe Johnson and Al Horford among the seven Eastern Conference reserves while Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer weren’t voted in by coaches for the 34-14 Bulls. Chris Bosh joined starters — who are voted in by fans — Dwyane Wade and LeBron James for the 34-14 Heat, while the Eastern Conference-leading Celtics, not surprisingly, placed four reserves into the Feb. 20 game in Los Angeles.”

John Jackson of the Chicago Sun-Times: “The Bulls are the only team in the top four in the conference with just one All-Star representative. Despite constant praise from Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, Deng really never generated much All-Star buzz outside of Chicago. He wasn’t even listed in the fan poll on the TNT broadcast asking which player was the biggest snub. Boozer was among four players named in that poll and won the voting with 37.3 percent. Boozer (19.8 ppg, 10.2 rpg) has better numbers than Bosh and might have made it if he hadn’t missed 18 games because of injury.”

Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald: “If the 2011 NBA All-Star Game includes four players from the Celtics, three from the Heat and two each from the Spurs, Lakers, Thunder and Hawks, then Derrick Rose must be the league’s most valuable player. As of Thursday morning, the Bulls (34-14) were tied with Miami for the league’s third-best record. Only San Antonio and Boston are better. The Bulls have a nice team, obviously, but when it comes to star power Rose is basically doing the work of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh combined. At least, that’s how the Eastern Conference coaches voted.”

Henry Abbott of TrueHoop: “It was 2004 — a half-century ago in dog years — that Carlos Boozer offended the NBA by taking the biggest contract he could get. Sometimes it feels like he gets punished anew for that every year. He’s a 20 and 10 guy (and the highest-paid player) on a 34-14 Bulls team that is shattering the assumption that the Celtics, Magic and Heat are the East’s three candidates to make the Finals.”

John Hollinger of ESPN: “Many will be tempted to look at Ray Allen or Josh Smith for this spot, especially since Boozer has only played 29 games. Here’s what it comes down to for me: Boozer is better than Allen and Smith. He was better last season, he’s been better when he’s played this season, and we expect him to be better next season. The fact that he missed so many games did nothing to alter that hierarchy. So if we’re selecting the best players, why on earth would we exclude him? It’s not like he’s slacked off, either — Boozer has the best PER of any East power forward with at least 750 minutes played.”

Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago: “He is having the best season of his career. Luol Deng is averaging 18 points, six rebounds and almost three assists a game. He’s also played in every one, which, given his history, is impressive. But was he really going to make it over Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson, Ray Allen, Chris Bosh, Al Horford or Rajon Rondo? All of those guys are name brands. Deng has been great for the Chicago Bulls, but his game is the opposite of flashy. Unless you’ve been watching the Bulls closely you don’t understand how solid he has been under new head coach Tom Thibodeau. He has done everything for the Bulls, but he has done it so quietly that the rest of the league still hasn’t taken much notice. The coaches went for the safe bets and, it seems, gave the benefit of the doubt to aging stars Allen, Garnett and possibly the personal pleas of East head coach Doc Rivers. Deng isn’t just a complementary player, he’s the type of player who can drop 25 on you without the other teams noticing it. That’s great for the Bulls, but it doesn’t work as well as well during a ‘me-first’ game like the one that will be played in Los Angeles in three weeks.”

Jim Reedy of Gapers Block: “Boozer and Noah were essentially excluded (rightfully) from consideration b/c of the injuries. Deng is a shaky backup candidate. I always see NBA all-star game as being about ‘the best’ players, in an overall sense. KG & Ray Allen are better than Deng. MLB consistently picks borderline players for having strong first halves, but NBA rightfully picks its stars & best players. Boozer has played in 60% of the Bulls’ games this season. He is ineligible almost by definition, especially since he brings B-level star power.”

Shams Charania of Chicago Now: “Deng’s numbers aren’t eye-popping, but he’s been the best perimeter defender for the Bulls this season, and has played as a consistent number 3 option all season. Bulls nation might think that Deng got snubbed, but he really didn’t. No question that Deng has had a major impact for the Bulls — on both ends — but his numbers just don’t cut it. He’s putting up eerily similar numbers that Bosh is, however, they’re just a bit lower. Deng has had better statistical seasons in past years, but his impact on this 34-14 Bulls team is much greater than it has been on past teams.”


20 Responses to No soup, I mean, All-Star Game reserves for the Bulls

  1. cliniclysick February 4, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    As much as I would like to have seen Boozington and Luol being selected, a five-day break is never a bad thing in today’s NBA. It’s going to get tough down the stretch and Luol in particular could benefit from some rest. Warriors up next!

    Jake in Minnie February 4, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    Well, Jo and Booze were hurt for large portion of the season, and we all knew that would be the deciding factor….If how ever they were not hurt, and played at the same level in all the games as they have shown in shortened seasons..I would, in fact, have my panties in a bunch.

    And Loul is Loul, I think he is great, but If I was asked to form a team in the Simmon’s experiment to save the world, I am sure I would have all 7 of the reserves on my list before Loul.

    Now, will Stern do the right thing and add Kevin Love to the west team…that is the question.

  3. Inception February 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    Just more motivation for Booz and Deng to kick more ass on the court.

  4. Dunkatron February 4, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    I am kind of offended that Bosh got the nod over Boozer. Better Per, 20/10 vs. 18/8 more meaningful to his teams success…
    But I think this speaks volumes to the Bulls new image. Gritty, defensive oriented, tough, TEAM oriented. Screw the All-Star game, screw the other NBA coaches, lets talk in the Eastern Conference Finals.

    “I know who my friends are”- Joakim Noah

    Luke February 4, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

    The Kevin Love argument has to stop. Its just the way nba all-star voting goes. Guys who deserve to get in always miss 2 or 3 years in the beginning of their careers, but then get voted in an extra 2 or 3 years past their prime based simply on their name.

    Plus, I have been reading some of the comments on espn’s articles about the snubs, and it seems like there is a contingent of Minnie fans who don’t think Love is all-star worthy. If he can’t convince his fans, how is he going to prove it to the country?

    chitown4life February 4, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    @ Jake you would not have Loul on your team well I am gonna poit out somethings for you first , the stats do not always tell the whole story, second what Deng does for this team will never show up in the stats but they do show up in the win colum .This is just another reaons why the NBA show favoritism to players, the game is suppose to showcase the best players not the most popular one this is not a populairty contest. Boozer getting snub another big slap in our face. This team is 34-14 the third best record in the league and D Rose is not the only one that has made that possible even though he has played outstanding as have others on this team such as Deng and Boozer and Noah when he was healthy. for those that over looked our player hear this you will only need picture this til the playoffs come our team is not only going to beat you but when we are healthy will dominate you and it is my view that we win the whole thing this year and years to come maybe not in a row the east is highly compeditive .As of right now though with the wins we have against who we played and not being healthy with our record , when we get healthy its On and to those that oppose Da Bulls ITS GAME -ON or better yet for them when they play Da Bulls ITS GAME OVER FOR THEM. Get yr popcorn ready enjoy Da shwo its gonna be Big baby.. Peace also those who snub our players gonna have alot of crow to eat ….

    justin February 4, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    Carlos Boozer is supposed to be a all star even if he did miss 18 games . He has played the majority of the season and is earning every penny of his contract so far. Jo Noah would be a all star if he didn’t get hurt himself as for L Deng he needs too step his game up against teams like Boston,Orlando,San Antonio and LA. If he had solid games against those teams then yes I believe he earns a spot on that eastern conference bench. But its all good I am a Bulls fan and we are the second best player in the League I am saying that because we need a two guard . If they land a Rip Hamilton or someone we will be the elite team .

    BoppinBob February 4, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    @chitown4life, what you said! Booz was definitely snubbed and Deng waws marginally snubbed. Wonder if Rose will play with his bothered back and uclers. Maybe he gats upset by the snubs.

    Mark February 4, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

    The NBA thinks its okay to put a player on an All-Star ballot that has been injured the entire year just so dumb fans can get him on a team that he doesn’t deserve to be on (Yao), while the coaches feel there is a requirement for the amount of games a player needs to play (Boozer/Noah) before they can deem them all-stars. And at the same time they choose players that are soft, want their coaches to “chill”, and criticize others for playing too hard(Bosh).

    I just don’t see how coaches could honestly pick a soft pansy like bosh who has no heart over the production of Boozer or the passion of Noah. I would think the overall care free/passionless attitude of Bosh would rub coaches the wrong way. You can argue numbers but if he is the only non-geriatric big on a team by default he should be the one racking up stats. LeBianca’s skinny, dinosaur looking lap dog shouldn’t be rewarded for playing with big over the hill ring chasers that cant even run up and down the court.

  10. Inception February 4, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    the bulls are the spurs of the east…they have just one all-star as well…i don’t mind that image.

  11. Inception February 4, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

    correction: duncan and manu are all-stars.

    The Bisherman February 4, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    Yeah Bosh making over Boozer really burns me, Boozer has clearly had a much better season, although missing games probably disqualified him. Lu’s having a great year as well, but needs to step up when we play elite teams. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a player average a quieter 18 a game then Luol. Joakim would have been a shoo in if he stayed healthy. One thing to take from this Bulls fans is that if we are healthy, we have 3 all star caliber players and one Superstar caliber player, along with a very solid bench. If the Bulls even make a small pickup like say Anthony Parker (Who’s contract is way more manageable than Rip Hamilton’s) to replace Bogans, Watch out! Should be an exciting 2nd Half.

    Matt McHale February 4, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    The thing that bugs me is that the “experts” expect us to believe that 1) Derrick Rose isn’t good enough statistically (PER and whatever else) to qualify for MVP…

    …but the Bulls are tied (with the Miami Heat) for the league’s third-best record in a one All-Star system.

    Both can’t be true, right?

    I mean, LeBron and D-Wade are supposed to be two of the top three players in the world. And, apparently, Bosh is an All-Star, too.

    Meanwhile, Rose, while an All-Star, is not MVP-worthy (although I hear that, based on his PER, LeBron is) and the Bulls have no other All-Stars.

    Either the Bulls have at least one other All-Star or Rose should be the MVP. Right?

  14. Inception February 4, 2011 at 9:40 pm #

    @Matt…..yup, the logic of some don’t seem to click sometimes….hopefully, Rose and CHI can maintain this pace post all-star break…however, I can see Durant having a huge 2nd half and possibly “stealing” the MVP away from Rose.

  15. TBF February 4, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    The All-Star game and all that goes with it is pretty pointless. The fact that 4 Celtics got in despite their “inferior” numbers while Luol was excluded precisely because of his “inferior” numbers makes me think that it’s really nothing more than a popularity contest. I mean, of course it’s just a popularity contest, in the same way that the Heisman Trophy should be named “Offensive player from a major conference who gets the most press”. Cam Newton won, but Colin Kaepernick put up nearly the same numbers and no one’s ever heard of him outside of Nevada fans or people who are diehard fans of college ball regardless of who’s playing.

    Luol’s never been a glitzy player, despite the fact that on any night he’s capable of going for 40. Even when he drops 25 he does it in the most unobtrusive way. That’s why he won’t get picked and even if he was averaging ridiculous numbers per night, he still wouldn’t get picked. He’s not the sexy selection. Likewise, Kobe and LeBron could get in every year (and will, until they retire) regardless of how badly they might do in the future.

    And Yao gets voted in year after ridiculous year simply because he has the 1 billion-plus people in China hammering his name because he’s Chinese. And the rest of the world would (rightly) bash Americans for our ignorance and short-sightedness if we did something similar.

    GotNext February 4, 2011 at 11:34 pm #

    How many all stars did the Pistons have the year they won it all? 1. Do you know who it was?? You got it, Ben Wallace. 2 years later, there’s 4 Pistons on the allstar team. Basically, you won’t get respect from coaches for having a good first half. On the other hand, do I think Booz deserves to be there instead of Bosh?? Absolutely. But I would never pretend like Bosh isn’t a stud.

    inkybreath February 5, 2011 at 3:46 am #

    Interesting little nugget…

    There are some fun sortable stats from TrueHoop for ‘Crunch Time’ (last five minutes of 4th quarter and overtime – stretched to PER 48 MINUTES numbers)…

    I just pulled up the rebounding stats and it shows that Rose is pulling down 13.8 rebounds in crunch time! That is more than Garnett, Ibaka and Tyson Chandler?

    He is the only guard in sight with Landry Fields a few slots below….

    On the negative? He is averaging 6.9 turnovers per, as well … ouch. Sure, he is handling the ball 99%, but still, he needs to tighten that up.

    BoppinBob February 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    The sky is falling, let’s trade everybody but Rose Noah and Boozer for Melo!!!

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  1. The Point Forward » Posts Court Vision: The latest around the league « - February 4, 2011

    […] Chicago fans are angry about getting only one All-Star. I said about enough on this Thursday night, but I’ll add this: Luol Deng’s Player […]

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