Nuggets new (and only?) All-Star: Nene

Well, we have to admit that Nene is trying hard. Maybe he wants to persuade Melo to stay, maybe he just wants to be an all-star. He is not going to succeed on both...

I was trying to remember if Nene was the only Nugget from the pre-Melo era. Well, not really remember, because I wasn't into NBA back then. Anyway, since they'd been with the team before, I guess we could count Billups and Andersen too. I don't think they cherish the memories very much.
So, it would be very understandable that these guys would play their hearts out trying to show Melo how good the team can be. They're failing. Miserably.

I know, the team is not playing THAT bad, but definitely not good enough. Which brings me to Nene. I have to admit I didn't watch the last two losses (against Clippers and Kings) but looking the boxscores, Nene has been pretty solid. Again, I didn't watch the games, so maybe the personal efforts hurt the team, or he wasn't aggressive enough, who knows? Not me. And I'm not going to watch those games now just to find out.

But Nene is having career numbers, and must be very frustrating to see the best player on the team saying bye-bye. Or maybe he doesn't care at all. Maybe he's just doing his job, earning his paycheck. I don't believe that. Maybe he's accepted there's nothing left to do. Melo wants out, deal with it. Maybe he's trying to increase his own value, so maybe another team could get interested and offer a good trade for him. Hopefully a contender.

Whatever the reason, Nene is playing very well.

Now, does he deserve to be an all-star? A starter?

If you consider the Western Conference ballot, the answer is pretty simple: HELL YEAH! We all love Yao, but he got injured even before the All-Star voting started, I think. Andrew Bynum missed a lot of games. Nene is definitely the best option.

However, since nobody will be able to beat Yao (unless everybody starts voting for Bynum - not me!), the coaches are going to decide the matter. I'm not sure if that's good or bad for Nene. My biggest concern comes from another position. Tim Duncan. He's on the forwards ballot, but he's actually playing center. It looks like he's not going to start as a forward, so the coaches would have to vote him in anyway. The problem is that they can vote for him as a center. I don't know if he's playing better than the other centers (I would guess that he is), but do you think the coaches would ignore the possibility of letting Tim freaking Duncan be a starter? The Spurs have the best record and no all-star starters. Mark my words: Tim Duncan as the starting center.

Nene might be the only all-star on the team (Melo'll probably be long gone by the ASW - on the bench for the East Team), so I hope the coaches can give him the credit he deserves, so the Nuggets fans can acknowledge how good and important he is to the team. And, since he has no wedding to attend this year, I guess he'd love being part of the show too.

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