The All-Star team reserves were announced last night on TNT.
Most notably Billups was added to the team as a reserve and Melo was left off the team in favor of forwards: Dirk Nowitzki (Mavs), Pau Gasol (Lakers), and David West (Hornets).
Some numbers on Billups as he compares among NBA point guards:
- 18.8 points per game (career high) : 3rd in the NBA (19 ppg with Denver - career high)
- 90.3% free throws: 5th in the NBA
- 38.7% 3-pointers: 12th in the NBA
- 6.5 assists per game: 10th in the NBA
- 1.45 steals per game: 9th in the NBA
Billups selection to the team was a no-brainer to me.
The biggest gripe for leaving Melo off the team has to be with the selection of David West. West's teammate Chris Paul was voted by the fans as a starter and apparently the Hornets, who are in second place in the Southwest, were more deserving of two players than the Northwest division leading Denver Nuggets.
West is averaging 20 points and 7.1 rebounds this season. West has missed the previous five games with back spasms, so you can't tell me that Melo's broken had swayed this decision.
Melo has missed 14 games thus far and was playing through elbow pain, but has averaged 21.1 points and 7.3 rebounds. Slightly better numbers than West and Melo's importance to his team is superior to West's in my opinion. The Western all-stars are now without a true small forward on the roster and missing a true swingman. The only good news for Melo is that he'll be able to rest his hand and elbow a bit more.
In Melo's six-year career he's been an all-star twice. His first appearance came two seasons ago when David Stern named him as an injury replacement. Last season Melo was voted in as a starter by the fans.
Here is what Nuggets Vice President of Player Personel Rex Chapman had to say about the snub of Melo and the praise for Billups.
"Not taking anything away from the 12 players who made the All-Star team, as each is deserving, but if you're telling me that Carmelo Anthony is not one of the top 12 players in the Western Conference, then I say you need to have your head examined," Nuggets vice president of player personnel Rex Chapman said Thursday night. "He has sacrificed his scoring this season for the betterment of this team, which shows by how much more complete and well-rounded of a team we are this year.
"We are very proud of Chauncey, of course. His election to the West squad was a no-brainer, as we thought Melo's was going to be. Melo scores the basketball easier than any player on this planet, hands down, and has matured and grown as a player every year he's been in the league. He is an All-Star, period."