A.L.L. Defensive Squad

Posted: February 20, 2012 in ALL II
Tags: , , , , ,

NBA All-Star Weekend from Orlando, Florida is this weekend along with a fantastic lead in by the Daytona 500.  While some writers bemoan the doldrums of post-football sports, your favorite blogger cannot be happier.  I cannot contain the excitement from Spring Training reports (MANNY IS BACK), Danica Patrick media attention leading to Dale Earnhardt Jr. being supplanted as the most overrated driver in motorsports, and the perpetually frustrating Dwight Howard counting down the days until Otis Smith butchers his pending trade leading to Howard leaving for nothing at the end of the season.  But it is All-Star Weekend!   Later this week I will be providing my favorites for the array of useless competitions on Friday and Saturday night but I want to give you my own All Star team: The ALL Defensive Team.

Everyone has All Star gimmick columns/blogs and I will not be denied my opportunity to add to the field.  Last week I wrote about superstar Carmelo Kiyan Anthony and attempted to outline a defense of his status as an All-Star.  Others point out that I frequently develop attachments to much maligned players so why not build a team of these guys?  Yes?  I will.  Now presenting the ALL Defensive Team: Top Players (and coaches) that will never fade from the highest peaks of my sports heart.

PG: Russell Westbrook

Prior to the season beginning, Ric Bucher and I suggested that at the very least 1) Russell Westbrook is an essential and elite point guard and 2) he may in fact be better than Kevin Durant.  After the month of December – five total games – Westbrook and I came under incredible levels of criticism.  Shooting below 40% (like his career), turnovers, feuding with Durant and everyone was ready to push him overboard.  Those same people are incredibly quiet these days about the body of work put up by the Long Beach native.  22.6ppg, 5 ast, 5reb on 47% shooting.  Turnover numbers still high but if we are giving Jeremy Lin a pass on turnovers, I think Westbrook has more than earned that pass – though he never gets it.  He is the most essential player on that team because without him the offense is stagnant and they would not have a reliable second scorer.  (Note: While Jeff Green was on the Thunder, James Harden was a better player despite being very good now).  Sure he will be the on people are ready to throw overboard but his value as a top five point guard is clear and a vital piece of a championship contender.  The guy is built to punish and score like a top tier option and has demonstrated that this season.

SG: Allen Iverson

As much as Carmelo disrespect bothers me, no one is more disrespected by Chika than Allen Iverson.  And, yes, he was my favorite player in the NBA besides and before Dirk Nowitzki because he busted his butt in a much tougher NBA on a team full of junk for most of his career.  He played on both sides of the ball leading the league in steals, minutes played, and heart.  The punishment he took at a very generous 6’0” without the assist of liberal, guard friendly officiating is second to none in today’s era.  Yes his shooting percentage was incredibly low but his contribution to that team goes beyond that figure because he kept his team winning and made it to the finals.  Iverson is the captain of the ALL Defensive Squad.  Respect.

SF: Carmelo Anthony

Since this team has a great point guard and for his career Melo is only a 46% shooter and an incredible rebounder for his size (6reb/gm) I will assume he will be just fine.  See this piece for greater analysis of the only man for LaLa’s heart.

PF: Christopher Wesson Bosh

Gets the most undue criticism based on associational bias.  Shoots 50%, made the most adjusting to the new roster moves (going from number one to number three), cares the most about winning of the big three in Miami, and is consistently working on both ends of the floor.  Some will point to his rebounding numbers not being as high as they should (whatever that means).  For his career he averaged over nine rebounds per game.  This year he is averaging eight.  He is also playing next to LEBRON FRIGGIN JAMES – a devastating rebounder.  I still do not get why people were ready to throw him under the bus: I suppose going 19-8-47% shooting just isn’t good enough for a team that got to game six of the NBA finals and who out-produced the King.  Easy to cast away the person that works the hardest to make things work but that’s why dumb people do not coach or run teams (accept the fans of the Denver Broncos)

C: Undefined but for short stretches of play Al Jefferson

No real centers in my unit which is good because people should know better but bad because traditional centers are all but gone.  I really like the work of Al Jefferson who when healthy commands a double team.  I also want to mention WORLD CHAMPION DIRK NOWITZKI who took a ton of flack from everyone about being soft and not a winner until he won by doing what he has done his entire career.

Head Coach: Erik Spolstra

Taught Dwyane Wade how to shoot.  Deals with stupid criticism until the Heat win all the time and everyone gives him no credit.  Manages egos to the extreme.

Asst Head Coach: Mike D’Antoni

The man has a system and it works.  It should be noted that the Suns were the better team the year Duncan hit that absurd three to beat the Suns and that time Nash got body checked into a scorer’s table.  You cannot go from bad to good to bad and back.  Just doesn’t work.  The team is built to score and hopefully Spo can do something defensively.

Asst Coach: Vinny Del Negro

Water cooler duty. And entertainment value.

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