Jan 27, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic (1) during the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Suns defeated the Sixers 124-113. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Goran Dragic All-Star Snub: Fact or Fiction?


The Goran Dragic All-Star snub is likely to get it’s fair share of subjective commentary from all around basketball. Dragic has been underrated his whole career and despite the Suns 28-18 record and deserved national attention, Goran still doesn’t get the credit he deserves. The fact that he wasn’t chosen as an All-Star reserve is considered a snub by many — is it?

Before we dive into it, the point of this piece is to compare and contrast Dragic with the players that were selected. We’re ignoring the starters, since they are chosen by the fans anyways. The guards that were chosen instead of Dragic by the coaches were James Harden, Damian Lillard, Tony Parker and Chris Paul.

THE NUMBERS

Looking at it from a purely objective statistical standpoint, it’s nearly impossible to differentiate who deserves to make the team from this list. The following table shows the per-36 minute averages for all of the players.

Player G MP FG% 3P% 2P% FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
Goran Dragic 43 1483 .500 .390 .538 .780 1.0 2.5 3.6 6.4 1.4 0.2 2.9 2.5 20.7
James Harden 40 1542 .444 .321 .520 .848 0.9 3.6 4.5 5.1 1.2 0.5 3.5 2.3 22.1
Damian Lillard 46 1654 .417 .413 .420 .887 0.4 3.1 3.5 5.6 0.7 0.4 2.3 2.4 20.7
Tony Parker 42 1317 .509 .435 .516 .803 0.3 2.5 2.7 7.2 0.6 0.1 2.8 1.5 20.7
Chris Paul 34 1178 .464 .356 .499 .870 0.6 4.2 4.8 11.6 2.5 0.1 2.6 2.5 20.3
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/1/2014.

Without looking at the names or considering what they’ve done for their respective teams, you could argue that Lillard deserves to be left off that list. He’s got the worst field goal percentage, second-worst rebounding and second-worst assists. Of course as we already know, we can’t ignore those subjective categories.

SUBJECTIVITY BE DAMNED

All five of those players are on teams that are faring at or above expectations. Yes, the Suns were expected to be horrible and have been one of the best surprises in the league. But, did anyone in their right mind expect the Portland Trail Blazers to be 33-13? No way. The Rockets are 31-17, the Spurs are 33-13 and the Clippers are 33-16. We we take expectations into account, don’t the Suns stick out here?

They’re only a couple of games back from all of these teams at 28-18. They’ve beaten Portland, Indiana and the Clippers and it’s been because of Dragic. I know this isn’t a MVP race so we shouldn’t put too much stock into it, but doesn’t the league’s eighth-best record and arguably best turnaround deserve at least ONE All-Star?

IT’S NOT TOO LATE

Luckily for Dragic, it’s not too late. Kobe Bryant has already stated that he isn’t going to play in the All-Star game. There’s one open guard spot right there. If Paul decides he’d rather get more rest and be ready for the rest of the season, that could be a second position. There’s no way Dragic gets passed up twice or even three times, right?

For those that know Goran, you know he probably doesn’t mind. He’d appreciate the acknowledgement but at the same time, he’s such a humble down-to-earth guy that he’s not letting it bother him. Isn’t that the kind of player who deserves a reward like an All-Star selection?

Michael Dunlap is an NBA credentialed writer who is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief for the Sports Illustrated/Fansided NBA site HoopsHabit.com and the Arizona Sports site HeatWaved.com. He also covers high school sports for The Arizona Republic. Follow me on Twitter @DunlapNBA.

 

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