Editor's Note: Yes, I'm promoting my own diary. Yes, I see the hypocrisy and arrogance in doing so. But I was going to put this on the main page when I saw it, and only didn't because I didn't want to bump the game thread. Now, I'll let you guys chew on it. Comment away!
John Hollinger, respected ESPN analyst, doesn't think that Caron Butler should be an all-star in the Eastern Conference. He answered a couple questions on that front in his latest SportsNation chat (Insider required).mike (dc): is Caron Butler a lock for the allstar game yet? Also the wizards are second in the league in points per game so everyone is getting to shoot on that team, not just arenas.
SportsNation John Hollinger: I would pass on him right now -- his offensive stats are borderline All-Star material, but I've never been a fan of his defense, or whatever it is he's trying to pass off as defense.
I can't see how John Hollinger can argue that his offensive stats are "borderline." His 21 points per game is 10th in the East, and considering he's playing on the same team as the leading scorer in the conference, that has to stand as being more significant. More significantly, Butler's 49 percent from the field is higher than any of the 9 guys ahead of him on the scoring leaderboard. His 8.1 rebounds per game is tops among small forwards. Offensively, you can't argue he has all-star numbers.
Defensively, Hollinger has a legitimate argument, but I can't think of the last time that an all-star candidate was ruled out because of defensive struggles.
Thankfully, Kris from Seattle came to save the day. Whoever you are Kris, you're one of my new favorite people.kris (seattle): No Caron Butler on All-Star team? Are you kidding? 2nd leading PPG (21.1) for forwards in the east. Leading all SFs in RPG (8.1) in the east. 6th overall SPG (1.9). Nearly 49% from the field and 87.5% from FT. He plays a huge role on a winning team. Who would you put ahead of him?
SportsNation John Hollinger: You mean besides LeBron, Wade, Arenas, Redd, Kidd, Carter, Billups, Hamilton, Pierce, O'Neal, Bosh, Johnson, Okafor, Deng, and Howard? Hardly anybody.
One by one. Kidd isn't an all-star anymore, his numbers don't support it. Billups has been hurt recently, so I can't see him making it. Hamilton's all-around offensive game pales in comparison to Butler's. Joe Johnson plays for the Hawks, meaning his scoring prowess is deceiving, and I can't see anyone from Atlanta making the all-star team. Okafor's had a very good season, but the Bobcats stink and I don't think he's really done anything transcendent.
Then, there's Luol Deng. Deng in particular makes no sense - he very well could be the better player, but he's overrated as a defender and is easily taken out of many games. Deng's numbers are mostly below Butler's. Deng has a better field goal percentage, but his scoring (18.0) is 3 points below Butler, his rebounding is 1.5 points lower (6.5), he gets fewer assists, and he steals fewer passes. At age 21, Deng has a bright future, but he's not more qualified to be an all-star as Butler this season.
That leaves LeBron, Wade, Arenas, Pierce, O'Neal, Bosh, Howard, Redd, and Carter. There are two spots left after that (if you count Shaq), and I can't see how Butler isn't qualified to take at least one of them. His main competition at the forward spot is Okafor and Deng, and I'd take Butler over either one.
By the way, here would be my all-star team (starters are the ones ahead in the fan vote).
PG: Dwayne Wade
SG: Vince Carter
SF: LeBron James
PF: Chris Bosh
G: Michael Redd
G: Gilbert Arenas
G: Richard Hamilton
F: Paul Pierce
F: Jermaine O'Neal
F: Caron Butler
C: Dwight Howard
I like John Hollinger as an analyst, but he's really off base here, in my opinion. I may be biased as a Wizards fan, but I can't see how Butler isn't an all-star at this point.
This represents the view of the user who wrote the FanPost, and not the entire Bullets Forever community. We're a place of many opinions, not just one.